Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Champagne and White Linens

I have moved on from my first restaurant on campus to my second, and last, restaurant here at The Culinary Institute of America. I am currently a server at Escoffier, a white table cloth, French restaurant, offering a bistro style lunch menu. This is the first time in about a year that The CIA has opened this restaurant for lunch, which is causing quite the commotion around campus. Out of all the restaurants in America, only .08% are white tablecloth, fine dining locations. This number dropped drastically after the decline of the economy a few years back, so I feel privileged to be able to learn this style of service.
The first day of service, which was a Saturday, was quite...interesting. The servers have a lot more responsibility than we are used to, such as opening wine table side and placing out 456361.1654 different types of silverware. Actually there are only 17 pieces of silverware. I say silverware because this restaurant is the only place on campus where actual silver plated flatware is used. There are certain pieces of silverware that most people have no idea what to do with like a fish knife or a sauce spoon. It is kind of mind boggling to think that someone woke up one morning, cut a notch out of his (or her) spoon and then proceeded to use it to scrape all of the sauce off of their plate. Who thought of that? Really? Who thinks to do that? Anyway, here is all 17 pieces of silverware and all 13 styles of glassware.

Demo of Flatware and Glassware

My Study Guide for the Silverware

The menu items look really good--I have tried the French Onion Soup, and it was delightful and choc-ful of onions (but not nearly as good as my grandmother's). Chef Rapp, my garde-manger teacher before I left for externship in March of last year, has taken over the kitchen bringing lighter fair to the once heavy menu.

Entree Line Up Before Service

If you're in town, check it out. It's worth the drive.

What is the fanciest restaurant you've ever been to?


  1. The Grand Dining Room, at the Grand Hotel, Point Clear Alabama