Welcome to Dinner and a Movie, a new OnMilwaukee Dining Month series where dining editor Lori Fredrich and culture editor Matt Mueller serve up the perfect menu for your upcoming night-in with scrumptuous local eats paired with splendid streamable cinema. Let OnMilwaukee take over the planning; all you have to do is enjoy the food and the entertainment.
We start with an Italian date night – because what’s more romantic than an Italian dinner eaten by candlelight and movies in the romance languages?
At Ca’Lucchenzo, you’ll find a notably date-worthy menu that pays homage to the regional dishes of Italy with dishes including antipasti, housemade pastas and seasonally appropriate entrees. Be sure to get the fonduta arancino. Don't forget to ask for their selection of carry-out beverage offerings.
Egg & Flour might be fast casual, but if you’re craving fresh housemade pasta, you’ll find it in spades. Options run the gamut from simple pappardelle to shells and handmade ravioli. Don’t forget to take home a bottle of wine for sipping.
Not just the ultimate Italian food movie but the ultimate food movie, period, as two brothers (Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub) running an Italian restaurant in the '50s put together an extravagant meal in the hopes of saving their business and saving their fraying brotherly bond. Make sure you do dinner before the movie, though, because if not, by the time the infamous timpano scene rolls through, you may start eating the screen. (Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Kanopy)
Complete your Italian getaway with this Best Picture-nominated rom-com classic, starring big screen icons Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck as a runaway princess and a struggling newsman falling in love while escaping their responsibilties in Rome. It's the perfect way to wrap up your own romantic Roman holiday hosted in your own home. (Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video)
"Lady and the Tramp"
Why not pair a romantic night of delicious pasta with one of film's most famous romantic scenes involing pasta? This hand-drawn Disney classic (not the forgettable live-action remake) is still a winsome winner worth slurping up like spaghetti – and the perfect choice if your date night evolves into more of a family night. (Available to stream on Disney+)
A classic Italian dinnner deserves a classic Italian movie, and they don't come much more classic than "Bicycle Thieves," the gorgeous and heart-breaking Italian neo-realist drama about a poor father who needs to find his stolen bike or else he'll lose his job. The movie is one of the most influential movies in movie history, capturing different classes of people, their worlds and their seemingly minor but massive dramas and stories on screen – and also because it makes audiences REALLY want a mozzarella sandwich. (Available to stream on HBO Max, The Criterion Channel and Kanopy)