A few months ago I went on a date to see a movie at Cinebistro at Dolphin Mall and thought the concept was impressive, but the execution was lacking. I’ll explain what I mean later on. All in all, I recommend it for a finer theater experience with a nice dinner and drinks (simultaneously), and am just chalking up my visit as a blip and not the norm.
CineBistro Dolphin Mall Review
The first thing you notice as soon as you walk through the entrance from the mall common area is that it looks nothing like any theater you’ve been to. The ticketing area (pictured above) is fancy and plush with a seating/gathering area and a ticketing counter to the left of a full service bar. If I remember correctly the tickets were about $17/each on a weekend night showing, so nothing ridiculous compared to any other theater despite the fancy atmosphere.
They did try to push the loyalty/rewards program on us and if I remember right you get a free ticket with every 50 tickets you purchase. Doing the math in my head, and not sure how often I’d be going to this cinema (it’s not quite local to me), I declined. Put it this way – if a date and I (2 tickets) go to a movie there once a month for 2 years, we’d be at 48 purchases and still haven’t qualified for a free $17 ticket. Just didn’t seem like much of a payoff.
Here’s where my gripes about execution come into play. We went and found our seats and had about 20 minutes until the trailers would start showing. A waitress come to our seats and we were told that at that time they were no longer taking orders for in-seat delivery. So we went back to the food area and placed our dinner orders. One gripe — there was only one menu to pass around (at least the night we were there), it would have been nice to have a few of them so you can browse it while in line and have your order ready when you get to the front. There’s a nice selection of meals like at any other restaurant. I went with a bacon cheeseburger and fries and a beer, my date got a salad and a cocktail, and we splurged on the empanadas for dessert.
We were handed our drinks and given a buzzer that would go off when our food was ready. Since we still had about 10-15 minutes until the movie time, we figured we’d be fine. It was upsetting that once we got back to our seats with drinks in hand we saw the same wait staff approach other parties, who had arrived after us, and take their order for in-seat service. Completely contrary to what we were told a little bit earlier.
Time passed and it was getting close to the movie time. I figured our buzzer would go off at any time. It was just a burger and a salad, right? Plus a dessert. More time goes by, the movie starts, and still no signal that our food was ready. We were seeing the James Bond movie Spectre so, knowing how James Bond movies go, I knew that after an opening scene there would be a long title song with the opening credits and I’d have a chance to go check on our food. Once the opening scene ended I went back to the food counter and saw our trays sitting there, ready to go. My buzzer never buzzed. I was offered a sort of an apology and was told that they sent a signal, but for some reason it never reached my buzzer.
I brought the food back to my date and we started chowing down. After all that time sitting on the counter my fries were fries had gone cold and my burger to an extent, too. My date’s dinner was great though and the dessert was amazing.
Like I said in the beginning of this review, I’m going to chalk this up to just a hiccup and not the norm here, but I wanted to be honest with my CineBistro review. Hopefully on my next visit things will go smoother, and we’ll arrive even earlier to take advantage of the in-seat service we didn’t get last time around.
As for the theater itself, the seats were amazingly comfortable and spacious, like sitting in a lazyboy or on the couch at home. My date lifted the armrest and cuddled in closer and it was like we were watching a movie at home. Not a bad date, if I must say so.
Overall, if you’re looking to do “dinner and a movie”, why not combine the two and visit CineBistro? While the execution lacked for our particular night there, the concept is great. I’m looking forward to my next visit and hope things go more smoothly because everything else was great.
11471 NW 12th St
Miami, FL 33172