Bocuse Restaurant to Open at CIA

February 12, 2013 | by —Simona Rabinovitch
photography by Phil Mansfield
| Homepage

On February 15, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) will open a new French eatery called The Bocuse Restaurant at its campus in Hyde Park, New York. Named after chef Paul Bocuse, who holds the distinction of having been named the CIA's Chef of the Century and recently celebrated his 87th birthday, the casual-elegant restaurant is as much of a classroom as it is a dining room.

Staffed by students and open to the public for lunch and dinner, cuisine reflects the school's philosophy, serving modern, sophisticated (and sometimes experimental) French fare without any stuffy formality. First course options include a classic lobster bisque, salmon tartare, crisp frog legs done Orly style, and French green bean and wild mushroom salad. Mains such as a filet mignon with marrow custard and a lobster ragout with vermouth cream are at once refined and inventive. Vegetarian options are also available, as is a four-course prix fixe menu ($39) with optional wine pairings ($59).

Supervised by back of house chef-instructors Rob Mullooly and Sergio Remolina, the state-of-the-art kitchen has a sous-vide machine and specialized pastry station. But fear not, this isn't amateur hour. Students take their craft seriously, and excellent service is part of the curriculum. Tableside preparations are another highlight, with a next-generation, modular guéridon that is perfect for spirit tastings, cheese and wine pairings, tea service, and tableside ice cream churning, thanks to a portable liquid nitrogen ice cream machine.

Inspired by a traditional French brasserie, decor is suitably warm and inviting, with black walnut floors, leather wall paneling, light earth tones, and a lovely view of the Hudson River. The Bocuse replaces the CIA's former flagship restaurant, The Escoffier. Reservations are recommended. 1945 Campus Dr., Hyde Park, 845-471-6608

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