Caterina de Medici at The Culinary Institute of America
Truly authentic regional Italian cuisine takes center stage at Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, a sophisticated dining room overlooking a stunning herb and rose garden. Or, you can 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 along the banks of the Hudson River.
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Three of the five main dishes on the price fixe pasta menu were mediocre at best. The risotto and ravioli were tasty. The dessert, a chocolate ice cream tart, was poor and did not taste like chocolate at all. As a table of two, we were seated in the bar area which was rather dark and filled with kitchen noises and chefs’ shouting. It felt like we were being served in the staff quarters. We objected to being seated in this area rather than in the beautiful dining room, but were told that the restaurant was”fully booked.” Our student server was a pleasure. All in all, however, our experience was much less than we have been accustomed to after dining at the CIA 6 or more times over the past 20 years.
The service was excellent and the food was prepared beautifully. A wonderful experience.
Pasta night is a good night to pass on at the CIA. I didn't know.
Five of us, all well traveled and experienced in fine cuisine around the world, were delighted with every aspect of our luncheon at Caterina de Medici.
We took friends from Italy to lunch. Room was loud with 1 table of 6 women laughing and howling etc. We asked the MAÎTRE D' to speak to them but he did not, thus annoying us the entire lunch. Decor is tired and looking like a Disney version of Italy with the fake olive tree and overall decor that looked more Mexican than Italian. (We live in Italy 6 months/year so know what we're talking about). Service was poor with a gal who did not know how to serve or take away dishes, actually dropping dishes and silverware TWICE during our lunch. We also could not understand her heavy Japanese accent and she did not understand us. We ordered telling her what we wanted brought out first as appetizers to share but she got the direction wrong and main courses were served with appetizers negating everything we had told her. 5X during the lunch she told us how nervous she was (awkward in front of my guests) and I must say that she was simply not ready to be a server. The sommallier was talking to another waiter 2-3 tables away WHILE at our table and he was sweating quite grossly and was disheveled from ill-fitting clothing. At one point he actually spilled wine next to my glass because he was looking at another table WHILE pouring my wine. The food was poor to marginal. My asparagus risotto did not have ANY asparagus flavor (too heavy with the Talegio chesse). The Rigatoni Bolognese was dry (not nearly enough sauce) and not hot and my own braised veal entree was very overcooked/dry. I should have returned it but you know how, when people are eating their entrees and one has to return his - it ends up that the one who finally gets his corrected entree has to eat "alone" while the others watch - awkward. The dessert of olive cake was very very dry, and had no olive flavor at all. Overall, the experience was poor and I would like to speak to someone about a gesture back to me - perhaps a partial refund (food less the excellent wine). Please contact me at 845-233-8254
The large high-ceilinged has a very elegant Italian feel to it. Comfortable seats and a large waitstaff. The portions are large, so consider splitting dishes to get more variety. Food was delicious, our waiter friendly and attentive. Water glasses were kept full. Overall a lovely and memorable experience.
What a delightful venue for a festive meal with friends, as if dining at a great European hotel. We were a little disappointed at first to be limited to the pasta menu, once the food started coming all was forgotten. The family style Caesar Salad and Antipasto first course delighted all, providing explosions of flavor to set up the palate for three flights of fine pasta dishes, plus a classic gnocchi al pesto Genovese and a simply superior eggplant risotto. The dessert to conclude this delightful procession of tastes, textures and flavors was a darling little slice of vanilla cheesecake mit schlag and a berry coulis, making all exclaim with delight--a fitting delicacy to follow a meal of robust variety, served by young professionals all showing promise in a setting sure to make a simple meal just right for a special occasion.
Made reservations several weeks ago and was told it was the Pasta Dinner. That was ok because you could order a la carte in addition to Pasta Menu. Pasta was to be served family style, again not bad but they came around once gave a table spoon serving and never returned again to see if anyone wanted anymore. The dishes were totally basic and must say have had much much better. The service....that was a whole different story. Terrible, it was the worse service we have encountered in many years and we do dine out quite a bit. Our reservation was 715p, took 20 minutes before we were asked about a drink and then took order at same time but still so slow and the food was not even hot. We left about 930. I would say it was a bit ridiculous for a pre-fixed pasta dinner. We have dinned at the Culinary several times and have always had a pleasant experience but I would not rush to go back and certainly will not go to the Pasta Dinner or recommend. Irene Hunt, Poughkeepsie, NY.
our lunch was a wonderful experience. the setting was beautiful, the food succulent and the wait staff beyond helpful, accommodating and cordial. it was a perfect day.
Service was helpful and accommodating. Sole prepared perfectly, and pasta was very tasty and both were large portions. Dessert was excellent!
Food as good as Italy in a lovely space. Superb pasta, excellent mains and desserts. The student waiters are charming and eager to please.
Amazing visit to CIA and dinner experience!!! The people were friendly and food was great!
Exceeded all expectations! Can’t wait to return!
Overall our trip to Caterina was a pleasant one
We were greeted cheerfully and seated quickly
Noise level was moderate and it was easy to have a conversation with each other
The salumi platter was excellent and Caterina's salad did not disappoint
We thought the pasta selections were excellent and served in ample quantity
The wine selection had something for everyone and there were several bottles of reasonably priced wines in both red and whit
The only shortcoming was the service at the table by our server
He disappeared several times during dinner and told us the manager called him away
Even so when we finally did manage to flag him down and ask for something, he never once refilled our empty water glasses
Something as rudimentary as this is really a rookie mistake
We were celebrating our joint anniversaries and decided to try Caterina de Medici never having been before. It was a very nice evening, the room is nice, comfortable furnishings, and the noise level was such that we could converse easily. The food was delicious, it was a prix fix menu with 5 types of pasta. The ante paste was excellent as were the various pasta dishes. None were served with red sauce, so there was a little too much white food in my opinion, but it was delicious. I would like to go back and order off of their regular menu.
