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The NYC Dinner & A Movie Guide

Where to order from, and what to watch: 31 ways to do dinner and a movie right.

Dinner and a movie has meant different things at different times. In junior high, it meant being dropped off at a movie theater, eating a pan pizza with Milk Duds, and holding hands with someone until our palms developed their own microclimates. More recently, it meant hanging out with a friend who was too tired to go out out, or realizing that, like your kids, you also know Frozen 2 by heart. Now, for just about anyone with a TV, movie night is the norm. Because let’s face it, there isn’t much else to do. So we’re here to make sure you’re doing dinner and a movie right. Below, you’ll find our picks for great delivery, and a classic movie to pair with it. We’ll be updating this regularly.

The Spots


Movie Pairing:Death Becomes Her (Hulu)

“There are a handful of movies I watched repeatedly as a child, and all of them were on VHS. Like Singin’ in the Rain and whatever the second Predator was called. Death Becomes Her also somehow snuck in there, and, to this day, it’s burned in the back of my brain. And understandably so, seeing as how this movie stars Goldie Han as the vengeful ex-lover of a milquetoast Bruce Willis, who abandoned poor Goldie for a friend played by (and I could be pronouncing this wrong) Meryl Streep. The movie is tough to categorize - but if Blockbuster were still a thing, I’d put it in the Gothic ’90s Comedy section (alongside Serial Mom and Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead). For this film, you need a dinner that’s equally complex and unclassifiable, so I suggest Shopsins, where you can get some enchiladas, oreo pancakes, or matzo ball soup. They’re open for pickup on the LES.” - BK

Movie Pairing:Mother (Hulu)

“If you’re familiar with Bong Joon-ho, it’s probably because of his Academy Award-winning film Parasite. But he’s also got a bunch of other great films in his arsenal from as far back as the early ’90s. One of my personal favorites is Mother (2009), a heartbreaking story about a man who’s accused of a crime that his mother will do anything to prove he’s innocent of. It’s moving to see a working class widow like Kim Hye-ja fight for her son, even when it seems like there’s no way she can help him. I won’t say what happens in the end, but I can tell you that the mother in this movie shows care for her son by feeding him - usually a hearty pot of Korean seafood stew like the one you can order from Her Name Is Han right now.” -ND

Movie Pairing:Big Night (Amazon)

“When Liev Schreiber and Marc Anthony are cast as background roles with no speaking lines, it’s a good indication that the movie could be pretty special. Big Night certainly is. In this 1996 cult classic, Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub play brothers from Italy who open a restaurant in New Jersey. Their traditions are lost on the local “philistines,” but that doesn’t keep Primo and Secondo from sticking to family recipes, and wooing Minnie Driver and Allison Janney’s characters in the process. For the climactic dinner that they prepare for critics, rival restaurateurs, and jazz icon Louis Prima, Tony Shaloub cooks timpano, which he describes as “one of the most important things in the world.” His lovable Italian accent and the incredible looking baked pasta make me think he might be right. While you probably can’t find timpano anywhere in the city, the baked ziti from Parm is a very strong stand-in.” -MT

Ciao, Gloria

Movie Pairing:Zodiac (Amazon)

“I watch Zodiac a lot, but that doesn’t mean I’m creepy. In fact, the lurid parts of this movie (about the hunt for a serial killer in the ’60s and ’70s) are my least favorite. Mostly, I like the scope of the film (it’s 157 minutes long), and, much like Jake Gylenhaal’s inquisitive lead, I appreciate a good puzzle. I also like the fact that David Fincher added a bunch of comedic touches that could have been lifted straight from a romcom. Gylenhaal’s son swallows toothpaste, for example, and Mark Ruffalo’s detective often eats animal crackers. These scenes are only sort of funny, which somehow makes them funnier in the context of a very heavy film. Now, I don’t know where you can order animal crackers at present, but I do know where to get some cookies, blondies, and oatmeal cream pies. It’s a place called Ciao, Gloria in Prospect Heights, and they have a few breakfast sandwiches as well.” - BK


Movie Pairing:The Painter & The Thief (Hulu)

“Do you relate to the following statement? ‘Wow summer is, like, so fun, all I want to do is be happy and yell about how great I feel.’ Of course you don’t - it’s 2020. I’d recommend burying yourself even deeper in your feelings by watching The Painter & The Thief, a new documentary about the unlikely friendship between a Czech artist and the Norwegian guy who stole her artwork. This is the kind of movie that would be too unbelievable if it were fictional, and there are several minutes of nothing but inconsolable crying. Prepare yourself with something strong and sour, like some muhammara and manti from Lokanta in Astoria.” - HA

