Nitehawk Cinema played host to the next stage of interactive dining last night with the unveiling of the American Psycho Film Feast directed by Chef Francis Derby, formerly of Momofuku Ssam Bar.In fitting with the trend of connecting diners with the food they eat - or at least making them stop taking Instagram photos - Williamsburg’s
“Mayhem” and “smooth” were the words that came to mind when Chef Derby found himself in the kitchen this past Thursday. After all, each dish served on the six-course menu featured heavily in the film’s dialogue, and the creations were a reflection of money, status, and taste. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the dining scene of the the late 1980’s. As Bateman’s Wall Street buddy Van Patten might say: “I’m not really hungry, but I’d like to have reservations someplace ”
Squid ink ravioli in a lemongrass broth with goat cheese profiteroles and an arugula Caesar began the night with a subtle taste of things to come (because of the ink, this was luscious pasta had a dark side). Served as soon as the opening credits begin to roll, the offering left us intrigued. It was complex, and clearly projected status - but we were just getting started. It would take more than a shotglass full of broth and a spoonful of arugula to get to the bottom of these characters....
By the time we received our second course, peanut butter soup with smoked duck and mashed squash that - according to the movie - the New York Matinee called “a playful but little mysterious dish”, we realized that American Psycho is all about a man who is...playful but a little mysterious. The dishes Derby cooked up weren't just recreations of scenes in the movie, they’re reflections of the characters of themselves. Though, it was impossible to tell if the smoked duck wore an ice pack to prevent face puffiness while doing its stomach crunches.
Sea urchin ceviche and cilantro crawfish gumbo followed, while a roasted hanger steak was served once Bateman meet Detective Kimball at Smith & Wollensky’s for questioning. The fact we dined on steak smothered in Bearnaise while Mr. American Psycho chased a woman with a chainsaw like she was a piece of meat made us seriously consider shifting to vegetarianism - though that tense moment was quickly displaced by Nitehawk's unique setup. How could we get a lime from the top of a Corona bottle to the bottom without spilling any on our neighbor - a feat more complicated than getting tickets to Le Mis c. 1986.
Dessert, a chocolate parfait accompanied by a shot of J&B was both sweet and bitter. Great to see the bad guy get away with murder, even though he wanted to get caught but couldn't (and not for a lack of trying either). While audience members had mixed opinions on whether the various dishes sank or slayed, the dinner itself was a huge success. When presented with the option of getting the chance to dine on grub straight out of a cult classic, people are going to be entertained no matter what is put in front of them...even if that dish hasn’t been popular since the Reagan administration.