Chef Sherry Yard has opened hotels, worked for Wolfgang Puck, worked in Las Vegas and worked for herself. Her career path has now brought her to the iPic chain of movie theaters, where she's crafting menus for customers who want to "dine in the dark."
"I saw this as an amazing opportunity to do something different in the culinary world," Yard said. "We all want to enjoy our night out as much as we can." Yard was friends with the owner of the movie theater chain, and thought the one piece of the puzzle missing from the concept was making it a culinary destination as well.
An iPic theater opens in Bethesda Oct. 31 at the new Pike & Rose development. City Perch, its adjoining restaurant, debuts Nov. 17.
The idea of "dining in the dark" may call to mind glow-in-the-dark food or experimental Manhattan blindfolded tasting menus. Yard explains that's not really what her menu's about. Instead, she's created a menu that's easy to eat while reclining in a movie chair (think plenty of finger food), and dishes that don't create a lot of distracting noises and smells that would bother fellow moviegoers. "For the most part, I created food that I wanted to eat, and my friends and family want to eat."
That means dishes like bao buns with short ribs, pickled vegetables and fried tempura green beans, or "naan-chos," a take on nachos served on naan bread. Since it's Maryland, Yard naturally has her own take on a crab cake as well.
IPic offers a few dining options for theatergoers. City Perch, the standalone restaurant, will have its own oyster bar and a variety of rotisserie-cooked meats. There's also the Infinity Lounge where customers can go and grab a drink before or after a show.