Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Psst! Do you know about the CIA???

And by the CIA, I don't mean the Central Intelligence Agency. No siree! I'm talking about the Culinary Institute of America, located in Upstate New York in Hyde Park, right next door to Poughkeepsie. The spectacular, sprawling New York campus sits along the majestic Hudson River, 90 minutes from all the wonderful dining opportunities New York City has to offer. From my experience, the CIA can hold its own with any of the big city establishments.

The CIA, a non-profit culinary college, was founded in 1946. It has branch campuses in St. Helena, California, and San Antonio, Texas. An academic institution of higher learning, the CIA offers traditional associate and bachelor's degrees, and the world's largest staff of American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chefs. The pictures I have shared here were all taken at the New York campus.

My husband and I spent the last week of June in Poughkeepsie for our son and new daughter-in-law's wedding. While there, the bride and groom treated a few of us lucky visitors to dinner in one of the award-winning, student-staffed CIA restaurants which include: American Bounty Restaurant, Escoffier Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de' Medici, and St. Andrew's Café. Reservations are definitely recommended. However, no reservations are necessary to enjoy café cuisine and sumptuous baked goods at the Apple Pie Bakery Café, or casual fare at Al Forno, inside Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici.

We dined in grand style at the beautifully appointed American Bounty Restaurant. Naturally, I had my handy little digital camera ready to capture a few of the beautiful salads and amazing entrees enjoyed at our table! If you ever find yourself in Upstate New York, be sure you visit the CIA for an outstanding gustatory experience!

American Bounty Restaurant: Bounty Caesar, Garlic-Anchovy Crostini ($8.00)

American Bounty Restaurant: Grilled Asparagus and Almond Coated Goat Cheese, Preserved Baby Beets, Dijon Vinaigrette ($10.00)

American Bounty Restaurant: Poached Farm Fresh Egg, Spring Pea Risotto, Asparagus, Tarragon ($18.00)

American Bounty Restaurant: Seared Sea Scallops and Wide Noodles, Wild Mushrooms, Melted Leeks, Meyer Lemon Broth ($26.00)

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