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Blue Hill or CIA?

I'm bringing my hubby for his second-ever trip out of the island. He's mentioned wanting to go somewhere "scenic + upstate" for a mid-week day trip. And being the foodnetwork addict that he is, he's asked about the CIA.

I'm a bit skeptical of riding out of the city to eat at a chef's school. So I am wondering if it would be nicer to eat at Blue Hill but just discovered that it's only open for dinners during the week.

Is the CIA worth it?
If not, should we chance it with a sandwich at Blue Hill (the cafe)?

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  1. Why don't you try the BHSB cafe ( and a walk) for lunch and CIA for dinner? On Wednesday and Fri there is a farmers market at Blue Hill.

    1. CIA is nice, but if you're coming from the city, there's no point for the food (because of what's available in nyc) other than saying you've done it. nice campus, overlooks hudson, etc.

      1. Go to the CIA......get a dinner reservation at either Caterina or American Bounty.....you will love it...!!........go early and explore the beautiful hudson valley.....it's an amazing place during the fall...

        1 Reply
        1. re: southlake

          I've been to both and would pick the CIA. Blue Hill is very nice but I don't think its worth the money. I find it a little over rated. The CIA on the other hand is a deal for what you get. I've eaten @ The American Bounty around 10 times and have always enjoyed my meal. It's also a beautiful drive.

        2. so American Bounty it is!

          Any idea whether the dress code is strictly enforced? we're planning on hiking around the area and don't want to carry extra clothes to meet the no-sneaker/no-jean dress code if we don't need to.

          2 Replies
          1. re: eatereater123

            do yourself a favor.......bring a change of clothes.....it's a nice place........people dress nicely.......save the hiking boots and wranglers for outback steakhouse.....

            1. re: eatereater123

              Will you be driving?...If so, I suggest you check out sprout creek farm which is just outside of nearby poughquipse (have no idea how to spell it)...they make execellent cheese there and it's a scenic area...

              As for dress code: it's nice a joint and something i wouldn't be comfortable walking into in hiking wear...

            2. blue hill was a better experience all around, food, ambiance, everything. More expensive, but worth it even if it is just once hands down.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ginsbera

                Hands down? Really? There are those who disagree....see the recent posts of varying degrees of displeasure with BHSB.
                If hubby enjoys the foodnetwork, he will likely get a kick outof touring the CIA. I have only eaten at Caterina di Medici, and it was great.

                1. re: Marge

                  Yeah, i think hands down. Food wise, experience wise, it was all better at Blue Hill. Yes, Blue Hill is more money, but touring the grounds, the building, even glimpsing into the kitchen before eating, and then the food. Well, that just my opinion.

                  http://always-eating.blogspot.com/200...

              2. I just visited the CIA and enjoyed dinner at American Bounty for the first time a month ago. I would recommend the dinner and the student run tour as well, particularly for a foodnetwork addict (like me). Sure you can get that level of food and service in the city, but it's not provided by charmingly eager CIA students!

                1. Blue Hill would be my recommendation if you care about the quality of the food. CIA places little to no importance on pastured versus feed lot meat, local or organic produce or quality dairy and it shows in the pedestrian menu. Dan Barber is on the cutting edge of food today - a unique experience that can not remotely compare with the CIA restaurants.

                  1. Blue Hill would be my choice. I've been to both and was a little disappointed with the CIA (Caterina de Medici restaurant) when I went there for lunch some time back. The campus was lovely and scenic but I found the food to be average. On the other hand, I've really enjoyed the food at Blue Hill - both in the fine dining restaurant and in the cafe.