|Mostly Martha, the first in the series|
Beginning this Friday the downtown St. Paul Library will be screening a delectable series of movies every evening at dusk. The showing will begin around 9:30 p.m. every night and will be held outside the Central Library in the Kellogg Courtyard at 90 West Fouth Street in St. Paul.
We have the movies as well as some suggestions for picnic pairings.
Mostly MarthaJuly 6
Kicking off the series is this tasty German treat. Remade as the hollow Catherine Zeta Jones vehicle, No Reservations in America, the original is packed with heart and delicious food. Follow a driven chef who loses her sister and must find room in her hectic life to care for her now orphaned niece. As she begins to sort out her life, the restaurant she works for hires an Italian sous-chef, who creeps up on her hard-fought for position at the head of the kitchen. Expect laughs, tears, and a dash of romance.
Picnic pairing suggestion: Golden Fig
Load up on artisan bread from Rustica, local artisan cheeses and a refreshing bottle of house-made limeade. (790 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651.602.0144)
Juliette Binoche plays a single mother of a six-year-old daughter who opens a scandalously decadent chocolate shop across the street from a church in a small town. As the citizens taste her dark confections, their rigid morality begins to loosen. That Johnny Depp waltzes in and out as a mysterious, easy-on-the-eyes gypsy with a dubious accent does not hurt the hot factor.
Picnic pairing suggestion: Blood and Chocolates
There's no way you can get through this movie without indulging that sweet tooth. (495 Selby Ave., St. Paul; 651.492.4799)
Eat Drink Man Woman
Ang Lee directed this family drama. Senior master chef Wu is father to three daughters: a chemistry teacher, an airline executive, and a student who also works at a fast-food restaurant. Each Sunday the family gathers for an elaborate dinner. The daughters struggle against tradition, while their father does what fathers have done for centuries -- worries about his daughters. As the daughters' relationships outside the family change, they all must deal with the consequences.
Picnic pairing suggestion: Little Szechuan
Grab some dan dan noodles, dry sauteed green beans, and home-style tofu, and remember to share nicely with your friends. (422 University Ave., W. St. Paul; 651.222.1333)
Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub, two of the greatest character actors around, star as brothers who own a failing Italian restaurant. They pin all of their hopes on one -- well, it's there in the title. In come an entertaining banquet of characters played by Isabella Rossellini, Minnie Driver, and Allison Janney. As tensions rise, the brothers scramble more and more frantically until it all begins to feel very close to a real night working service. In all, a hilarious movie about the special kind of crazy that goes into trying to run a restaurant.
Picnic pairing suggestion: Cossetta
It's open during its construction. Try a little veal parmigiana or pizza paired with a couple of cannoli. (211 W. Seventh St., St. Paul; 651.222.3476)