PSA: Dinner and a Movie Date Night (AMC Village 7 + Kotobuki)

Sometimes I think there’s a place you’ve just got to know about and my Public Service Announcements (PSAs) will give you the full skinny.

Ok so dinner and a movie is not exactly groundbreaking stuff.  It’s the date formula that’s lasted generations; though lately, it’s gone out of fashion due to the skyrocketing cost.  Netflix and Seamless is the new dinner and a movie.  However, with the right theater/restaurant combo, the dinner and a movie date night can still be a great idea.

Several movie theaters have recently converted to those with fully reclining seats, lazyboy style.  The cost is only slightly higher, but your seat is reserved and it’s oh-so-roomy.  This is big for me as my legs get all sorts of restless and my booty starts to fall asleep in normal movie theaters.  And I get really annoyed when I can’t put my feet on the back of the seat in front of me.  With these fancy chairs, you’re even more comfortable than in your own living room.

Our theater of choice is the AMC Village 7 (on 11th and 3rd) because it’s the closest to our apartment with reclining seats (though that will change when the Kips Bay theater converts and I’ll be OH so excited).  On Friday, I went to the gym after work and then showered up so that I could get into some super comfy clothes (leggings, oversized shirt/cardigan, perhaps a blanket in my bag).  I was completely relaxed.  We arrived at the theater just in time for the previews.  There’s no need to get there early since seats are reserved in advance – zero stressing.

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Comfy clothes: check.  Highly anticipated new release on a huge screen: check.  Bottle of wine snuck into the theater: check.  Yes, that’s right, we snuck wine into the movies because we’re cool like that.  If we were watching the movie at home on the couch, we’d be drinking wine and since the whole point is to recreate the home experience with better AV quality, the wine should come along for the ride.  Also, BYOB during the movie will help reduce the bill at the dinner portion of the evening.  Since the whole point is to combat how expensive dinner and a movie dates have become, this is a necessary step.  You end up drinking less at the restaurant, which drastically brings down your costs.  Sure, the movie tickets may be $2 more expensive and a bottle of wine may be $10, but you’ll save more than $14 on drinks you would have bought later at the restaurant.

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It doesn’t get cozier than this cardigan/blanket
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Making myself at home
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Sipping on “coffee.”  (Yes, I stole cups/lids from the office for our wine consumption)

We saw “The Girl on the Train” on opening day, a movie I had been dying to see.  Overall, I thought they did a great job.  The twists aren’t as shocking and there is less character development, but I think that’s because this genre is just so good in book form and can be tough to replicate some of those elements in a movie.  Emily Blunt did a fabulous job.  She’s just so talented and pretty much the cat’s meow.

After the movie, we walked two doors down to Kotobuki.  Here’s the thing about Kotobuki: it’s amazing.  We’re talking great sushi for a very reasonable price.  East Siders (particularly Murray Hill gals) had been obsessed with it, which is why they were devastated when it closed two years ago.  Leggings- and Ugg-clad girls wept.  In its place, a new sushi restaurant by the Sushi of Gari people opened.  Gari knows sush, but he also knows a higher price point so the new restaurant lost a lot of its appeal.  So imagine how elated Danielle and I were when we walked past and saw that our beloved sushi place had reopened!  Joy upon joy!  And that was how the idea of this date night came to be.  Note: I recommend the Daisy Dukes roll.

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Saving on booze at the restaurant meant splurging on toro

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This date night combines the ultimate movie experience with a great meal, all for the same price as a normal evening of dinner + cocktail bar.  If you don’t live in this area, it could easily be replicated elsewhere.  For the Upper West Siders, for example, AMC Loews 84th St. + Jacob’s Pickles/Han Dynasty/Meatball Shop would make for a great date night.  Simple concept, but as far as dates go, it’s a home run.

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, this should definitely be a contender.  It’s so nice to have a full evening taken care of, especially one that requires very little time spent outdoors now that it’s getting cold.  And don’t think this has to be a date night!  It’s just as fun seeing a goofy movie with friends.