Movie Pairing:The Lighthouse (Prime)

“I don’t read anything about movies before I see them. So had I known that The Lighthouse is a horror movie set in the late 19th century in which two lighthouse keepers played by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson drink, fart, murder seagulls, and gaslight each other until we’re not sure if one or both of them (or all of us) are insane, I probably wouldn’t have seen it by myself at the Angelika back in October. That said, it’s the absolute perfect quarantine watch. “If I had a steak, I would f*ck it,” says Pattinson’s character after his 13th or 300th meal from the sea. Go big, and get one from Cote.” -AS

Movie Pairing:Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (Hulu)

“They do not make movies like Rock ‘n’ Roll High School anymore. I know this for a fact, because The Ramones no longer make appearances in generic teen comedies. The plot here is simple: a strict new principal shows up at Vince Lombardi High School, and it’s up to self-described “rock and roller” high school student Riff Randel to save the day. Joey Ramone serenades her with “I Want You Around” at one point, and, even though it’s a fantasy sequence, it’s still kind of creepy - but let’s not dwell on that. I very much think you should watch this movie while eating some food from Forest Hills, the neighborhood where the Ramones grew up. The thin, crispy pies from Nick’s Pizza are some of the best in the city, and they’re currently open for pickup and delivery.” -BK

Movie Pairing:The Bling Ring (Netflix)

“Robbing Paris Hilton by hopping her fence and opening her front door with the key under her mat is some of the boldest sh*t I’ve ever heard. But that’s exactly what a group of real-life teens did between 2008 and 2009. This film is Sophia Coppola’s retelling of their mind-blowing story. The Bling Ring shows careless seventeen year-olds stealing clothes, handbags, hidden wads of cash, and paintings off of the walls with no concern for the consequences. So if you’re looking for something to hate-watch, try this film. And since you’ll be aggressively pointing and whole-body-sighing for an hour and a half, it’s best to eat something that’s not too fussy - like tacos from Amaranto or another spot on our Mexican Takeout & Delivery guide.” -ND

Movie Pairing:Obvious Child (Hulu)

“Not only is Jenny Slate’s character in Obvious Child the perfect stand-in for a friend right now, but the whole movie itself is also a perfect stand-in for normal Brooklyn life. Most of the scenes take place in Brooklyn bars, independent libraries, tiny apartments, and Planned Parenthood clinics. During their first real date, Jenny Slate’s love interest warms up a packet of butter in his hands for her so it’s easier to spread on her table bread. I find this gesture to be incredibly romantic, and think about doing it every time I see a cold butter packet in the wild. Order some sourdough bread and country ham from &Sons, grab some refrigerated butter, and you can do the same for your partner (or yourself) while you watch.” - HA

Movie Pairing:Tokyo Story (Amazon)

Tokyo Story is over two hours long, and - spoiler alert - nothing really happens in it. So why am I telling you to watch it? Because A) you have plenty of time right now, and B) it’s a beautiful movie from one of the best filmmakers of all time (Yasujiro Ozu). You might think that sounds pretentious and, honestly, I agree. But give Tokyo Story a chance. It’s about family dynamics and the passage of time, and there’s a key exchange in which one of the main characters responds to the question “Life is disappointing, isn’t it?” by essentially saying, “Yes, it sure is.” And she does so while smiling. Because life is disappointing, but there isn’t always much you can do about it. As for a dinner pairing, Ozu features ramen in a few of his films, so I’d go with Chuko in Prospect Heights. Consider throwing in some pork buns and spicy pickles.” -BK

Movie Pairing:Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (Amazon)

“It should go without saying, but I’m recommending the 1971 version that showcases Gene Wilder’s well-placed faith in Charlie, rather than the 2005 remake that illustrates Johnny Depp’s misplaced faith in Tim Burton. Now, I’ve always known the “Golden Ticket” jingle by heart and mentioned snozzberries in casual conversation, but a recent revisit opened my eyes to a whole new movie. It was just as entertaining, but less for the candy flowers and chocolate river, and more for the dark humor and wild imagery, which are varying degrees of trippy depending on your level of sobriety. Round out the experience by ordering something that also only improves through the ages, like mac and cheese. If your first memories of it are also eating Kraft with a spoon, then the truffle mac and cheese with manila clam, fontina, gruyere, and mozzarella from Thursday Kitchen will feel like a whole new dish.” -MT

