VOX Gold Gives New Meaning to “Dinner and A Show”
When your date invites you to dinner and a show, the evening’s agenda is pretty clear: grab a bite somewhere, and then head to the movies to catch a flick. Slightly more glamorous plans would entail a Broadway show, perhaps an opera, or even a ballet. But that’s the general gist of it. Two concrete activities – chewing and viewing – taking place discretely and consecutively.
You’d never imagine the two would be fused into one.
VOX Cinemas at City Centre Beirut did the unimaginable: they took a perfectly great concept, VOX Gold, and gilded it with even more glitter and glitz.
Originally, you would have been more than content to curl up in the leather-upholstered reclining chair, outfitted with plush pillow and blanket upon request. The private lounge area and minimum age restriction ensure your séance will be smooth and serene. But a gourmet dining affair all while taking in the film? That’s like double prizes.
|The stylish lounge at VOX Gold (bar in left background)
Indeed, VOX Gold recently rolled out a gourmet package priced at LBP 75,000 (USD 50), bundling up a Gold movie ticket, any drink (alcoholic cocktails included), any starter, any main, any dessert, and a basket of popcorn.
Let’s do the math before we scour the goods. A Gold ticket in the PM will run you LBP 35,000 alone. Add an adult cocktail to that, and you’re brushing 57,000 LBP. Popcorn? We all know that could set you back a good LBP 10,000 at least. We’re already at the USD 45 threshold, and no mention of dinner’s been made!
Heck, a three-course meal with a drink at any casual eatery in Lebanon will surely run you upward of USD 50! Throw in a five-star movie experience, and you’re pretty much bidding adieu to Mr. Benjamin.
Earlier this week, we huddled inside a curved diner booth at the VOX Gold Lounge, poring over the leather-bound food menu. Choose among 12 diverse starters, salads, and nibbles; home in on one of four mains, or one of the six sushi platters, or even one of the five sets of burger sliders or hot dogs. Polish the savories off with one of half a dozen delectable desserts (including an exotic fruit salad for the weight conscious), and wash it all down with virgin or alcoholic cocktails, soda, coffee, or milkshakes.
|The VOX Gold Lounge
My advice is you show up a good 15 minutes before show-time to check off your alimentary desires.
Once settled inside the cinema room, you’ll greet your entrée during the previews, then the main toward the start of the movie, and a dessert shortly thereafter. It makes more sense to advise the waiter on preferred timing, so you don’t feel rushed during the experience as I did.
The meal, you ask? First up, a salad of plump grilled shrimp atop a bed of chopped romaine and sliced avocado. Honey mustard dressing is served on the side. Folks, this salad is more generous than most I’ve seen at fine dining establishments, counting no less than seven beautifully marinated shrimp arranged on an ample portion of greens.
|Shrimp Avocado with Honey Mustard (a la carte LBP 24,000)
The main is equally liberal in dose, boasting four padded quarters of chicken quesadillas in panini-pressed tortilla bread. Cups of whipped sour cream, guacamole, and salsa flesh out the platter adjacent to a basket of crunchy tortilla chips.
|Chicken quesadillas (a la carte LBP 25,000)
Quite frankly, I grew distracted from the movie. Juggling popcorn and a motion picture together has always posed a real challenge to the purist in me, so you can sort of envisage the effort it took to slather on guac and sour cream to quesadillas as I watched Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn prance around on the big screen (side note: I heartily recommend “Snatched,” despite its poor IMDB rating).
My dessert arrived before I had even cleared away half of my main, which was annoying in that my vanilla ice cream transformed to a milky slush by the time I got around to it. A chocolate fondant topped with Maltesers candy hit high marks in the quality and taste departments, but again, I’d have loved it served toward the end of the movie, not during opening credits.
|Maltesers fondant with vanilla ice cream (a la carte LBP 18,000)
|Here's the fruit salad, in case your conscience weighs down on you!
Needless to say, the popcorn was left totally unattended to. There was simply no space and no desire after my extravagant culinary affair.
Ultimately, the VOX Gold Combo is a ravishing experience, and at 50 bucks a head, it’s a veritable steal. I’d certainly repeat it, but this time, I’l roll the time reel!