Skill Development Boot Camp. But for now, I'll satisfy my urges by popping in on their restaurants when I am in the area.
This was my first foray into the land of our culinary future and it was a good one.
St. Andrew's Cafe "embodies all that is good about the local, sustainable food movement. As
much as possible, we draw our produce and meats from local farmers and
purveyors and believe that we can dine well all year long by
thoughtfully using the abundance of seasonal harvests."
It wasn't just local produce, but there were local wines as well. (Now I have to start planning adventures on the Hudson and Duchess Valley Wine Trails) I chose two local wines to pair with my lunch.
Millbrook Vineyards and Winery in the Hudson Valley paired with Autumn Squash-Apple Cider Soup $6.00. It was a bowl of thick, intensely flavored soup, with a condensed, sweet apple overtone. In between spoonfuls, the rich sweetness of the soup was cut by bright fruity acid of the wine so that my taste-buds were refreshed for another spoonful of goodness.
I know that this was lunch, and traditionally lunch is a light meal, but I was at the CIA, and I was prepared to have this be the only meal of my day. So on I went to the next course, Grilled Beef from Meiller Josef Farms in Pine Plains, NY with Smoked Grafton Village (VT) Cheddar Gratin, Melted Leeks, and Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms on a bed of spinach $19.
Hudson-Chatham Winery in the Hudson Valley $9.00/glass. Surprisingly, this was a sublime course. after the intense soup, and flavorful mussels, I was sure that the Beef would be in your face flavor. No, the wine was light and soft with a subtle taste of bright cherry fruitiness and just as subtle undertones of earth. I had never had the varietal Chelois before. It is a French hybrid from 1946. I liked it, and would always try more. The beef tasted like good beef should, juicy, with great texture and filling. I like that the students let the ingredients shine I could taste each component of the meal, and the silky meatiness of the Shiitake contrasted well with the textured juiciness of the beef. The potatoes were a slimline (very little cheese) gratin, so I wasn't rolling off my chair. (but I did take home a substantial doggie bag for dinner).
A slide show from the day: