Alfred Hitchcock Television

Specialty Of The House

Black & White version (AHP):

Businessman Mr. Laffler (Robert Morley) feels that two qualities missing in this day and age is mystery and dignity. At a private "members only" restaurant named Spirro's, Mr. Laffler has found both. Having already tasted some of the club's finest gourmets, Laffler becomes more and more obsessed with the ambition of not only gaining a lifetime membership, but learning what and how a specific "specialty of the house" called lamb Armistran is really made of. Offered so rarely that Laffler almost loses his patience with Madame Spirro (Spivy), owner of the dining club, when he demands to know how the meat is prepared - which would require a tour of the restaurant's kitchen - something that is always forbidden. Finally persistence pays its price when Laffler is granted his wish and learns a lot more than he bargained for! Also stars Kenneth Haigh. Directed by Robert Stevens. First aired 12/13/1959.

color version (AHPC):

Garth December (John Saxon), an arrogant food critic of a large circulation newspaper, takes his friend Russ Bennett (Neil Munro) to a restaurant entitled "Where The Heart Is," and is given the "specialty of the house," known as lamb fritters. For once in his lifetime, Garth is unable to describe the ingredients, and asks Betty Jo (Jennifer Dale), the owner and chef of the restaurant, if he could buy her recipe for inclusion in his latest book. But the woman turns his offer down and furious Garth goes home to write a bad review about the dining club. Surprisingly, Betty Jo has a lot of avid supporters, who send hate mail to Garth, and the admission lines to her restaurant don't die down. In retaliation, Garth hires an actor to fake food poisoning outside the restaurant, but nothing can dissuade the customers once they've eaten her food. After many trials and errors, Garth sends in health inspectors and Betty Jo finally agrees to let him see her make the fritters. Alone together, she takes him into the kitchen, shows him everything, including her special ingredient, stashed away inside a large freezer. The answer takes Garth quite by surprise, to say the least! Directed by Allan King. Premiered 3/21/1987. $14.99 for the set or either the black and white version or the color version can be purchased for $9.99, DVD.