Movie Pairing:The Matrix (Amazon)

“The Matrix is a stand-out sci-fi action film depicting a dystopian future that can only be saved by Keanu Reeves. And Thai Farm Kitchen is a stand-out Brooklyn restaurant where everything from tom yum soup to green curry with chicken can save you from a series of unsuccessful attempts at making “something interesting” for dinner. Media executives, please take note. These are two examples of the right kinds of savior narratives. One saves on-screen in a floor-length black trench coat and the other saves through broths that are simultaneously spicy, sweet, and creamy. Enjoy these legends together for maximum satisfaction.” -ND

Movie Pairing:When Harry Met Sally (Prime)

“Listen, now is not the time to watch something new. I’m leaning hard into the cinematic equivalent of comfort food, and for me, When Harry Met Sally is as comfortable as the many perfect ’80s sweaters worn in this film. As an added bonus (or maybe a risk, depending on your current emotional status), it will also transport you to a simpler, happier, rom-com-ier version of New York City. In honor of this movie’s most iconic scene, the correct delivery pairing here is obviously Katz’s Deli, where it was filmed. Pastrami sandwiches and fake orgasms for everyone.” -KL

Movie Pairing:The Farewell (Prime)

“In The Farewell, Awkwafina’s character Billi travels from her home in the U.S. to her family’s house in northern China, to say goodbye to her grandmother who is unaware of her own terminal cancer diagnosis. It’s a poignant story about family and loss and living far away from people you wish you could see more, but it’s also very funny. And what feels like at least half the movie’s most important scenes take place over a meal. To eat along accordingly, I’d order a bunch of food from Hao Noodle, which is the New York outpost of a restaurant group in China. Definitely get the Le Shan Chicken and any of the noodle dishes.” -HR

Movie Pairing:Beginners (Prime)

“This is probably my favorite movie of all time. It’s about loneliness and love and realizing that your parents are people, too. There’s a flashback scene where the child version of our protagonist and his mom go to a museum. After staring at a sculpture for a while, the mom starts doing a modern dance interpretation, imitating the sculpture’s shapes with her body. A security guard approaches. “What,” she asks. “You’re not allowed to interact with the art?” It’s the coolest mom scene ever. Order some tacos, because you’ll feel left out when everyone onscreen goes to a taco truck. And call your mom.” -AS

Movie Pairing:Tigertail (Netflix)

“If you’re looking to take a night off from your own self-destructive emotional state, watch someone else’s in Tigertail. This new Netflix movie was written and directed by one of the creators of Master Of None (no, not that one), and tells the story of a Taiwanese man who moves to the US, dances in the moonlight, and falls in love with a woman who wears fantastic floral dresses - but not in that order. There’s a scene where two of the characters order fried fish and beef noodle soup at a restaurant and then run away without paying. As exhilarating as dining and dashing may seem, you shouldn’t and frankly can’t pull it off right now. Instead, order some spicy beef noodle soup from Ho Foods while you watch.” -HA

Movie Pairing:Booksmart (Hulu)

Booksmart is a fun and deeply enjoyable movie that I could easily watch weekly, but it does feature many things you cannot currently do, such as: stopping by an elaborate murder mystery party, going to a teen rager at someone’s aunt’s empty house, attending a high school graduation, and having a sleepover at your best friend’s house. Sorry if that’s depressing. As an antidote, I recommend pairing this with the novelty of a delivery option that doesn’t exist in normal times, like “Contrair,” the Contra/Wildair delivery pop-up. They’re doing great-sounding dishes like waygu steak salad, toasted rice ribs, and golden crab congee, and you can get a bottle of wine to go with it as well.” -HR

Movie Pairing:Up (Prime)

“While my Dachshund-Jack Russell, Gus, may not be as articulate as Dug from Up, we’re still able to come to some basic understandings. Namely, this is his house, and I’m just living in it. As such, I intend to keep him happy. A good way to do that is to feed him food that he has no business eating, like wagyu roast beef or part of a duck banh mi from Mekelburg’s. Little does he know, it doesn’t require much of a sacrifice because overordering is pretty much a given here. This Williamsburg spot also delivers dog food (and other groceries), but Gus has made it clear that he prefers dry-aged burger meat, tracking it tirelessly from door to couch, only occasionally getting distracted by ‘squirrel!’” -MT

