by student blogger Leah
My friend and classmate encouraged me to have a cocktail at the restaurant where she was working over the weekend during the awkward in-between time on Sunday before dinner starts but brunch had ended, about 4 p.m. For those looking for an intimate, quiet dinner—this is your golden hour to strike at restaurants that are open for that time frame.
They have no idea that I’m writing about them on this blog and they were not trying to please me in order to get good publicity, they are just genuinely good at what they’re doing and I think people should know about it.
There are a host of restaurants in the Hudson Valley that are home to CIA grads and I couldn’t be more thankful that two of our grads are working together at Crave Restaurant in Poughkeepsie about 10 minutes from CIA.
The Honeydew Chili cocktail was balanced and flavorful alternating gracefully between spicy, smoky, and sweet. The shrimp dumplings with seaweed and edamame salad were flavorful and held their own next to the tequila in my cocktail. I also enjoyed a pork belly appetizer served with kimchi, watermelon, sesame seeds, and cilantro. It was obvious that the food was carefully thought out and flawlessly executed. Seasoning was on point. The variation of textures added interest. Pork belly could be pulled apart with a fork. It was just awesome.
Each CIA graduate has the opportunity to create a good representation of the CIA brand as it is associated with their own names or to leave people with the impression that CIA is just a pretty face and nothing more. The AOS degree program intends to educate you on all the moving parts of a restaurant, because dining out is an experience and food is not the only consideration. The first impression made upon entering a restaurant is just as important as the impression maintained throughout the meal and the impression that a guest takes with them as they walk out the door. Service, menu, food, lighting, music, décor, and staff training are only a few of the components that must be managed in order to give the impression that is intended.
Catherine and Ed obviously paid attention in class or maybe they're just naturally talented. I'm not concerned with the specifics at this point because what they are doing at Crave, makes me proud to one day call myself a CIA grad.