The Daily Evergreen

Fine dine, catch the murderer

A dinner set in the early 1900s offers performance, seasonal meals, a chance to solve an involved mystery

The+dinner+is+set+in+the+Victorian+era+with+actors+who+will+perform+in+a+play+and+remain+in+character+throughout+the+night.
The dinner is set in the Victorian era with actors who will perform in a play and remain in character throughout the night.

The dinner is set in the Victorian era with actors who will perform in a play and remain in character throughout the night.

ALEX PETTIT ESTELL | Evergreen Photo Illustration

ALEX PETTIT ESTELL | Evergreen Photo Illustration

The dinner is set in the Victorian era with actors who will perform in a play and remain in character throughout the night.

NINA WILLIS, Evergreen reporter

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Dinner takes on an exciting role as centerpiece to a murder mystery plot as guests try to figure out the culprit.

The Bank Left Gallery will host its third murder mystery dinner, owner Nelson Duran said. What originally began as a request by co-workers and gallery guests turned into something people were excited to attend.

The dinner takes place during the Victorian era, as the play was written in 1903. It features a husband, wife and aunt, along with waiters playing characters as they serve meals to the guests, Duran said.

“I think that food and art go together,” he said. “So I believe that a murder mystery dinner is an art form, because you have to play a character, and then you get to eat and look at art.”

As for the meal, guests will have Cornish game hen with apricot glaze, herbed quinoa with wild rice, along with a glass of wine and dessert, Duran said.

He chooses his meals based on seasonally available ingredients, he said. Just like with his bistro, all meals depend on what he can buy in the market.

“It’s more like a French-Italian restaurant,” Duran said. “Cornish game hen … it’s an autumn-type dish. It’s warm and cozy.”

Shyra Hallan, gallery assistant and waitress at The Bank Left Gallery, said they will have a play going on for guests to watch.

At the end of the dinner, each table will receive a slip of paper and a pencil, so they have to try to figure out who the murderer is. Then the gallery may read out a couple guesses, she said.

The gallery mainly wants the guests to enjoy themselves, she said, to feel entertained and have a relaxing evening. But they also want guests a little on edge as they figure out who committed the crime and what their motive was.

“As characters, they will serve wine, then perform an act in the show, then go back and serve appetizers,” Hallan said. “Guests will [experience] a little bit of the play while they’re eating, and at the end, they try to figure out who done it.”

The play also has a bit of comedy to it, Hallan said. She plays a maid with a cheeky side, which she has a lot of fun performing.

“We’re all looking forward to it,” Hallan said. “We’ve been enjoying ourselves quite a bit, adding little things to our characters and laughing while we’re doing our rehearsals.”

The murder mystery dinner is one of many events offered by The Bank Left Gallery, Hallan said. In the past, they have served breakfast outside in the evening and hosted receptions for artists in the gallery.

The murder mystery dinner will take place 6 p.m. Saturday at The Bank Left Gallery. The dinner is $35 per person. Those interested in attending can call the gallery to reserve a spot.

“Nelson’s events are such a great time,” Hallan said. “People really enjoy themselves. As one of the waitresses, it really shows that we all have a fun time, talk with the customers and the food is amazing.”

This article has been edited. The gallery assistant and waitress’ last name is spelled Hallan, not Hallen.

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Fine dine, catch the murderer