I have dined at various CIA restaurants since 1978. Until our most recent trip, we always enjoyed the cuisine, talking with the students and staff, and trying new foods. When we dined at the American Bounty Room in September 2012, however, we were quite disappointed with the food, the preparation, and the attitude of the wait-staff (students). I ordered a hanger steak, and requested that it be cooked well done – cooked all the way through. The waiter, a CIA student, instructed us that the designation was called "medium well push." My spouse ordered the swordfish. When the servers brought the various courses, they failed to space the flatware far enough apart, so they set the plates for each course down ON the flatware, then fumbled with the flatware and the dish to correct the problem. The steak came out rare. When I cut into the meat, with blood running onto the plate, I asked if that was considered well done. The server gave some mumble-mouthed excuse about that is how an aged hanger steak looked well done. Believe us, it was RAW. We took it home to cook it the next day. One course, a selection of cheeses, was not brought to our table; we felt we were being rushed through the meal for the next seating. The molten chocolate cake was fairly ordinary. I ordered a hazelnut espresso and got a plain coffee instead, which also required a correction. The meal was definitely not worth $200. It was poorly presented, the staff was klutzy, and they did not want to hear any complaints. Since my husband did not retain the comment card, I emailed the restaurant requesting they send me one, and there was no response to my request. We have noticed this type of attitude recently at places we have dined run by CIA grads, which makes us begin to wonder what the CIA faculty is teaching or about the character of the students they accept. Now when we see a restaurant where they tout the chef’s CIA credentials, we are quite wary. A note about dress code: we were advised “Business casual (collared shirt and dress or chino-style slacks) attire is preferred.” The person at the next table had long hair, which he continually “flipped” through the meal, and he was dressed in grubby short-short pants, leaving little to the imagination, a tank top displaying a considerable amount of body hair, and cowboy boots. The odor from that table was not food related. We hope in the future such displays of unsanitary dress will be seated elsewhere.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.