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How Are the Restaurants at The Culinary Institute of America?

I'm going to be in the Hyde Park area one night in August, and was wondering which of the restaurants the CIA runs is the best to try. Any recommendations?

Culinary Institute of America
RR 9, Hyde Park, NY 12538

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  1. We had lunch at the CIA a few years ago--went to the restaurant called (I think) American Bounty. It was excellent.

    American Bounty Restaurant
    1946 Campus Dr, Hyde Park, NY 12538

    1. All the restaurants at CIA are good-- if not a bit stuffy. the de Medici and Escoffier are also part of the campus as well as American Bounty mentioned above.

      YOu could also drive 12 minutes to Rhinebeck and go to Terrapin.

      Escoffier Restaurant
      1946 Campus Dr, Hyde Park, NY 12538

      American Bounty Restaurant
      1946 Campus Dr, Hyde Park, NY 12538

      1. Where did you wind up at, Picklelicious?

        1 Reply
        1. re: menton1

          My travel plans changed and was unable to try what the CIA had to offer, hopefully I'll have an opportunity to try at a later time.

        2. Well, if you ever get the opportunity to go to the CIA again, you should. We went there for lunch two weeks ago, the day of the earthquake actually, and we had a wonderful lunch at St. Andews Cafe. We made a day of it by going to see FDR's home first, which is only minutes away.

          The room had a lovely view, and the food was perfect for late August - not too heavy, not overly filling, but satisfying. I had Cream of Garlic & Asparagus Soup followed by Duck. The duck was thinly sliced and atop rice with carmelized onions or shallots. My husband loved his "comfort food", which was meatloaf with mashed potatoes. Our son had "the best, juiciest cheeseburger ever" as he described it, with carmelized onion. Then we walked over to the bakery and bought a peanut butter/chocolate cookie, and a macaron to take home and eat later. Nice place to go, you won't be disappointed.

          2 Replies
          1. re: barbgail61

            the bakery is quite good, but they've now (past few years) made it a cafe thing as well, where you can get stuff you might not get at a bakery. i had pork belly buns there which were quite good and a fish (skate?) at one point. i know they also had banh mis, but i never stopped in to try them. my wife loved the truffle grilled cheese and a bunch of the pastries.

            forewarned: the bakery/cafe can sometimes have long lines around lunchtime, best to go during slightly off times.

            1. re: bob gaj

              Also, the bakery is only open M-F.So don't plan to eat there on the weekend. I agree it's very good.

              We used to eat at the CIA restaurants all the time but haven't been there in several years. Their new policy of keeping $15 if you need to change your reservation (which can be used when you eventually eat there, once you get another reservation) really bothers me, even though I rarely change my restaurant reservations.

          2. Looks like I may be back up in that area the week after next and hopefully will be able to visit one evening, for some reason the Italian seems to interest me.

            1. Reviving this older thread as it seems most apropos...

              I'll be driving through the area on Thursday July 17, and for a number of reasons, specifically want to dine at CIA for lunch. Solo foodie based in South Florida enjoys any kind of excellent food.

              Any comments on which of the 3 to choose? American, French or Italian? I know it's a tough question... I am leaning towards the French however.


              American Bounty? "With a focus on the seasons and products of the Hudson Valley, contemporary and traditional regional dishes are brought to life in an honest and flavorful way."

              Bocuse: "The Bocuse Restaurant provides a culinary journey through France. Reflecting today’s contemporary sensibilities, the menu focuses on deep flavor, unique preparation, and enticing presentation. Service is casual yet elegant."

              Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici: "Truly authentic regional Italian cuisine at a sophisticated dining room overlooking a stunning herb and rose garden, and the Hudson River. Or enjoy wood oven pizza and other simple rustic dishes in the more casual Al Forno Trattoria. Dining at this grand Tuscan-style villa is a culinary escape to another world without ever having to leave the beautiful Hudson Valley."

              Thanks in advance!

              3 Replies
              1. re: CFByrne

                Are they open? My friend had told me they close in the summer but I could be wrong as second hand info.

                1. re: rolise

                  Yes, they are open on July 17, and many other summer days.

                  "All restaurants of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY will be closed for a short summer break, July 26–August 19. We reopen August 20th."

                2. re: CFByrne

                  I have a res for Bocuse... Will let the board know how it works out later this week.

                3. I feel that they are excellent restaurant. There food is on par with the best restaurant around. Benign that closes to New York City what has the greatest restraint in the world a major advantage for them. The service is not that great. I guest then do not spend that much time teaching servings.
                  They have many upbeat dishes that are done very well. I enjoyed my meals there.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: harry2005

                    Well, their goal there is to teach cooking, not to teach them to be master servers. However, I'm sure they have some service training. That said, we've had some really good service and some poor service during our meals there. I actually have to get back there this summer since I have a gift certificate for Caterina that I won during an HVRW contest although I do wish I could use it at American Bounty instead, I need to call them and ask).