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About Permanently Closed - The Conservatory at Greystone
This restaurant is permanently closed.
Set on the stunning Culinary Institute of America's California campus, The Conservatory at Greystone in Saint Helena offers new American cuisine with an emphasis on seafood and regional wines. Served by students, meals are flawless and presentation is unforgettable. No details are overlooked and a diner will be able to walk away feeling like royalty.
The menu at The Conservatory at Greystone changes according to the seasons and the choices are often limited to those within the prix fixe menu. Most run six courses and can be accompanied by carefully selected wine pairings. Based on the farm to table concept, The Conservatory at Greystone is the ultimate gourmet treat. With head chef Larry Forgione directing operations, this is known as a marvelous secret in Napa Valley.
St. Helena, CA 94574
Californian, Contemporary American, American
Hours of Operation:
Friday - Saturday
Dinner: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
$50 and over
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
The Conservatory Restaurant is located in the Williams Flavor Discovery Center, the small building to the left as soon as you enter the driveway for the Culinary Institute of America.
Private Party Facilities:
Whether celebrating a special occasion with family and friends or hosting a corporate outing, The Conservatory at Greystone can accommodate all your special event needs.
Private Party Contact:
Private Dining Coordinator: (707) 967-2300
Beer, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
The Conservatory at Greystone - Permanently Closed Ratings and Reviews
The other CIA as we like to say. My wife and I had an excellent meal at the conservatory at the Greystone, a teaching facility at the Culinary Institute of America. Excellent to very good food with a lot of variety. Service was a bit rough at times but remember it was a learning experience for the students. Highly recommended and would go back.
Beautiful building/room. But. . . If you are going to charge a base of $135 per person (without wine) , you need to deliver something delicious. Although the food was attractive, out of 5 courses, only the trifecta of salads was what you expect in "fine dining." The asparagus terrine was pretty but tasteless. The quail was rubbery. Dessert was a blah pastry with "over-lavendered" gelato. (and I love lavender!) Service very slow and spotty. Meal took 3 hours. We waited about 25 minutes between two of the courses--and the Conservatory wasn't even crowded yet. Servers busy chatting amongst themselves. Had to signal for wine twice. Silver placement was willy-nilly. Servers plainly inexperienced--that's fine, but it made you wonder if they had ever been to a nice restaurant. Most did not seem to know how to act: we were badgered at the beginning (4 times in 5 minutes) to make the wine choice, then later we were asked if we were ready to make our selection (of food). "Select what?" we asked. " It's a fixed menu, right?" "Oh right" giggled our server. 5 /15/15./
This was a last minute decision after having lunch and attending a demonstration at the Culinary Institute. It was a very expensive last minute decision and I expected more.
For 85$ per person without any wine I expected the food to be extraordinary and I found it to be ok, not outstanding. It was Beautiful but not enough to say fabulous.
I really hate to say this but the meal was so disappointing. It is a prix fixed menu so what they are serving is what you get. It started with the liver pate. I don't like liver but have had many liver pates that I have loved. This one was so over bearing that two of the guest couldn't eat it. The kale and spinach soup had good flavor but was lukewarm. Liked the halibut. The beet ravioli was so undercooked it was hard on the edges and the meet sauce served underneath it had good flavor but was way to salty. A couple of the dishes were good, not great. I think you get the point. I know you are at the mercy of which class is cooking but I feel they tried to reach so far out of the box with their dished that really very few of them worked. I would have liked to have seen the menu maybe a day earlier so I could have cancelled the reservations as one of our guest doesn't care for beets and many of the dishes contained them. I know these are students doing all the planning and cooking (although I have to think a professional looks over the menu and perhaps tastes the dishes before approved), and maybe my expectations were too high but in good conscience would not recommend this restaurant.
Really interesting building, very rustic and interesting. We did the four course dinner with wine pairing. This was a treat to have wine chosen for each course. Since we are not overly wine knowledgeable this was especially enjoyable. Service and food was very good. Extremely friendly staff were always ready to converse and inform.
Everything was lovely and well thought out.
The staff was attentive and enthusiastic.
The atmosphere was quiet, you could hear your conversation as well as the music in the background. The food tasted delicious and the presentations were beautiful. The wine pairings were perfect. Highly recommended.
My title refers to the elite group of students that cooked our meal. It was exceptional from the appetizer to the dessert. It was restaurant month in Napa, so it was a great time to try out a preset menu that was reasonably priced. Our table enjoyed tasty toast point appetizers, black truffle mascarpone ravioli, and the most perfectly cooked strip loin graced with a creamy black garlic sauce. My mouth is salivating just writing about this main entree. Lastly, we were served a dark chocolate kumquat compote cake that had a few surprise flavors. What a fantastic meal. I know that this group of students has bright futures ahead of them.
