Arts & Culture

Food & Movie Review

By Randall Delaware

Over the weekend I decided to take the bus from South Portland over the bridge to Portland, have lunch and see a movie. The following day I did the same and saw another movie.

I was walking down Fore Street when I saw the menu posted in the window. I read the word “PASTA” and knew this was the place for me. The restaurant’s name is Paciarino Alta Pastificeria. I sat down and was brought a menu and then a glass of water and bread and tomato sauce. When the waiter came back I ordered some house wine for $6 and Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese, or ribbon pasta with a beef and pork sauce. The sauce wasn’t stingy on meat and the pasta portion was just right — not too much, not too little. After the main course, I had tiramisu for dessert. The top layer was like custard with unsweetened chocolate powder on top. The bottom layer was soft and coffee flavored.

After the meal, I spoke with the waiter who turned out to be the owner. His name was Enrico Barbiero, who emigrated from Milan, Italy, after being attracted to Maine by an Italian television show exploring the Maine coast from Kittery to Bar Harbor. So interested by this, he and his wife visited Maine. So for the past nine years Enrico, his wife and daughter have enjoyed their life in America.

Then it was on to the movie. I chose “The Death of Stalin” because it fit into the time of my arrival after having lunch. The movie is a satire on the vicious reign of dictator Joseph Stalin. There was lots of swearing and killing. Parts of the movie were funny, but after a half an hour, I wasn’t sure it was worth sitting through the rest of it. The sequencing of scenes was very smooth and some of the sights spectacular, whether interior architecture or outside scenery.

The following day I went back to Portland for another movie. This time I chose “Chappaquiddick.” I enjoyed this movie a lot more. This is the movie of the last Camelot-era Kennedy brother whose presidential dreams were severely damaged. The movie shows Senator Ted Kennedy and his political team attempting to salvage his presidential hopes after a car accident in which he drove off a small bridge into a pond. This accident results in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, a woman who was previously on Robert Kennedy’s staff. This pretty much followed the course of events every Massachusetts state resident was presented with back in 1969. The acting was good, and the insight into this tragedy seemed realistic to me, a political outsider. Certainly, if one has a cynical view of politicians, this will “float your boat.” The one part that tainted the realistic impression of the movie was when the drowning victim was shown alive struggling inside the car — how can anyone know what her last words would be?

Well that’s the skinny on my visits to the big city. Your turn to “roll the dice” on your movie and restaurant choices.

Categories: Arts & Culture

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