We’d like to thank the Academy…for honoring these 9 movies with unforgettable food scenes. If you’ve ever had a cocktail at 21 Club, you were drinking right where Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen bond over the steak tartare in Wall Street. Or if you’ve ever had a burger at a very specific Carl’s Jr in L.A.'s Canoga Park neighborhood, you might be interested to know that Kevin Spacey “worked” there in American Beauty. Here, our shortlist of the best restaurant moments in Oscar-winning movies.
Steak Tartare Scene in Wall Street
Award: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Michael Douglas), 1988
Scene: Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) was invited by Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) to sample steak tartare over a power lunch at '21.' “Try the steak tartare—it's off the menu,” says Gekko, while handing Fox a check for a million dollars as their first investment together. Currently, the 'Speakeasy' Steak Tartare is available on the menu as one of the signature “21 Classics”; it's made with petite greens, truffle vinaigrette and toast points by chef Sylvain Delpique.
Restaurant: 21 Club, 21 W. 52nd St., New York City
Alfalfa Sprouts and Mashed Yeast Scene in Annie Hall
Award: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Diane Keaton), Best Director (Woody Allen), 1977
Scene: Alvy (Woody Allen) orders “alfalfa sprouts and mashed yeast” at The Source, a health-food restaurant, before Annie (Diane Keaton) turns down his proposal. This 1970s spot was run entirely by “hippies” otherwise known as “The Source Family”. Being way ahead of its time, The Source served up healthy, organic and vegetarian dishes to the masses. This location has seen many concepts come and go since then, and is now Mexican restaurant Cabo Cantina.
Restaurant: Cabo Cantina (formerly known as The Source), 8301 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA
Lobster Scene in Flashdance
Award: Best Music, 1984
Scene: Alex (Jennifer Beals) goes on a date with her boss, Nick (Michael Nouri), and somewhat seductively eats lobster in an outfit that can only be described as a tuxedo bib. Then things proceed to get frisky under the table until his ex-wife shows up. When he asks her how her lobster is, she replies “it sucks”. And FYI, the lobster at this place doesn’t suck.
Restaurant: Grand Concourse, 100 West Station Square Dr., Pittsburgh
Fast Food Scene in American Beauty
Award: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Kevin Spacey), Best Director (Sam Mendes), Best Writing/Screenplay, Best Cinematography, 2000
Scene: Lester (Kevin Spacey) works at a fictional fast-food restaurant called Mr. Smiley’s. It’s where Lester catches his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) cheating on him with “The King” Buddy Kane (Peter Gallagher). Mr. Smiley is actually a Carl’s Jr and remains so to this day.
Restaurant: Carl’s Jr (fictionally known as Mr. Smiley’s), 20105 Saticoy St., Canoga Park, CA
Diner Scene in Silver Linings Playbook
Award: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Jennifer Lawrence), 2013
Scene: Pat (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) go out together to have a meal (he has cereal, she has tea), and they end up getting into a fight where she throws everything off the table and storms out. Fact: This diner has a 24-hour breakfast menu (a nod to Pat ordering cereal?) and after the movie was released, diners waited in line to sit at “The Bradley Cooper Booth”.
Restaurant: Llanerch Diner, 95 East Township Line Rd., Upper Darby, PA
Cheeseburger Scene in Black Swan
Award: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Natalie Portman), 2011
Scene: Nina (Natalie Portman) and Lily (Mila Kunis) go to this sleek bar and restaurant to have a meal, and Lily orders a “cheeseburger, extra bloody.” This spot has since been reinvented as a high-end sports bar, and the candlelit tables have been replaced with large banquettes used for plating nachos, wings and beer on football Sundays.
Restaurant: The Royal (formerly known as Forum), 127 4th Ave., New York City
Arrest Scene in The Dark Knight
Award: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Heath Ledger), Best Achievement in Sound Editing, 2009
Scene: Lt. Gordon (Gary Oldman) arrests Maroni (Eric Roberts) as he’s enjoying a meal in The Berghoff. Fact: This bar opened in 1838 and was originally a men’s-only saloon serving free corned beef sandwiches with the purchase of a Berghoff Beer.
Restaurant: The Berghoff, 17 W. Adams St., Chicago
Coffee Scene in My Cousin Vinny
Award: Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Marisa Tomei), 1992
Scene: Vinny (Joe Pesci) is trying to crack the case on his own over a cup of coffee in this spot, when Lisa (Marisa Tomei) comes in to try to help him out. They end up getting into a fight and she storms out.
Restaurant: Dave’s BBQ and Soul Food (fictionally known as Dave’s Bar-B-Que and Seafood), 114 Frobel St., Monticello, GA
Diner Scene in Goodfellas
Award: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Joe Pesci), 1991
Scene: Henry (Ray Liotta) and Tommy (Joe Pesci) steal a truck from the parking lot of this diner in Queens. Known for its huge burgers, Jackson Hole has multiple locations around Queens and Manhattan. Fact: They still kept the “Airline Diner” neon sign up for display.
Restaurant: Jackson Hole (fictionally known as The Airline Diner), 69-35 Astoria Blvd., Queens, NYC
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