Dining at the CIA’s Winespectator Greystone Restaurant

The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St.Helena, CA
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St.Helena, CA

On a recent trip to Napa we ate at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America.  The restaurant features professional and student chefs in a setting that allows you to view the kitchen from your table.  Focus is placed on seasonal and local ingredients, which causes the menu to change from time to time.  An extensive wine list is offered that includes wines made exclusively for the restaurant.  Below is a description of the dishes we sampled, taken directly from the menu:

Housemade Pappardelle Pasta – Tuscan kale, wild mushrooms, cipollini onions, garlic cream and winter pesto

Peppercorn Basted Grilled Angus Hanger Steak – Roasted German butter ball potatoes, balsamic glazed onions, forest mushrooms, red wine jus
Citrus Olive Oil Cake – Citrus supremes and grapefruit sauce

Don’t let the descriptions of these dishes fool you.  While the ingredients may be simple, when put together they create a depth of flavor and complexity that will cause you to savor each and every bite.  I knew the food would be good, but I didn’t expect to be dreaming of the flavors days after we visited the restaurant!  But what else would one expect from an institute that trains some of the top chefs around the world?

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any wine with our meal.  What?? you ask.  Yes, it’s true, but we had our reasons and one of them is found in this article.  It was clear to us though, that while the food was extremely enjoyable on its own, wine certainly would have made a great accompaniment.

The next time you’re in the Napa Valley (or Hyde Park, NY – they have restaurants there) why not make a reservation?  You won’t be disappointed.

Posted by T.A.P.