Friday, April 16, 2010

Studio Movie Grill

Lights, camera, hot wings.

Studio Movie Grill is a new theater at Zona Rosa that opened at the beginning of April. Earlier this week, they hosted a Media Night, and your Lunch Bloggers were among those invited to come and check out the cinema-slash-restaurant.

The evening’s feature was Date Night, and both Shaw and I brought along our special ladies -- although if I’d had any foresight whatsoever, I would have declined to tell Kelly that everything was on the house. Instead, I would’ve been all like, “Baby, tonight you get whatever you want,” and cued up a Color Me Badd slow jam to seal the deal.

Shaw, Angela, Kelly and I arrived at Studio Movie Grill and were greeted by our hosts. Then we sauntered over to the bar, where I ordered a Dragonberry Mojito ($8.50). A fine balance of mint and dragonberry, it made me truly appreciative of the dangerous work performed by Dragonberry Wranglers so that we can enjoy these refreshing beverages. I’ve seen Reign of Fire. Dragons can mess you up -- as could the 20 oz. rum-fueled New Orleans Hurricane ($9.50) that Shaw got.

Shortly thereafter, we were ushered into the theater. How Studio Movie Grill works is you have a little red light at your table that you turn on when you want something, and then one of the servers stealthily comes over and takes your order.

They’re like movie theater ninjas, except instead of killing you, they want to bring you food and drink. This is much less challenging and almost as satisfying as smuggling in your own beer. (B movies plus contraband Miller High Live quarts are and always will be an unbeatable combination. Don’t judge.)

The four of us started with a round of appetizers -- spicy Tabasco wings ($8.49), cheese fries ($8.49) and burger bites ($8.49). The wings, which come in an order of five and were actually all drummettes, were nice and crispy with the Tabasco flavor really coming through in the sauce. The southwestern spices on the cheese fries gave them a good spice, too, and I was impressed at how the queso was evenly distributed throughout. It was like each fry had been individually lacquered.

As for the burger bites, I liked the sweet Hawaiian rolls they were on, but I’ve got a bone to pick that goes for Studio Movie Grill and all the places with tiny burgers on the menu -- one regular patty cut into four pieces placed on four buns does not four tiny burgers make. You need to make four tiny patties.

Right before the movie began, we ordered entrees. Kelly was in the mood for pizza, and chose the All the Way ($11.99), which is topped with mozzarella, provolone, pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and marinara.

The main reason she chose that one was because she wanted to make jokes about “going all the way” and movie theater making out -- although logistically speaking, the executive leather chairs here aren’t particularly conducive to getting busy, so if that’s what you’re looking for you may want to go to your standard theater. But to be honest, stadium seating became commonplace long after I finished high school, so I’m not even sure if kids make out in movie theaters anymore.

The All the Way pizza was tasty, even if it was a little heavy on the roasted peppers. The same was true of Shaw’s steak sandwich ($11.99), which in addition to the peppers had shaved beef, sautéed onions, mushrooms and mozzarella on a sourdough roll. I had a little bit of each the All the Way and the steak sandwich, and was afraid I was going to end up with some of those peppers in my lap.

Angela’s chicken quesadilla ($9.99) was solid, with four cheeses, chiles and a better ratio of peppers. Mess-wise, it might’ve been the best food for eating in the dark, too.

Since the Megaplex Burger ($11.99) was the most movie-themed item I could find on the menu -- barring popcorn, of course -- that’s what I got. Alas, despite having peppered bacon, sautéed mushrooms, onions, cheddar and pepper jack cheese, the burger wasn’t quite a blockbuster.

Near the end of the movie, Kelly’s pregnancy sweet tooth kicked in, so we ordered the brownie sundae ($5.99), which has one scoop each of vanilla and chocolate ice cream along with cinnamon chips and both chocolate and caramel sauces. Fully intending to share with Shaw and Angela, we had our server bring us four spoons -- but after a couple of bites, I whispered to Kelly, “You know, if they really wanted a sundae, they could just order their own.”

I think drinks, appetizers and dessert are where it’s at here. Date Night was pretty funny -- it’s Adventures in Babysitting with a married couple, and probably an ideal flick for the Studio Movie Grill set-up. For example, I’m not sure I’d want the distraction of a plate of cheese fries being delivered to me while watching The Godfather. Well, actually, I’m always open to a cheese fries delivery, but I think some films might not benefit from the experience.

Scary movies totally would, though, and this is way boss -- every Wednesday and Thursday in April at 10 p.m., Studio Movie Grill is screening Horror Remix, where all the boring parts are cut out of a horror movie to leave you with just the good stuff. While sneaking in your own giant beers and grindhousing it up will be nigh-impossible what with the ninja servers, admission is free and it’s not like they don’t have beers there anyway.

Be careful, though! If you’re taking a bite and something spooky happens, you could end up with ranch dressing all over the place.
7420 NW 87th Street | Kansas City, MO 64153
Full disclosure, in case we didn’t spell it out enough: We didn’t pay for any of this stuff. Thanks again to Studio Movie Grill for inviting us.


  1. I just saw Reign of Fire a couple of weeks ago and it rocked my world.

  2. Well written, but here's the deal: tote up the (would be)cost of all the food and drink for a party of four. Post the $$$ number and then tell me what kind of bang for the buck you would have got if you had to pay your own way. Just like I'm going to pay when I go.

  3. Argh, WineDoofus! I absolutely meant to include prices, so thanks for pointing that out. They’ve been added above, and all told our bill would’ve come to $31 for four tickets at $7.75 apiece, $34.49 for drinks since we also had some beers (and Kelly had lemonade), and $71.43 for food. That’s a total of $45.64 per person before tax and gratuity -- although there’s no way we’d order that much food for a regular meal on our own dime, but we wanted to try lots of stuff so we could include more in the post.

    Our opinions on the food are above, and value-wise I don’t think Studio Movie Grill will run you much more than seeing a flick elsewhere and then going to an Old Chicago or something.