After lunch at the Crew in Poughkeepsie, we took an afternoon siesta to gear up for dinner up in Hyde Park, which is only 5 miles or so up rte. 9 north. We headed back to the CIA for dinner (for our first night) and got there a few minutes before 6:30 to make our way over to American Bounty. This is one of the four upscale restaurants available at the CIA, but one is currently closed for renovations until 2013. I looked at the menu way in advance because I’m picky and sometimes it’s hard for me to decide (takes too much time and I get confused with all the choices available). As soon as I saw the scallops with the chanterelle mushrooms and wide noodles, I knew that’s what I’d be ordering. These were pretty huge and you would think that they wouldn’t have much flavor, since the smaller scallops are usually more pronounced, but these were sweet! The combination with the mushrooms and the creamy, buttery sauce made this dish one of the more flavorful scallops I’ve had in a long time. My boyfriend had the grilled center cut pork chop – probably weighed close to 12 oz. or more – it was gigantic looking, and he told me that he couldn’t eat the whole thing. He ended up eating practically all of it, except for one or two bites.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the restaurant is housed inside of one of the buildings on the CIA campus, but when you walk inside it appears as you would expect a fine restaurant to look. Towards the end of the students’ training, they spend three weeks in the kitchen and three weeks serving the restaurant’s guests. By the way, the service was impeccable. These students are not only learning to cook, but they are also learning discipline, respect and manners. The food was served very quickly and our server came by to check on us, but not in a constant or intrusive manner.
As far as desserts for our first dinner at American Bounty, I had the chocolate volcano cake, and my boyfriend had the panna cotta. The chocolate volcano was moist and oozed with dark volcanic chocolate that anyone would love – how can you not like chocolate?
Being all dressed up and having dinner at this restaurant at the CIA had me thinking, wow, this is the ultimate in foodie experiences! We both ate almost everything that was served to us for the first night’s dinner, and loved it all. My clothes now fit a little tighter, but it was worth it.
Stay tuned to Part 3 of our CIA mini-vacation. Here’s the link to their site, if you’d like to check them out: http://www.ciachef.edu/visitors/hp/. If you want to check out the menus, click on the restaurants tab.