Tired of sitting at home eating TV dinners and talking to your cat? Turner Classic Movies has a solution: a screening of a classic film at the Ritz-Carlton in Dubai, paired with a themed dinner prepared by La Baie restaurant. The series kicked off last month, with Casablanca and a Moroccan dinner, and the plan is to hold a screening at least once a month. Earlier this month, we went along to the screening of the 1956 boxing film Somebody Up There Likes Me, starring Paul Newman as the original Rocky, Graziano. The "knockout menu" had three "rounds": an appetiser of crispy bocconcini, a grilled beef main and a delightful dessert: banana cheesecake sculpted into a boxing ring and topped with a toasted marshmallow and chocolate "ropes", accompanied by little marzipan boxing gloves. (We can't wait to see what the kitchen does with a screening of an Elvis film in August.)
It's a bit like a drive-in, only much more civilised. The tables face a medium-size screen in the darkened, candlelit restaurant, and the meal is delivered silently, as the film plays, by the restaurant's gracious staff. This might not be for someone who wants to watch a movie completely uninterrupted; some guests might whisper to one another, there is the occasional murmur from the lobby, and people come and go. But it is the perfect chance to get out in a social setting and see a film that you're not likely to see on the big screen here.
Plus, if you're yearning for that outdoor summer movie experience, you can pretend you're at the drive-in. The next TCM Movie Night screening, at 7.45pm this Wednesday (July 22), will be of another Paul Newman film: the 1965 romantic comedy Lady L, with Sophia Loren. Tickets cost Dh180 for the dinner and film; guests are encouraged to dress to fit the theme. For more information, call 04 318 6715