Déjà chew: ‘Groundhog Day’ gets film feast

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This is the one time it’s okay to have a meal repeat on you.

A Williamsburg cinema that pairs food and film will dish out five courses of delicious déjà vu during a special screening of “Groundhog Day” taking place on Groundhog Day. Crafting a menu that mimics the film’s redundant action while keeping the flavors fresh was a challenge, said Nitehawk Cinema’s program director.

“We had to figure out a way to make the same thing happen over and over again, but do it in a different way,” said John Woods.

Nitehawk will serve five courses of pork and beer in an edible tribute to the beloved 1993 film, in which Bill Murray’s weatherman repeats the same day over and over. Each serving, similar to but different from the one before, will emerge at the moment in the film that inspired the dish.

The food and drink team cooked up a menu that mirrors the film’s Pennsylvania setting, kicking off with a “Pittsburgh Chipped Ham Slider,” followed by a “Punxsutawney Pulled Pork Sandwich” as the characters arrive at the annual Groundhog Day festival. A Pennsylvania Pork dish will feature local flavors of sauerkraut and beer mustard.

The fourth dish is a literal take on the film title — a “Ground Hog Wellington” with actual ground pork — and the viewing wraps up with “Day 12,394,” a maple ice cream and bacon dessert named for the estimated number of days Murray’s character spends in the cycle.

The duo behind the circular servings jumped at the chance to get creative with a single concept and add a new layer to the theater’s bimonthly Film Feast event.

“This is our biggest opportunity to come up with something that we normally wouldn’t be able to do at Nitehawk,” said head chef Kurt Applegate, who cranked out the menu alongside beverage director Matthew Walker, who paired each course with a brew from Free Will Brewing.

The movie is an unfailing hit — Nitehawk screens it every year on Feb. 2 — and the Film Feast treatment gives the film’s faithful audience a way out of the cycle of sameness, said Woods.

“It almost becomes a fourth dimension for the film,” he said.

“Groundhog Day” Film Feast at Nitehawk Cinema [136 Metropolitan Ave. between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street, (718) 782–8370,]. Feb. 2 at 7:15 pm. $65.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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