We cane with friends and had a table for 4. The staff was excellent timing of service was excellent and we were so pleased to see our favorite wine Orvieto Classico served. We came on pasta night and the dishes were delightful. The salad was crisp with a wonderful dressing. The antipasto plate was fantastic with tasty chesses, meats and peppers. The regular pasta was raved about by my 3 companions. I asked for a gluten free option and the flavors were very nice, but the pasta itself was terrible. It was a typical boxed gluten free type of pasta and not cooked well. Silly to ask for gluten free on a pasta night I know. All in all we would all definitely come again and enjoyed the overall experience very much.
Waitstaff was slow in bringing our meal but were friendly. The food- especially the pasta - was terrible. No flavor... the pancetta was dried like beef jerky and the pasta was undercooked- some pieces were stiff as in reheated in the microwave.
I have been enjoying Caterina since it was originally in the main buikding. It was my birthday and decided to celebrate at Cateria.
It would have been a wonderful meal. However, the server kept returning to our table to tell us that another item we ordered was no longer available. One of my guests then ordered steak rare and it came out cooked way beyond rare so another was cooked and it was fatty and inedible. My other guest ordered Bolognese and it came out dry. At the end one of the desserts we wanted was also u available.
This is unacceptable in such a setting as the CIA.
We were told menu was being changed next day. Still no excuse.
They were kind enough to comp the meal.
Everyone could not have been nicer but somewhat embarrassed by the situation.
Do I need to ask if the menu is changing before I make the next reservation?
I had high expectations for this restaurant since my husband had been there a couple of years ago and raved about it. Unfortunately, this time the food was pretty disappointing. A couple of the pasta appetizers were pretty good. We all had the sole for an entree and were served frozen fish and frozen vegetables. This is hardly what I would expect from a restaurant with such an esteemed reputation. For dessert, the flourless chocolate cake was quite good, but the tiramisu was wet and soggy. It was a pretty unexciting experience overall.
Not what you would expect from CIA. Pasta night plates are dropped o the table with no explanation or panache. Wait staff is sweaty and completely untrained. Felt more like I was eating in a college dining hall than in a proper restaurant.
We were very disappointment. My daughter and I could not say Wow to the food. We have traveled to Italy many times and had a better meal there. The pasta dishes were plain without any great seasoning. I think it was over priced.
The 5 course pasta does not work, and it is ridiculously overpriced. The salad and antipasti were good, but to serve spaghetti ladened in heavy sauce, shells with Alfredo type sauce, risotto with squid ( not everyone eats this) chicken chunks with mushrooms in pasta , and ravioli ( only good dish of pastas) and charge $39.00 was terrible. The staff are learning, dropping things, not asking for drink orders, etc, but they are students so that is fine, but don’t charge fine dining prices! Would not go back .
Overall the experience was great. We went for the pasta night with multiple dishes. 2 of the 5 pastas were severely under seasoned for our tastes but the others were fantastic. Our server really made the night enjoyable even though we were sat right behind a wedding party and had to wait extra time for each course. The ambiance and the service more than made up for any negatives we had.
Food is overrated. Service is good. But food was not hot and was "not so hot" if you know what I mean.
A beautiful setting, our table couldn't have fit our group better. The wait staff was very attentive and knowledgeable. The food was excellent. Enjoyed every morsel. Will be back soon.
Pasta only night. $285 for 4 people. Poor service. No utensils for dessert. Computer unable to properly record preference. Bocuse is better.
Server Kay took very good care of our party of 4, from two wines tasted, with one bottle served very professionally, to final pot of loose leaf Earl Gray tea well worth $4 surcharge. Antipasto outstanding, Ceasar salad fresh, crisp, and generous, if a little over dressed, with no discernable anchovy note. Sauces on rigatoni and ravioli were very good, seconds served on both when requested. Risotto almost as good. Cacio et pepe deserved more sauce. Cavatini needed less baking, more sauce and greens. Chocolate mousse dessert fine ending. Attentive, timely, expert service, interesting flavors, perfect ambience. Well worth it, even if pastas not handmade.
Pasta dishes were ok...I expected more. Sauces needed more flavoring. Salad/antipasto and dessert was very good.
Birthday present for a dear friend
The pasta was bland, the service was just OK. Disappointed considering the price we paid.
Have dined at the Culinary quite a number of times
Was very disappointed that it was Pasta Night
The Pasta itself was Excellent....but for my family $325 for pasta and drinks was a bit expensive.
If it had been Restaurant Week i'd understand Pasta Night, but it wasn't.
Defiantly will go back but only for the normal menu.
Loved our evening out. Wished that the dessert was a little more exciting, or that there could have been a choice.
Everything was beautifully prepared and tasted wonderful. The servings were generous, not what you expect in white tablecloth American restaurants. We come every year for the luncheon specials. Having them makes it possible for ordinary people like us to enjoy the great food and welcoming atmosphere that is the CIA.
Our server, Matt, was very engaging, informative, knowledgeable and most helpful in answering questions we had and about any recommendations he made. The ambiance was outstanding as was the food, drink and dessert. We have been to all three CIA restaurants and would make Caterina de Medici the first on our list upon our return to the CIA. All of the other staff was very accommodating as well.
Food was delicious.
Great time, as always. I am alumni and have been taking my kids to enjoy dinner for 14 years.
we will be back!
The Pasta experience was underwhelming!
Enjoyed our dinner very much.
The food was as good expected however the service was not. They were polite but un polished.