Students of the Culinary Institute of America worked both the kitchen and the front of the house. While we could see they were still learning the craft they were very attentive and eager to serve. Later, we walked to the main building at Greystone where we met a few of the baking students who had prepared our wonderful dessert. All in all, a very special meal at a very special location. This property was for many years the Christian Brothers Winery north of St Helena. We will be back there in the future to experience more.
My wife and I were celebrating our 33rd anniversary. We arrived during a downpour, and both of us were soaked! The host checked our soggy coats, and we were seated right away. The seven course meal was absolutely amazing, as was the service. Loved the decor as well - somewhat rustic. Table service was done by students in their senior year at CIA. Very professional but also very friendly!
The only thing I'd change is that the Conservatory restaurant is difficult to find in the huge Greystone property, is more signage.
Can't wait 'till we go again!
Having been to culinary school I knew what to expect in terms of service (awkward service). The food was good, not great. Wine portions were small. Time between courses was way too long. Dinner took 3 hours. The price is downright ridiculous considering the staff is paying to learn and not even allowed to accept tips. Gratuity is added to the receipt and the money goes to scholarships.
While speaking with the students I learned the chef only makes fond blanc (white stock from chicken) and doesn't teach fond brun (brown stock from beef). He doesn't like fish stock either. Expensive education not to learn the basics. The squab (pigeon) was seared on the hot side producing the obvious: liver flavor. The smoked swordfish had a very delicate smokiness but was dry and overdone. The table we sat at was broken and rocked back and forth. Am I just complaining, or a true disappointment for the value of what I received for the price?
The food was good, but definitely not for the price. If I'm going to pay $125 per person I expect amazing food. The staff is students in training. So expect some awkwardness because clearly not all are going to school to be in the front house with people. The most friendly of all the staff was the sommelier in training. She made the experience great!
I had the most wonderful birthday dinner with my mom! I made the reservation and there was a spot online to let them know if there was any special occasion... and there was. I wanted to take my mom who was celebrating her 73 birthday to a special and memorable place. So I chose this restaurant.
The staff was outstanding and it was an awesome opportunity to help the graduates in the culinary program obtain their experience in the front and back house service. We complimented the head chef and he was very personable, knowledgeable and had a dry sense of humor being originally from New York... We loved it! The chef sent us a complimentary glass of champagne for my mom and it was very graciously accepted. If you are seeking a quiet and romantic dinner, I wouldn't say this is the place because it is hussle and bussle getting your 8 course meal out to you but if you are seeking a high energy and fast paced and an outstanding place with great ambiance, then this is the place....!! Be aware the pricing ranges from 85-125 per person plus 17% service charge which is in lieu of a tip and it helps out the program for the students.
Ask lots of questions from the staff who delivers your meal because each meal is specially prepared that day and each student has their claim to fame on the menu on who created the divine delectable entree. Bon Apetit!!!!! You will enjoy the courses as they come with the choice of wine for that particular course. The coffee, lavender & black pepper rub Elk was to die for! I didn't think I would like rare but this meat was so deliciously prepared that the knife cutting my evenly heated meat was like going through butter. Roasted WInter Squash Gougere was a treat to start off with and the rest, well you will just have to find out for yourself the night you go for dinner... because each night, the chef makes a new menu according to the student program!!!!
Cheers and you will not be disappointed!!!!
Highs and lows throughout. These were students serving and cooking and they do a great job. They have energy and enthusiasm to spare and enjoy opening up about what brought them to this point. Wine pairings were fun and innovative and the food was great. A couple of oversalted dishes were disappointing as a slightly lighter hand with the rock salt and they would have been fabulous. Bread came at the end of the meal and at one point my setting was placed opposite (fork on the right, knife on left), but all in all a great experience and will go back.
We had a great evening...very attentive staff and excellent menu selections. The wine pairings were also very nice. The senior class did an excellent job!! We also enjolyed the fact that the waiter left the menus on the table, which allowed us to "follow along" as it were.
A very enjoyable experience!!
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone is a must see when you visit the Napa Valley. Few may be aware of the Conservatory on the campus that features a farm to table approach to California Cuisine at its best. The menu and method depend on what's in season and you will find that it taste so good and because the method of preparation balances nutritional value with flavors. The kitchen and wait staff is composed of students from the institute. Larry Forgione creates a menu of servings that delight the palate punctuated by a complimented pairing of regional wines. The value of the fixe prix, an especially tasteful line up cuisine, friendly and attentive waiters and sommelier make this an unforgettable and exquisite dinning experience.
