Sunday Pranzo: Dinner at the Movies with Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

It’s another Sunday Pranzo where I share some of my favourite foodie experiences with you.
Back in September I was able to experience Foreign Cinema, a restaurant that has caught a lot of hype in San Francisco. I had booked my reservation three weeks in advance looking forward to sitting in the luminescent courtyard while a film plays over dinner (films begin around dusk).

Common sense didn’t really click in until our actual visit when I realized that the film is just there for background noise as if to help you preoccupy yourself should the dinner conversation turn cold. The clinks of glasses and silverware upon the plates prevent you from hearing anything the characters are saying and everyone in the dinning room is competing with the musical scores of the film. 

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

While it isn’t the most ideal place to take in a movie I can say that the food is delicious and reasonably priced. The menu is west coast California with a picnic on the beach vibe. A healthy oyster bar menu features some of the best of the west coast including my favourites, British Columbian Kusshi oysters and Humboldt/Washington Kumamotos (both small in size with a sweet mineral finish). A mostly American Cheese selection and extensive wine menu will not disappoint either but if you’re more of a cocktail fan I would suggest sitting at the bar which has a more friendly atmosphere ideal for mingling with locals as it is usually packed. 

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

If you’re not there to get a glimpse of a film and understand only part of the plot then it really doesn’t matter where you make your reservations for. But the courtyard is a pretty gorgeous section to sit in so I would recommend letting the host know that you intend to sit there while making the reservation (which are highly needed). 

Not much of a night owl? Then you can also check it out during brunch hours. There’s not film playing and the atmosphere isn’t quite the same but the food is just the thing you’ll need to start your day touring San Francisco or to cure a hangover.

Recommendations (other than the suggested oysters above):

Warm Fermier brie cheese baked with pecans, poached cranberries, red pear, baguette toasts
Grilled “B.B.Q.” Kobe bavette steak, Bloomsdale spinach, ranchero beans, avocado-tomatillo salsa
Sautéed Petrale sole, blood oranges, celery root remoulade, chervil & micro herb, Champagne butter sauce
Valrhona chocolate pot de crème, chantilly and chocolate dipped cornmeal cookie

See website for a list of upcoming films


Foreign Cinema on Urbanspoon

 Keep up to date by signing up for my Newsletter & updates.

You’ll also receive a postcard (optional)! Click Here.


8 Responses to Sunday Pranzo: Dinner at the Movies with Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

    • Good idea Helen!

      They play all kinds of films from foreign flicks to American Indie films.
      I think it would be wise to choose a movie by its musical score so anything by Wes Anderson or even the Secret Life of Walter Mitty would make great background music.

  1. I love the idea of a movie and dinner thing, but I can see that the volume of the movie would be controversial–have it loud enough so that you can follow the movie but maybe not be able to converse, or the opposite? While neither is ideal, I think having a movie on for background entertainment is a fun concept, and the first photo certainly makes it look cool.

    • The visual atmosphere is gorgeous, Jenna. I would go again but I had this idea of taking in a movie while dinning on delicious Californian cuisine. Oh well, my search continues!
      Thanks for stopping by!

    • It’s a pretty cool place. Very loud in the courtyard where the film plays but if I went back I’d sit at the bar. The bartenders were a lot of fun and made one hell of a drink!

Leave a reply

CommentLuv badge

Stay Connected

Facebook Instagram Pinterest Snapchat Twitter YouTube-2

Hi! I'm Murissa and I live in the Okanagan Wine Valley of British Columbia, Canada. I enjoy traveling around the world for food and local spirits. I consider myself a Champagne enthusiast and enjoy sharing my conquests on this website since 2011. Follow along as I explore my home wine valley and dabble in the occasional globetrotting. Soon to be raising a foodie of my own come July 2018!

Sign up for my newsletter