Food

5 Things to Look For at the Swanky iPic Theaters and City Perch Restaurant

Fully reclining chairs, in-theater caviar, and pints of punch.
The first Washington location for iPic Theaters opens with reclining seats and a full in-theater menu. Photograph courtesy of iPic.

One of the swankiest movie destinations in Washington opens Friday: iPic Theaters at North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development, which combines luxury touches like fully reclining leather seats and free popcorn with in-theater menus and an adjoining restaurant, City Perch Kitchen + Bar. Here’s what to look for at the 782-seat, eight-screen mega-cinema.

If you’re: Premium-Plus Seating ($22)

Expect to relax in a fully reclining micro-suede seat, which comes with perks such as a pillow, a blanket, and free popcorn. The best part: iPad touchscreens allow you to order food and boozy drinks from the in-cinema menu. Dishes are designed by longtime Wolfgang Puck pastry chef Sherry Yard, and include snacks such as braised pork belly empanadas and warm ham-and-cheese biscuits, as well as heartier fare like fish tacos, barbecue chicken pizza, and lobster rolls. All can be washed down with beer, wine, and specialty cocktails, including margaritas and sangria. Groups can order pints of boozy punch that serve four, such as the “roll in the hay” with apple-infused vodka, applejack, and cran-apple tea.

If you’re: Premium Seating ($13)

You can still relax in a large leather chair, but you’ll have to fetch your own food and drinks from the grab-and-go Tanzy Express. Still, don’t expect just slushies and pretzels—guests can order sliders, thin-crust pizzas, bottles of wine, and more.

If you’re: eating before the show (or skipping the movie altogether)

Yard’s first independent restaurant, City Perch Kitchen + Bar, is set above the theater. Local toque Matt Baker, most recently of Occidental Grill and Brasserie Beck, helms the modern American kitchen. The eatery is set to open in November, and will serve small plates like smoked salmon-topped “everything” waffles and bratwurst in a blanket, rotisserie-grilled meats, sandwiches, and decadent items “for two” such as a whole roast duck with Southern-style sides.

If you’re: hoping to impress a date

The in-theater menu boasts some pretty fancy items, which, like the seats, come at a price. Grab premium-plus tickets to Casablanca and order up smoked salmon “potato boats” topped with caviar ($25), and a bottle of Cristal bubbly ($395).

If you’re: in bad-date crisis mode

Order an Irish coffee, and sneak out to “use the bathroom”/never return. At least the scorned would-be lover will have a boozy coffee and a micro-suede chair.

iPic Theaters. 11830 Grand Park Ave., North Bethesda.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.