The Husband and I are self-admitted cinephiles. One of our first dates was at CinéBistro in the Hyde Park area of Tampa. It is my very favorite movie theater of all time. The staff is always super friendly and accommodating. Often times, if it is an opening weekend, the staff will dress the part or decorate the lobby and entrance area.
This was from the first weekend of The Great Gatsby, Old Sport.
The lobby is spacious and decorated in a lovely, romantic fashion. One of the best things at CinéBistro is the bar. Along with the decor and costumes, on special occasions there will also be movie-based drinks. Many of the drinks also have catchy titles. (Pirate Of The Caribbean, anyone? Captain Morgan spiced rum, Malibu, Peach Schnapps, pineapple juice, orange juice, splash of grenadine and a 151 floater.) I always get The Usual Suspect Appletini.
The most stupendous feature at CinéBistro ? It is 21+. That means look to the left, look to the right. Nary will you find a screaming baby or an out of control child. Great googly moogly!
After arriving (at least 30 minutes early) you are escorted into a lovely theater and shown to your reserved seats. (I wish all theaters offered reserved seating!) The seats are huge and comfortable. There is plenty of leg room and ample space between neighbors. The food offered is a cut above most restaurants. One of my favorite appetizers is the Sweet Chili-Glazed Shrimp. Flash-Fried Sweet Rock shrimp in a sweet and spicy soy and red chili Sauce, with sun-dried pineapple, green onions and jicama.
We also tried the CinéBistro Steakhouse Chips. House-fried potato chips with tender short rib, blue cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and malt vinegar steak sauce. I wanted to love this, but it was a little cold when it came out. The flavors were awesome, it was a temperature issue.
Another favorite is the Oven Baked Goat Cheese (no picture due to the fact that my sweet Husband inhaled it.) Baked Creamy Chèvre with pistachios, dried black figs, herbs and sweet balsamic reduction, with crusty bread for dipping.
Let us move on to the entrees. The first thing we ordered, years ago, is still on the menu and is always delicious, is the Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon. It is served on lemon whipped potatoes with smoky bacon collards, sautéed shrimp, tomatoes and avocado-Key Lime butter sauce.
A decadent and comforting option is the Shrimp Mac and Cheese. Pasta with sweet sautéed shrimp and smoky bacon in a cheese sauce under a crispy garlic breadcrumb crust.
My favorite sandwich at CinéBistro is the House-Made Veggie Burger. I am super picky about Veggie Burgers, this one is so flavorful. Brown rice, lentils, black beans, melted Swiss with mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes and onion. They also have sweet potato fries as an option, yummy!
We have also eaten several desserts. (No pictures; we usually save our sweet treat until later in the flick. I only take pictures when the lights are still on during the previews.) The Deconstructed Peanut Butter Pie is a must. Graham cracker crust, malted chocolate sauce, peanut butter mousse and roasted banana cream.
We have gone to CinéBistro our whole relationship. The only knock on this fabulous place is that it is a little pricey. It is hands-down worth it for the overall experience. We were a lucky couple this year when we were meat-drunk after a birthday meal at Texas de Brazil and subsequently predicted all of the Oscar selections correctly at the Dolphin Mall location in Miami. We won movie passes for a year! (We were in Miami for my birthday. …..and we went to the movies. Cinephiles!)
Treat yourself to a fabulous date night. Get your tickets early for popular shows (the times are usually posted by Tuesday night.) See you at the movies!