Bon appétit et vive l’amour!

Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel star in “The Taste of Things.” Photo: IFC Films

Writer: Mathany Ahmed

In “The Taste of Things,” a film set in late 19th-century France, professional chef Dodin Bouffant and his personal cook, Eugenie, share a decadeslong romance — and many decadent meals — while living together in their countryside cottage. When Eugenie continues to deny Dodin’s marriage proposals, he uses their shared love of food to make his case one last time.

Director Tran Anh Hung’s culinary romance was released in the United States only last week, but it’s already being hailed as one of the biggest foodie movies in decades. It’s been compared to gastronomic classics like “Tampopo” (1985), “Like Water for Chocolate” (1992) and “Big Night” (1996) for its celebration of food and love.

It opens tonight at the Varsity Cinema, just in time for Valentine’s Day. A sold-out screening on Friday includes drinks and small bites from La Mie and the Cheese Shop.

“We’re all about celebrating the art of film, which takes filmgoers beyond just sitting in a theater seat,” said Ben Godar, the Varsity’s executive director.

Even if you don’t have tickets for Friday, the movie runs at the Varsity at least through Feb. 22, which means you and a date could catch a screening before or after your own DIY meal. May we suggest:

Les omelettes. The couple in the movie share perfectly crafted omelets every morning — runny enough to eat with a spoon. The omelets at La Mie are swoon-worthy, too.

Les fromages. Try an assortment from the Cheese Shop, like a semi-firm Comté or the soft, triple cream Brillat-Savarin, named after the legendary chef whose book “The Physiology of Taste” inspired the film. Many of the shop’s offerings are produced right here in Iowa, the heart of the heartland.

Le gateau. For a sweet finale, try “le fraisier” from Nadia’s French Bakery, the city’s newest patisserie. The light-as-air sponge cake is made with a homemade strawberry syrup and topped with a luscious crown of “les fraises” — fresh strawberries.

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