First impression: Operating a restaurant inside a movie theater is no doubt a tough game of competing expectations. You're not serving hot dogs and nachos, but at the same time you don't want to present too many culinary challenges. Bogart's offers straight-ahead American fare, from burgers ($13.95) and pepperoni pizza ($12.95) to fish tacos ($15.95) and flank steak ($21.95). The problem is not just in the execution but also the quality of the ingredients. It's owned by Burt Rapoport, who also operates Henry's and Deck 84 in Delray Beach.
Ambience: In a word? Corporate. Bogart's feels like a bland hotel dining room, from the metal-framed chairs to the wainscoting and wallpaper. I can't imagine the oversized rooms ever fill up.
The movie theater: You can pay a premium to watch a movie from Cinemark's premier level. With your reserved ticket, you sit in oversized love seats at balcony level and have access to the restaurant's menu and bar. I'd highly recommend these tickets for date night.
Starters: So-called signature starters include very good chicken lettuce wraps ($11.95), served with vegetables, rice noodles and cashews. Mac & cheese ($10.95) with truffle parmesan crust was overly salty. We also sampled less-than-crispy calamari ($12.95) with yuzu-soy glaze. Something tells me it might be a good spot to sample something simple like Black Angus sliders ($9.95).
Entree excellence: The heavy-on-salt issue continued with Singapore curry shrimp noodles ($18.95), which otherwise were a decent interpretation of this Chinese restaurant staple. A lamb burger ($14.95) with feta, arugula and Kalamata olives was good. But then came the overcooked organic lemon-roasted chicken ($19.95) with steam table-style wild rice pilaf, broccoli and lemon thyme jus. Maple ginger glazed Scottish salmon ($24.95) was dry and tasteless. Chicken Milano ($18.95) — Dijon-crusted chicken — was full of flavor, but the chicken had an odd gummy texture.
Side issues: Chopped mixed green salad ($4.50 when ordered with entree) was overdressed. The Caesar salad ($4.50 when ordered with entree) tasted like one of those bagged kits in the supermarket produce section.
Sweet!: Apple cobbler ($8.95) had the feel and sweetness of a school lunch dessert. An ice cream sandwich ($7.95) wasn't much better.
Service: The best part of the experience. Attentive and friendly with great menu knowledge.