Culinary Institute of Amazingness


When I told Gansie I was going on a work trip to Hyde Park, NY (home of FDR) she immediately screamed,

OMG that’s where the Culinary Institute of America is!! You have to eat there!

Luckily, the client had the same idea and made reservations at the Institute’s St. Andrew’s Cafe.


When we were driving to the restaurant, it felt like we were at a normal college campus, except all of the students were walking around in chef outfits.  And the campus is gorgeous with one building that looks like an Italian villa. There are 6 total restaurant on campus, but I was pretty stoked about the one we went to because it had blooming tomato plants and herb gardens growing around the entrance.


The food was absolutely amazing!  I ordered the Pan Seared Salmon (medium) with Saffron Pasta and Tomato Broth, Haricots Verts, Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives.  The pasta was in large ribbons and literally was the best pasta I’ve ever had in my life (I mean I love saffron) and the salmon just melted in my mouth (is that weird?) Everything was seasoned to perfection. I literally don’t know how I managed to hold myself back from licking the plate (which I am prone to do). Well, I did use a piece of bread to basically wipe up every last morsel of deliciousness.


For those you who know me, it is no secret that I hate fruit. I am literally terrified by it (see comments here).  But I went out on a HUGE limb for the dessert and ordered the Seasonal Fruit Crisp (the fruit being rhubarb).  Now, I did this solely because the description said Cinnamon Almond Crust, Vanilla Gelato and Caramel Sauce. When it came out I was a little nervous about the fruit aspect, but I just took a deep breath and dove in with my spoon.


It was sour and sweet and tart and wonderful!  So maybe I like rhubarb!  But only doused in caramel and gelato.

Have y’all ever been to the CIA???  What was your experience like?

Social on Urbanspoon

You may also like


  • LC July 30, 2009  

    What did the client get? Did you tell her that you would be blogging about the meal? I admire both your bravery and your multi-tasking.

  • BS July 30, 2009  

    OMG this has to be your first step towards getting over your fruit-phobia!

  • Britannia July 30, 2009  

    Rhubarb is delicious, my parents grow it at home. Its really not an easy fruit to like so you did great to enjoy that (despite the caramel and gelato). Sounds like an amazing experience.

    Do you know if the six restaurants are for different cuisine’s or of a different grade of the students?

  • Kara July 30, 2009  

    I went to school just down the road from the CIA… from what I recall each restaurant is a different type of cuisine and I believe working in the various restaurants happens towards the end of a students time at the school. Maybe the final semester?

  • Very Very Good Girl July 31, 2009  

    Yeah, my family (sans me) went to the American Restaurant of CIA when they were visiting my brother in West Point, and they all loved it. As for rhubarb I think it’s a hidden gem. My Nana makes great rhubarb & strawberry jelly that you’d probably like.

    Britannia: do you know how to grow it? I’m intrigued & currently prospecting for plants/vegs for our fall garden.

  • Maids August 3, 2009  

    I bet you’d enjoy a lot of fruit desserts Liza… Cooked fruit is a totally different animal from fresh fruit. If I understand your problem with fruit correctly, it’s the juiciness that you hate. cooked fruit is more jammy than juicy.

Leave a comment