1997, 16mm, Color, 90 min.
Directors: Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman
Irreverent, funny and suffused with Hollywood glitz, Off the Menu captures the real life humor and drama surrounding the end of an era. This verite narrative documents the dramatic last two weeks of legendary Chasen's restaurant, juxtaposing the deepening sadness of the longtime staff with the mounting frenzy for reservations by Hollywood's elite. As the clock ticks towards the restaurant's final day of operation, the film chronicles the last Oscar party, the last catered wedding in the bustling banquet room, and the tearful farewells of closing night. Eras collide as dozens of celebrity patrons reminisce. But the real stars of the film are the staff themselves, the compulsively elegant waiters who have committed their lives to serving the rich and famous. Off tbe Menu unfolds like a Beverly Hills Upstairs/Downstairs, where longtime waiters, bartenders, coat-checkers and captains have each become as legendary as their famed clientele.