The story of a low level "family" man who runs an Italian restaurant. Louis Cropa (Danny Aiello)has a little trouble with some local up-and-comers, which he has to deal with while paying off his favorite chefs gambling debts, handing the restaurant over to his son, and entertaining a packed house on a "ordinary" Tuesday night in one of the hot restaurants of New York. With colorful side characters (the artist-waitress, irritating customer, beautiful hostess, eccentric food critic (underused Sandra Bernhard)) the movie easily keeps you occupied and interested from start to finish.
Dinner Rush takes place almost entirely within/around the confines of Louis Cropa's restaurant. The suave Aiello does a good job of relaxing you when everyone else in the movie is falling apart. The contrast of an in-control main character, and an out-of-control supporting cast makes for good cinema. The supporting cast turns in a strong performance (actors you know you've seen but can't quite place) and you are easily caught up in the hustle and bustle of running a busy Italian restaurant. One notable exception, at least for me, was the wooden performance of Mike McGlone. His only qualifacation as a gangster seeming to be his slicked back hair. ...though he does do that well. (Brothers McMullen & She's the One)
With my one piece of criticism aside, this lesser known movie is well worth watching. And if you're a fan of food, and a fan of New York it's hard not to be entranced by this stylish piece of cinema.