Melissa Elsmo

The 1996 film “Big Night” is a classic among food-lovers. Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub star as brothers and business partners in a story about the stress that comes from running a struggling Italian restaurant in 1950’s New Jersey. A quick witted script and stellar performances from an all-star cast set the stage perfectly for a bountiful buffet of visually appealing Italian dishes; the film as much about food as it is about people.

The brothers vie to save their completely authentic (yet often misunderstood) Paradise Restaurant by hosting one “big night” where they pull out all the culinary stops in an effort to impress a very important guest.

Every big night needs a dish worthy of it’s name and the legendary pasta-filled, pastry-dome known as Timpano is the centerpiece of meal in the film “Big Night.” The pasta, hard boiled egg, meatball, sausage, and cheese filled concoction is the result of putting bits of leftovers to use in the Abruzzo region of Italy. The mammoth concoction feeds a crowd with ease and quite literally takes days to make, hours to cook, and plenty of patience to allow for proper cooling. 

And let’s face it, anyone who likes a culinary conquest is clamoring for a bite of Il Timpano!

Now you have the chance to experience it first hand.

Last  January I bought a ticket to Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits’ first Big Night pop up and let me tell you I was not disappointed to have attended their themed soiree. The evening recreated the vibe and the menu from the film and the casual Mediterranean restaurant was transformed into a white table cloth restaurant for the night. Not only did Chefs Dan Pancake and Beth Partridge deliver a movie-worthy timpano, their delft hands produced a near-flawless risotto trio, a memorable grilled whole fish, and a whole suckling pig. The experience is not for the faint of heart.

The Berwyn hot-spot is reprising this sold out event for one-night-only announcing they will host one more installation of their “Big Night” Pop Up on May 3. Guests will enjoy period cocktails such as a Singapore Sling Punch or the classic Gin Martini on the restaurants’ garden patio and await  the announcement “let’s eat!” 

Don’t miss out on your chance to bring “Big Night” to life! Come armed with an empty stomach and jovial mood.

Deeper Details:

IL Menu

  • Consomme
  • Tri Colore Risotto
  • “The Timpano”
  • Whole Roast Fish
  • Whole Roasted Suckling Pig & Vegetable Dishes
  • Espresso & Sweets 

Autre Monde intends to round out their Big Night menu with offerings of 1950’s inspired pre-dinner cocktails and bottomless red and white wine selections during the meal. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Tickets are available via eventbrite and are likely to sell out quickly. Cost is $75 per person (does not include drinks, tax and gratuity). 1950’s dinner party attire is encouraged. 

Autre Monde Cafe and Spirits

6727 W. Roosevelt Road


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