Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

2 Thumbs Up: McConaughey and a Mojito

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

2 Thumbs Up: McConaughey and a Mojito

Article excerpt

I'm a movie buff.

Every year I try to watch all the movies that are nominated for Academy Awards before the Oscar envelopes are opened in February. That means I spend a good chunk of my time at Burns Court Cinema in downtown Sarasota. But I'll also drop into the Regal Hollywood 20 to see a movie after work, or visit the AMC Sarasota 12, which is close to my home.

So when news broke that the Westfield Southgate mall was getting a Cobb CineBistro, I was elated to have another theater option in town.

The CineBistro will take over the shell of the former Saks Fifth Avenue at Westfield Group's mall, Bee Ridge Road and U.S. 41. It won't open until next year.

But I couldn't wait.

So last week, I decided to try out the CineBistro in Tampa.

The venue is a natural addition to the Hyde Park neighborhood. The theater is sandwiched between quaint restaurants and art galleries on a nice, clean and pedestrian-friendly street in the middle of Hyde Park's retail and restaurant corridor. I was there at the perfect time, too. It was a cool -- but not too cold -- December night in Florida, and Christmas lights dressed the tall palms in Hyde Park Village and the adorable homes just a block away.

"Interstellar," starring Matthew McConaughey, was high on my must- see list.

When we got to the ticket counter, we were able to pick which seats in the theater we wanted on a touchscreen. Tickets are fairly expensive though -- $15 each for a night showing -- but the experience, I believe, is worth the cost.

We got to the theater early enough to browse the menu from our large, plush leather seats before the movie started. A flat table swivels in place in front of you when your order arrives.

I was impressed with the amount of offerings on the menu: one could order just about anything, from a steak to a full-size salad. Dessert, too.

We ordered two lobster grilled cheese sandwiches ($17 each), one with sweet potato fries, and a hummus and veggie platter as an appetizer ($12).

All was delicious. …

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