Movie Pairing:Moonstruck (Prime)

“Is it just me or is everyone revisiting Moonstruck right now? I also recently hopped on this unhinged Cher-And-Nicolas-Cage train, and my only regret is that I didn’t pair it with Italian food. There’s so much about this movie that just does not make sense (basically every dialogue scene, the idea that Cher would be engaged to a total doofus, the plot itself, etc.) - but if there’s one thing that makes it feel relatable, it’s how good and comforting all of the food looks. Which is exactly why you shouldn’t watch Moonstruck without some pasta of your own in front of you - I’d go with Frankie’s 457, or for an even more classic choice (to go with such a classic film), Bamonte’s.” -KL

Movie Pairing:Almost Famous (Prime)

“Dr. Fauci and vodka martinis aside, Penny Lane in Almost Famous is the official muse of my quarantine. She’s free-spirited, she says all the right things, and her hair always looks perfect. In essence, she’s the exact opposite of anyone in 2020. Pair this fundamentally perfect movie with something equally perfect and equally rock and roll, like a steak from St. Anselm. And if you aren’t going to commit to Almost Famous (what’s wrong with you?), at least watch this clip where they all sing “Tiny Dancer” on the tour bus. Turn up the volume, count the headlights on the highway, and sing your little heart out. It’s what we all need right now.” -HA

Movie Pairing:Bad Education (HBO)

“I don’t know about you, but I could watch Alison Janney read a phone book. But in the case of Bad Education, we get to watch her siphon off $11 million from the Long Island public school system, and feed Hugh Jackman a sandwich on some high school bleachers. Stream it on HBO, order a hot pastrami sandwich from Shelsky’s, and let your quarantine buddy eat it out of your hand while this true story of the largest public school embezzlement in history unfolds.” -AS


Movie Pairing:Analyze This (Prime)

“I recently watched Analyze This, and then watched Analyze That the very next night. Usually, I might take a look in the mirror after devoting four hours in a short timespan to softcore mafia movies starring Lisa Kudrow and a character named Jelly. But I don’t regret a second of it. Well, I regret almost all of Analyze That, but the first one was more than good enough to make up for it - namely because watching Billy Crystal psychoanalyze Robert De Niro is extremely entertaining. It’d be easy to pair this with a red sauce and cheese-heavy spot from our Italian Delivery Guide, but instead, embrace the theme of the movie by trying to better yourself. Specifically, by gettting help in the kitchen from Bessou, a Noho Japanese spot that delivers ready-to-cook comfort food with all the prep work done for you, so you can get the satisfaction of cooking karaage chicken or pork tonkatsu yourself.” -MT

Movie Pairing:Good Burger (Amazon)

“If you need 95 minutes of pure joy right now, watch Good Burger. Kenan & Kel are in their comedic prime, Carmen Electra’s stunt double shows promise, and the slapstick sound effects elevate the film from ‘poorly-acted suburban adventure’ to a nostalgic ’90s treasure. But I have to admit that none of the food in this film about two competing fast-food joints seems evenly remotely edible - except for Ed’s secret sauce, which I’ve wanted to try since I was eight years old. It looks a lot like the kimchi mayo on Nowon’s elusive double cheeseburger, which is now readily available for delivery and takeout online. If you want to get one for your own Good Burger screening, I recommend springing for two - that way you won’t have to spend 90 minutes of the film regretting how quickly you ate the first one.” -ND

Movie Pairing:My Cousin Vinny (Prime)

“If you’ve never seen this courtroom comedy, it’s worth watching for Marisa Tomei’s monologues alone (0:59:26, 1:05:30, and especially 1:42:27 are your sweet spots). Could you just Youtube “Marisa Tomei My Cousin Vinny?” Yes, you could, but then you’d miss out on all of the tasty drama that unfolds when a college kid accidentally shoplifts a can of tuna. If, like me, you’re also sick of canned tuna right now, order some Chinese food. It’s all Tomei’s character Lisa Vito seems to crave, even in rural Alabama, and she’d be proud of you. I’d go with soup dumplings and crispy beef from Hwa Yuan.” -AS

Movie Pairing:Hairspray (Amazon)

