Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A Casablanca Dining Experience in Middletown
In conjunction with the Summer Film Series honoring Ingrid Bergman, hosted by Wesleyan's Center for Film Studies, several downtown restaurants are offering "CineFare" or Pre-Fix menus before each Wednesday night showing, from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM (show time is at 8:00 PM). Though little information is provided regarding exactly what menu choices are available, as a Middletown dining scene aficionado I feel compelled to suggest a dining experience for each screening, related in someway (I may have to stretch it a bit!) to the theme, setting, or plot of the movie.
Tonight's showing of Casablanca begs for French and Moroccan-inspired cuisine, which (luckily for me!) can easily be found at the Tavern at the Armory, a CineFare participating business.
The Tavern is located at the Inn at Middletown, 70 Main Street.
Call for reservations: (860) 854-8323.
Casablanca-Inspired Dinner Menu
Tavern at the Armory
Grilled Olive Oil Brushed Flatbread - with kalamata olive tapenade and roasted red pepper hummus
Moroccan cuisine is heavily influenced by its Mediterranean neighbors. The grilled multigrain flatbread and hummus provide a delicious nuttiness, and the subtle saltiness of the olive tapenade is the perfect accompaniment. This appetizer is huge (two hungry movie-goers may not even finish it!), delicious, and truly Mediterranean.
Garam Masala Lamb Loin Chops - with chick pea and tomato salad, pomegranate-cumin glaze and cilantro-mint yogurt.
Staple spices in Moroccan cuisine, cumin and cilantro are bold flavors that compliment the country’s preferred meat, lamb, in this filling dish. The chickpea and tomato salad, also typical of Morocco, adds a sweet and refreshing element.
To finish the meal with a French twist, this creamy, light cheesecake has a sweet, crispy crème-brulee crust that would make a saint of even the most corrupt of Vichy French officials!
Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot go perfectly with lamb, and will stand up nicely to the entrée’s spices.
For extra cool points (and I use the term "cool" here loosely), wear a fedora and trenchcoat (men) or white gloves (women) and eat hurriedly, as if afraid of being caught. And I bet, if you ask really nicely (and tip equally as nicely), you can coerce the bartender into saying, as you walk in... "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world..."
Stay tuned for next week’s downtown dining menu for the screening of Gaslight!