If your date orders the “When Harry Met Salad,” will you have what she’s having?
That’s just one of the many things to ponder — along with, “How do I request the dessert known as ‘One Flew Over the Cookie’s Nest’ without giggling?” — while browsing the wordplay-heavy menu at Cinebarre, the new dine-in multiplex at Palace Station.
Each of the nine auditoriums boasts laser projection. (Relax, it’s not exactly a Pink Floyd show. It’s just the brightest, cleanest way to present a movie.)
There’s a spacious restaurant and lounge, equipped with two pool tables, a dartboard and 15 televisions, as well as an outdoor balcony.
But what really sets Cinebarre apart from other local theaters is that 20-page menu featuring the likes of “Close Encounters of the Crab Kind” ($13), pan-fried lump crab served with sweet corn relish and chipotle remoulade, and “Courage Under Fryer” ($15), a fried chicken breast with New Orleans-style andouille gravy and garlic mashed potatoes.
“We have an incredible full-scratch kitchen, so we’re able to make these things fresh and ready to go,” says John Curry, Regal’s senior vice president of food service. “To me, this is a restaurant that shows movies.”
And to think, it was just four years ago, with the opening of the Regal Summerlin Luxury 5, that the idea of being able to buy pita chips and hummus in a movie theater seemed borderline revolutionary.
Since then, concession stands across the valley have enhanced their offerings, with Eclipse Theaters introducing a limited upscale menu that currently offers lobster grilled cheese sliders.
Cinebarre, though, delivers meals ranging from the relatively simple — five types of burgers ($11-$13.50), an assortment of 10-inch pizzas including build-your-own ($12-$14.50) and “Lord of the Wings” ($10), boneless or traditional chicken served with a waffle — all the way up to its raspberry chipotle pork belly bites ($12.50).
Even the popcorn — err, “Children of the Popcorn” ($8) — comes with a twist: It’s served in metal bowls, with unlimited refills. “I do think it’s a neat take on it,” Curry says of the containers, “and we wanted to provide something that pulls out as much of the paper products as we could.”
Menus are stashed under the trays at each seat, and servers will be in the auditoriums taking orders for delivery through the end of the previews. Each dish is made to order, and some of the more elaborate ones can take 20 to 30 minutes to prepare, so Regal officials suggest you arrive early.
If you haven’t made your selections by the time the movie starts or you realize you still have room for dessert — such as the “Crazy, Stupid Luscious” creme brulee cheesecake ($6.50) — you’ll need to order at the bar. While there, you can pick up “jartails” ($10), the signature cocktails served in Mason jars, or a selection of beers on tap ($5-$6 a pint, $19-$23 a pitcher), including locally brewed varieties of Big Dog’s, Joseph James and Lovelady.
The theaters offer luxury seating, but you won’t find the recliners that many local cinemas have added during the recent wave of renovations. That’s because it’s too easy to make a mess if you’re trying to eat while lying down.
The menu leans toward uncomplicated foods, Curry says, so they shouldn’t be a struggle to consume while you’re watching a movie in the dark.
Still, if you’re having, say, the “All Gone in 60 Seconds” jalapeno popper dip ($9.50), with fresh-toasted naan chips, or the “Attack of the Killer Nachos” ($10), with beef brisket or grilled chicken, olives, jalapenos, tomatoes, black beans, pico de gallo, sour cream and salsa, well, you should have a napkin handy.
Some of you, depending on your dexterity, might want to consider bringing a mop.