Culinary comrades, fellow food fanatics who follow this blog, if you have not seen Big Night — Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub’s 1996 ode to a failing Italian restaurant — you simply must. It is delicious.
Big Night is one of my all-time favorite films about food. Along with a precious few others — like Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, of all things — it landed at a malleable moment in my life, at a time when my interests could have gone in a lot of different directions, and it nudged me toward the kitchen. Primo, Shalhoub’s talented, unbending, self-righteous portrait of a brilliant chef, is exactly the kind of character I found fascinating in my teenage years. And the food — oh, the food.