Yes, you read the title right. Take note of the “CIA” sign at the door, on the photo below.
But it is not Central Intelligence of America. It is rather the Culinary Institute of America.
CIA is a premier culinary school, and boast to be the best in the world. An institution specializing in culinary, baking and pastry arts. It’s main campus is located in Hyde Park in New York, which is the one we visited.
The school campus is nestled in a beautiful location near the Hudson River, with surrounding views that is conducive for learning and artistic inspiration.
Touring the CIA campus is a gratifying experience in itself as you see the beautiful and clean premises and also take a glimpse of the students honing their crafts.
Just watch out for crossing chefs.
But dining and tasting their food creation is another whole experience of its own. And that’s what we did.
The CIA New York Campus operates four public restaurants. If you don’t mind to be a “guinea pig” of these budding chefs, because in a sense their creation is part of their training and test, and your satisfaction could be a part of their grade. But I’m pretty sure these students are under the watchful eye of certified master chefs.
We dined at Bocuse Restaurant, which serves traditional French Restaurant. If there’s a restaurant there that serves traditional Filipino food, that’s where I’ll go, but there’s none.
I was not disappointed. From the ambience, the service, the presentation and the food were all excellent. The food I ate there, is one of the best food I ever tasted. I have been to fancy restaurants before, but the appetizer, entrée and desert I had in CIA was a league of its own. An absolute gastronomic delight!
Whoever prepared my food, he or she definitely passed with flying colors, in my humble opinion.
By the way, their wine list is exhaustive as well. But since I dont’ drink wine or any alcoholic drink for that matter, for personal and health reasons, so I did not have any.
One unique policy they have in their restaurants is that they don’t accept monetary tips from customers, as part of their student’s education is to provide outstanding service even without tips. To this I tip my hat.
From the CIA campus,
(*I did not receive any commission for the above post. However if CIA would like to give me a free dinner next time I visit, I will definitely accept it.)
(**Photos taken with an iPhone)