Why? Love Actually Dinner!

There are certain holiday movies that I will watch year over year. “White Christmas” for one. I had a friend once say that Bing Crosby’s voice is as comforting as hot chocolate. It’s true. The other movie for me is “Love Actually.” In a sea of movies with multiple story lines and as many celebrities as you can pack into the cast, this movie actually holds up. It’s sweet and funny and features one of the greatest scenes on film:

So when fire food and drink announced a Love Actually dinner, I bought my tickets in September. The evening included a 12-course (yes, 12) small plate dinner of English holiday favorites, movie trivia, and a showing of “Love Actually” at Shaker Square Cinemas.

Having both been to England (albeit ages ago), Matthew and I had not so fond memories of traditional English food. But perhaps our memories are foggy or maybe we just needed Chef Douglas Katz’s magic touch, because the food was delicious!

Here is what we enjoyed:

Crumpet – foie gras cream cheese, cucumber, watercress


Flies Graveyard (nb: the English need better names…perhaps that’s the hangup) – black pepper-cheese scone, currant jam, rhubarb syrup


Bubble and Squeak – house made bacon, Brussel sprouts, garlic aioli, fresh herbs


Blushing Bunny – tomato-Great Lakes ale fondue, Stone Oven multigrain toast, feta


Fish and Chips – cod, house chips, lemon tartar sauce (nb: dip your chips in this)


Scotch Egg – Amish egg, maple-sage sausage, Dijon aioli, chives


Tiddly Oggie – mushy pea and local beef pastry, white carrot béchamel, mint


Toad in a Hole – chicken sausage, local apple, cheesy Yorkshire pudding, duck gravy


Spotted Dick – suet, cherry syrup, powdered sugar (nb: I googled suet and was sure I would not like this and I ate every bite)


Trifle – Rittman Orchards blueberries, lemon pastry cream, gelatin, pound cake


Banoffee Pie – English biscuits, bananas, toffee, whipped cream


Cranberry Christmas Pudding – flamed brandy, vanilla custard (nb: People left before this course to see the very beginning of the movie. I have the DVD. I do not have this pudding at my house. It was worth staying.)


Overall, the staff at fire busted it out, turning out 12 courses to a packed restaurant in just over an hour and a half! And the food, as I mentioned, was incredible! We sat at communal tables and the atmosphere was warm, chatty, and felt like we were in an English pub. And I loved sipping my mulled wine, too…a perfect pairing with our meal.

I was also delighted to win a bottle of bubbly in the trivia contest (see the Christmas pudding picture). fire did an excellent job and I can’t wait to see what else they do with their “fire film series” starting in the new year! And of course, seeing “Love Actually” on the big screen was a treat too! It was a lovely holiday date night and made me feel like Christmas really is all around.


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