I love the idea that the CIA students must do 'their time' as servers, chefs, etc. in the various CIA restaurants. Although they did a fine job, I felt that it made for a bit of a stressful environment, almost as though they were being graded and had to strive for absolute perfection. It's hard to complain about overly attentive service, but there was barely a moment that my dinner companion and I had time to ourselves with waiters constantly checking in and replenishing bread, water, etc. I felt like saying: "relax a little" but it was clear that they were very serious about executing their jobs under the watchful eye of the non-students who were in charge. Otherwise, the food was good, though a bit scant, and the presentation was really lovely. I mentioned while making my OpenTable reservation that it was my birthday week with the hope of scoring a great table. The staff was really great in wishing me a happy birthday, even remembering on my way out the door. While I didn't score a window seat, I was seated near the glass enclosed kitchen, so was able to see the students at work preparing our yummy meals. The most memorable part of my meal: the truffle soup. I had never had truffles before, so had to try it. It was tasty and there was fabulous puff pastry on top. Cool! In addition to reasonably priced wines, you can order a cocktail. One last thing... be sure to arrive a little early to wander the hallways and see some of the students at work in the 'behind the glass' classrooms. The gift shop closes at 6:00 so you are in luck to remember your visit with a momento if you are here for lunch or an early dinner. Bon appetit!
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