And, on the night I visited, the kitchen was as efficient as the front of the house. Each little table's set with a complimentary bag of buttery popcorn, but our appetizers arrived almost as soon as the credits stopped rolling.

Every dish on Gold Class' menu has been rejiggered so it doesn't require silverware. An enjoyable Caesar salad, for example, features paddles of crisp romaine tucked into a tureen with a pool of thick, anchovy-scented dressing at its base. But I preferred the finger-friendlier appetizers, including a cone of hot, house-made potato chips coated in a tangy blue cheese fondue and garnished with fat nuggets of cheese. A serving of scraggly calamari, spritzed with fresh lemon juice and accompanied by an overtly Asian-inspired dipping sauce of wasabi and ginger, was equally good.

The appetizers turned out to be slightly better than the entrées I tried: An inexplicably salty thin-crust pizza, baked to a handsome bronze, tasted as through it had been bathed in ocean water. A strip-steak sandwich was passable, but the meat was a tad tough and there were just way too many onions on it.

At Gold Class Cinemas, patrons use linen napkins to wipe the popcorn butter off their faces.
Evan Clinton
At Gold Class Cinemas, patrons use linen napkins to wipe the popcorn butter off their faces.

For dessert, Gold Class offers cookies, chocolate cake, chocolate mousse and lightly fried beignets, served with "seasonal" dipping sauces that include a tart raspberry puree and dark chocolate.

Of course chocolate's in season at Gold Class. So are bubbly wine, truffle oil and diamonds.

Gold Class is hedonistic and goofy and, most important, well worth the extra $15 it tacks onto its tickets. All that snazzy stuff—the lobster, the reclining seats, the snap-to-it service—is terrific entertainment, which is exactly what restaurants are supposed to provide. As Gold Class proves, there's more to a great dining experience than food.

Gold Class Cinemas 321 Town Place, Fairview, 972-549-4200, www.goldclasscinemas.com, Check website for show times. $$
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