“Is the 2007 film production of Hairspray impressive to musical theater snobs? Does it matter? When you witness Christopher Walken and a highly-prosthetic John Travolta profess their love to each other by way of song, everything - and I mean everything - in your life will suddenly become less stressful. To honor Miss Baltimore Crab, I’d recommend eating Bangklyn East Harlem’s crab and coconut milk noodles in between musical numbers. You can’t belt “Good Morning Baltimore” with a mouth full of crab. I’ve tried.” - HA

Movie Pairing:The Last Days Of Disco (Prime)

“I’ve seen The Last Days of Disco so many times. It’s probably unhealthy. But right now, it’s exactly what you need. As the title suggests, this movie is about the early-’80s disco scene in New York, and I assume it’s not very historically accurate. Still, you get to see NYC (a nice change from the inside of your apartment), and the soundtrack is full of songs that are scientifically classified as ‘bangers.’ Just listen to ‘Doctor’s Orders’ by Carol Douglas, and try not to dance. The obvious pairing for this movie is a Disco Kit from Joyface (which includes 12 cocktails and a disco ball), but if you don’t want to spend $165 on a party for one at your apartment, get a bunch of chicken fingers from Sticky’s. And find some vodka, or something.” -BK

Movie Pairing:The Darjeeling Limited (HBO)

“Dysfunctional families and monogrammed luggage are Wes Anderson’s bread and butter. In The Darjeeling Limited, three estranged brothers traverse India in search of their mother who abandoned them to become a nun. In short, the brothers are stuck on a train with an 11-piece set of their dead dad’s luggage. Everyone has annoying quirks (like laminating daily itineraries and repeatedly listening to an ex-girlfriend’s answering machine), but surely nothing can top whatever microaggressions are bubbling up in your current quarantine situation. So when the person you’re holed up with asks if you’re really going to make quesadillas again, order some udon from Raku (it’s hard to nag while slurping), put this movie on, and feel understood.” -AS

Movie Pairing:A Matter Of Life And Death (YouTube)

“This movie is so goddamn sweet, and David Niven - with his pencil mustache and wispy baby hair - is a f*cking treasure. So steal some mascara from your roommate, apply a healthy amount, and let it run down your face as Niven’s young British pilot falls in love with an American radio operator, then goes to heaven and argues for his right to remain among living. As a food pairing, I’d go with some Maltesers, several bags of Monster Munch, and a crispy fish sandwich from the Black Swan, an exceptional English pub in Bed-Stuy.” -BK

Somtum Der

Movie Pairing:Clue The Movie (Prime)

“Would you like to scream with the fervor of a 1940s film noir actress? We say go for it. Great, now that that’s out of the way, continue your cathartic and mysterious evening with Clue The Movie. About 50% of the dialogue in this cinematic masterpiece is shrieked rather than spoken, and it goes nicely with spicy papaya salad and larb moo from Som Tum Der. No matter how many times you’ve seen Mrs. Peacock and the gang run around a spooky mansion, you’ll always find new ways to be confused by the blackmail scheme. Not to mention, young Tim Curry is an absolute fox.” -HA

Movie Pairing:Point Break (Hulu)

“When Bodhi falls backwards out of the airplane and tells Johnny Utah, ‘Adios amigo,’ that really is Patrick Swayze making the jump. And when Keanu screams “F*ck it!” and jumps out after him without a parachute, cinema reaches a height that I’m not sure can ever be matched. It’s not just the raw drama - this is the culmination of Johnny Utah’s character development, from straight-laced Ohio State quarterback to night-surfing adrenaline junkie. To fully appreciate this turf-to-surf progression, order the fusilli from Marea in Midtown. The bone marrow matches Johnny’s midwestern sensibilities, while the octopus is briny enough to make you feel like you could be beachside with Bodhi and Anthony Kiedis (yes, of course the Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman is in this masterpiece).” -MT

Movie Pairing:Atlantics (Netflix)

Atlantics is a horror drama about a bunch of girlfriends who are possessed by the spirits of their dead boyfriends. Seeing the iridescent glow in the eyes of these zombified young women as they haunt the streets of Dakar both mesmerize and terrify me. That’s exactly why I wish I had ordered a plate of mafe from Cafe Rue Dix online while watching this film. The Senegalese spicy beef stew in peanut butter sauce is so creamy and vibrant, I sometimes feel like it’s taking over my body. It’s probably just the spirit of the cow telling me to eat less meat.” -ND

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