A dinner at the American Bounty restaurant, located on the Culinary Institute of America’s campus. An upscale dining experience with the menu to match.
When I traveled to Rhinebeck, New York in February, part of the weekend festivities included dinner at the American Bounty restaurant on the Culinary Institute of America’s property. Staffed by the CIA’s students and graduates, it is a fine dining restaurant with perfect table settings, attentive service, and a carefully paced meal. Its focus is the farm-to-table experience, and many of the ingredients come directly from the Hudson Valley area.
To say we were in for a treat would be an understatement.
The menu was filled with seasonal items, and many specialties. I had heard good things about their new Pastry Chef, namely that she was into fun desserts that bordered on scientific experiments, but I tried my best to focus on first things first.
Any time I’m out in a restaurant, I try to order things that a) I don’t usually cook at home and b) items I’ve never had. And this particular weekend was no exception.
Once I saw cage free foie gras on the menu, it was a given that I would order it, although it was hard to pass up the Prince Edward Island Mussels. Beautifully presented and perfectly proportioned, the foie gras was soft and smooth and everything it should be. Served alongside a smear of dipping sauce and several slices of toast points, it was devoured pretty quickly. (I *did* have a bite of the mussels as well, and they were garlicky and tender, and served in a generous portion.)
For my main course, I went with Wild Striped Sea Bass, with a crispy skin, kohlrabi, and shiitake mushrooms. It also featured a white wine butter sauce and it was amazing. Had I not been in the company of the Jones Dairy Farm team, I would have licked the plate clean. It was my first time having sea bass, and it won’t be my last. Expertly cooked and flaky bite after bite.
[click to continue…]