There’s no “Mystic River” fish. No “Lost in Translation” sushi.
The cutesy play on words at the annual New York-based Academy Awards dinner is off the menu this year — so you won’t see (Sea)biscuits, either.
But that’s just for a change of pace, said Arlene Dahl, who was among the celebrities Tuesday afternoon at Le Cirque 2000 for a tasting to select the menu.
Four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason, actresses Diane Baker (“The Silence of the Lambs” and “Mirage” with Gregory Peck) and Celia Weston (“In the Bedroom,” “Hulk” and “Far From Heaven”) as well as Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osbourne also served as taste-testers for the Sunday night party for the East Coast academy members. (Some 10 percent of the 6,000 or so members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences live on the East Coast.)
About 120 people will watch the Oscars handed out on a big-screen TV and several smaller ones, as they luxuriate in the food at one of the Big Apple’s chichi restaurants.
The three-course repast opened with a “salmon pastrami” filled with crispy vegetables, followed by roast saddle of lamb Provencal with thyme sauce accompanied by ratatouille, onion rings and roasted tomato — if you’re looking for ideas for your Oscar party. (For nonmeat eaters, there was a vegetarian option.)
Dessert came in various geometric designs that would have made Alexander Calder proud — and they were meant to represent each of the five best-picture nominees.
But the postprandial goodies created by pastry chef Craig Harzewski were oblique enough to defy easy guesses about what film they represented.
One had what looked like a mast, evocative of “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.” But Harzewski told everyone it was for “Cold Mountain.”
Uh-oh. That was kind of a gotcha — it isn’t even a best-picture nominee.
So between now and Sunday, the Rorschach-test sweets will undergo some rethinking.
“We’re going to tweak the desserts a little just to make them a little more obvious for each film,” said Patrick Harrison, the Academy’s New York event director.