The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Weekend Dinner + a Movie Pairing

Cinema, Culture & Arts, Things to Do


Written by Emma Janicki-Gechoff

Published on February 9, 2016


Since Buffalo has a wealth of movie theaters specializing in out-of-date, second-run, international, quirky, and downright unknown independent films, suggesting a dinner and a movie doesn’t mean you’ve thrown in the towel. It means you spent time looking for a way to break the Netflix and chill cycle. It means you can snuggle up during the movie, then go out after to have deep conversations about the mise-en-scène.

So for each week(end) of the month, Step Out Buffalo has made a new kind of pairing – not of the wine and cheese or meat and beer varieties. A cool movie plus a creative restaurant choice means serious props to you. Here’s our pick for this week!


Film: Casablanca

The Screening Room

Northtown Plaza Business Center, 3131 Sheridan Dr., Amherst

Showtimes: Friday, Feb. 12 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 13 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 14 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 16, Friday, Feb. 19, and Saturday, Feb. 20 7:30 p.m.

More Info


Restaurant: Lucy Ethiopian Cuisine

388 Amherst St., Buffalo

Although Buffalo has quite a selection of clever Valentine’s Day events this year, there’s no reason you can’t kick it with a classic – and I mean that in a few ways.

When you first suggest a dinner-and-a-movie date to your Valentine, they might give you a little sigh – “Okay, I guess we can do that.” It seems too simple, too easy. But they’ll be pleasantly surprised that this isn’t any ordinary date.

Casablanca is regularly ranked as one of the greatest English-speaking films ever, making it such a classic that I hope at least one of you has already seen it. Casablanca takes place in, you guessed it, Casablanca, Morocco during World War II. Essentially, Bergman plays Bogart’s ex-lover and she miraculously arrives at a little gin joint run by Rick Blaine (Bogart) and confusion, chaos, and desire ensues.

For every showing except on Valentine’s Day, The Screening Room is charging just $6. On Valentine’s Day, the price is $7 but if you order advanced tickets, for $25 you get two movie tickets, champagne, and popcorn.

Buffalo’s Moroccan food scene is slim to none, but Lucy Ethiopian Cuisine will be an unexpected cultural experience (and a lesson in sharing) for your night out. Rather than staring at each other across candlelight in a sterile suit-and-tie style restaurant, you’ll be getting yourself elbow-deep in spices, a true cup of coffee, and delicious, gooey, soft, wonderful injera (which apparently can be ordered gluten-free several days in advance).   

Ethiopian food is meant to be shared among friends and family, so don’t be alarmed if the menu prices seem a little steep. You won’t be using forks and knives, instead, use the injera to scoop and roll, then pop the delicious little ball in your mouth, or your Valentine’s!

Luckily, if you’ve never ventured into the world of Ethiopian food, Lucy doesn’t expect you be an expert. I’d recommend perusing the website and the menu ahead of time – Lucy provides detailed summaries of the basics of Ethiopian food. Plus, for more recommendations, check out this review of Lucy’s from Buffalo Eats. Start studying up!

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