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“Best of the Bunch” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ristorante Caterina de' Medici

Ristorante Caterina de' Medici
1946 Campus Drive, The Culinary Institute of America in the Colavita Center, Hyde Park, NY 12538
+1 845-871-6608
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Ranked #9 of 42 restaurants in Hyde Park
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Truly authentic regional Italian cuisine takes center stage at Ristorante Caterina de' Medici, a sophisticated dining room overlooking a stunning herb and rose garden, and the Hudson River. Or enjoy wood oven pizza and other simple rustic dishes in the more casual Al Forno Trattoria. Dining at this grand Tuscan-style villa is a culinary escape to another world without ever having to leave the beautiful Hudson Valley.
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Best of the Bunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Of the three restaurants now open (the Bocuse will open shortly) this seems to be the best for some reason. The building itself is a bit gaudy and American Decorator Tuscan, but it still provides a comfortable space to dine in. As elsewhere at the CIA, the service is generously sufficient, although some of the students have not quite settled down into their jobs.
The only weak point of the meal was the amuse. It was elegant looking, consisting of a sandwich of balsamic tulle (thin and crisp) enclosing a radicchio mousse. Conceptually it was great, but was strongly sweet, to the point that I was impatient for bread to arrive to get the sweetness out of my mouth.
For starters we had an escarole/ricotta focaccia, cold cuts, and pheasant ravioli, all of which were good. The escarole was very tasty, and had a bit of pine nut and raisin in it - perhaps a touch more would have added to the interest. The ravioli were tasty and nicely cooked, topped with some fried sage. They were also notably better than the thick, chewy ravioli we got at the St. Andrews Cafe on campus here. Main courses included grouper over saffron fregola - delicately flavored and nicely cooked. I has a grilled salmon over lentils, which was cooked rare as I requested, and had a good crisp skin. The lentils were good but didn't move the dish much one way or the other. Our son had the quail stuffed with sausage. It was boned out and wrapped in bacon, so it was easy to eat and quite filling. Dessert included a tiramisu as good as any, a fairly straightforward chocolate lava cake, and a little cheese plate with pecorino, parmesan, and creamy gorgonzola. With coffee, two glasses of good wine (Nebbiolo), a prosecco-blackberry kir, and their standard service charge (no tipping) and tax the pros-fixe total came to only $130 for lunch for the three of us, which is a real bargain and better than you can do nearly anywhere.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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75 reviews from our community

72% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Educational experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

The restaurants on the CIA campus are all run by the students as a part of their training, so one must take that into account when rating a place. It's nice to see the future of the industry taking their first steps into the public arena. That being said, it kind of has a "clubhouse" type feel, as everyone works/goes to class/lives together. Also the service was a bit spotty, but the semester just started and it may have been this guy's first week waiting tables ever.
The food was very good. We ate at Al Forno and had a front row seat to the open kitchen.We had the bar snacks (olives, hummus, and almonds), and 2 pizzas. The Bianca pizza was the stand out. Pears, ricotta, truffle oil. YUM! Also the chocolate budino was amazing. The cream wasn't sweet, which I liked, and there was a liberal dusting of salt over the top. (I love salt on desserts, this practice started a few years ago, and I'm a fan)
Next time I'll make a reservation and eat in the main dining room. Overall it was a fun experience

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Fabulous meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

While visiting our son in the area in January, we went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY for lunch. We dined at the Caterina de Medici Restaurant and were surprised and thrilled to find out that on Mondays through Thursdays from January to March, three-course meals are priced at $21.95. You can order anything off of the menu. Since some of the entrees alson are more than this price, it's a real deal. Since this is a teaching restaurant, there can be some glitches, but they worked to our benefit. The chef was demonstrating my primi piatti (wild mushroom risotto) and it was taking longer, so they sent out an extra appetizer - their amazing homemade buffalo mozzarella. Our main courses were delicious as were our desserts. Coffee was included in the price. Of course, the setting was beautiful and the service was top rate. We also enjoyed watching students learn to change tablecloths - quite a procedure! If you are able to get there this winter, you won't be sorry.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Rhinebeck, New York
1 review
“Insulting and obnoxious- Al Forno”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Tonight I wanted to celebrate with my son. We wanted an early meal so I called Al Forno since they serve from 11-6. I called ahead and was told there was no time we had to be there by but the woman said if it was her, she'd be there by 5:30. We live 20 minutes away. We left at 5, hit a bit of unusual traffic, parked and arrived inside at 5:31(on my iphone). The man behind the bar (not one of the students) said no way- last seating at 5:30. I said I called and no one said anything about a last seating and besides it was 5:30. Oh no, he pointed to the clock on the wall that was a couple of minutes later than my iphone - it's past 5:30. We left and had a fabulous meal at The Local in Rhinebeck. Thanks guy behind the bar for being so obnoxious- we had a much better meal.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
205 reviews 205 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
“Wonderful evening!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

We dined here last week, and everything about our experience was simply wonderful. Service was top notch, and all of our food was delicious. Our server even gave us a tour of the restaurant and kitchen before we were seated. For starters we had a tart filled with green chard and truffled fontina, and breasola with arugula and grana padano (see uploaded photos). We decided to pass on the pasta courses. We would have loved to try a pasta dish or two, but we knew we had to make choices. We went right to the entrees and chose a duck breast and a red wine braised lamb shank. They were both great. My lamb just fell right off of the bone! We could not resist dessert. I had the best tiramisu I have ever had, while the companion ordered a hazelnut cake with cold zabaione. The menu here is very inventive. You can find venison here, as well as a pasta in a sauce with boar meat. The wine list is great. It's probably a good thing I don't live closer!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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