We traveled to Hyde Park to lunch at the Culinary Institute of America, in late February. It was my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. Affectionately known as the CIA, it is the world’s premier college for chefs. The CIA has several restaurants staffed from the front to the back of the house by culinary students supervised by their teachers. We ate at the Ristorante Caterina de' Medici, which is Jean and Charly’s favorite. We actually go there every year to celebrate their anniversary but this year was even more special.
We kicked off the meal with glasses of prosecco made a lovely pink with raspberry liquer, with fresh raspberries bobbing in it. In the Italian fashion the menu offered several courses: antipasti (appetizers); primi piatti (first course, traditionally pasta); secondi piatti (main course). I am the only one at the table that actually ate all three courses, although to my credit I did not have dessert.
Our server was a female student—a sophomore. She was lovely. There was a bit of a dust up with the wine. She had been equipped with a diabolical instrument called a double-hinged waiter’s corkscrew and she struggled mightily to get the cork out of our bottle of red wine. At one point both Charly and Dieter were holding the wine bottle, shouting out instructions as she manipulated the instrument. Behind them a severe looking woman stood taking notes. I hope our server was graded mercifully.
I won’t go into all the details of what we ate other than to say the Gnocchi alla Fonduta di Gorgonzola e Noci, (Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Fondue and Toasted Walnuts) which I had for my primi piatti was magnifico!