Great food and service. Nine course meal was perfect with wine pairings. Entire wait staff was outstanding. This was our first meal during a week long stay in Napa and a great way to start our anniversary vacation. We are from Detroit and the background music was Motown! How Perfect!
The chairs are extremely uncomfortable and the table was so narrow we spent much of the time worried about trying not to knock off a utensil or glass. Our server was excellent but other servers also placed our food. We were missed for one of the amuse courses entirely. Wine pouring was not consistent. We would get a splash of one wine when it was the end of a bottle but much more if it was not near the end of a bottle. Our short rib course was too dry and the cole slaw that accompanied it had far too much vinegar taste. It was not a good pairing at all with a cabernet as a result of the vinegary slaw.
The senior students at The Conservatory were extremely charming and made our dining experience delightful. The tasting menu was excellent, the wines selections were fantastic and the price point was truly a bargain for such a beautifully presented meal.
Our guests that evening have traveled the world and were just as impressed by the food, service and experience.
The Conservatory was wonderful and a pleasant surprise although it was very different than the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, NY. The menu was a wine pairing menu that included 7 courses. Our server, Nick, was attentive with a wonderful engaging personality. He also demonstrated a great deal of flexibility in offering alternatives to two of the courses. The chef visited our table as did the school's administator. The food was excellent, well prepared, and beautifully presented! I would highly recommend it to all!
We arrived 10 minutes early for a 7:30 reservation. The host told us that they were setting up our table, and it would just be a few minutes. When I checked back about 20 minutes later, he curtly told me that he hadn't forgotten and that they were just finishing setting up the table. They weren't ready to seat us until almost 8:30. By this time, a couple of the members in the group were getting a bit hypoglycemic. We explained this to our waiter and requested some bread. They told us that they would get some right away, But 20 minutes later, we had to ask again. They apologized and got us some bread. Other apologies ensued throughout the evening for additional lapses in service(wine and food) Too much $$$ for this level of inexpertise
Was expecting the other greystone restaurant when making my reservation for my husbands birthday. Fixed menu with no choices, extremely overpriced.. Poor wine choices with pairings..cold pasta and rabbit as one of the main dishes, not to mention small servings.. The soup while tasty came in a thimble. 315.00 and we left hungry.
We liked the idea that students studying to be great chefs of the world would cook for us and serve it with new knowledge. The portions were not worth the money spent there AT ALL. We knew we would not be getting a buffet, nor did we want one. But when the menu reads "7 course" meal, I thought I would leave full. We joked to the couple sitting next to us if they knew where the local McDonalds was so that we could fill up; I didn't know it was turn out to be true!
I was dissapointed in the pricing for the small portions, and the inability to have choices. The menu was not supplied on open table, so we did not know this was the case. It was almost $200 with auto gratuity and no alcohol for two people. We were still hungry when we left.
We had a mini family vacation in San Fran, and decided to venture out to the Napa area. The conservatory at the Greystone restaurant is a great venue for family - intimate and yet an adventurous food experience. The price fix 7 courses were inventive, delicious and beautifully presented. The services was good. The only complaint I had was their preparedness. The bottle of the wine we ordered was not stored at the conservatory, and they had to fetch it somewhere else which took a while, and the table we dined was not table-clothed which was an oversight. But nevertheless, a great food experience.
The food was excellent. Perfectly executed.
For the Prix Fixe menu, a few of the portions were too large. The halibut could have 1/2 the size. The lamb 4 ways (was actually 5) but could easily have been 3.
We would have preferred the timing between courses to have been more consistent and spaced well apart and the wine pairings to be more set with the serving.
But overall it was a wonderful experience and we'd recommend it to anyone.
I've heard about this restaurant for a long time and finally I could try it with my girlfriends. The presentation of each dish during 7 course dinner was fantastic. The service was very professional (all the servers are students) and attentive. The main course was lamb in four different ways, and although I don't usually eat lamb, the two dishes they served were simply excellent and I enjoyed each bite. I hope I'll be back for lunch in the future.
Loved the edible flowers and the presentation. The variety kept us guessing. All courses were original and definitely creative. Did not like the 68 degree poached egg consume or the beet shooter. Just not palatable. The ice cream jujube was delicious and the wine pairing was spot on.
We were celebrating my Wife's birthday at the Conservatory. We chose to do the wine pairing with our meal. The pours were very small, only an ounce or less. The pairing was $80! The wait staff was very slow and didn't seem very enthused about their duties. The couple next to us were totally ignored or forgotten for a long period of time. The food was very mediocre! We expected more from last year students at the CIA. The sweet corn ice cream was just wrong! The birthday perk for my wife was a candle and it was delivered to the wrong table. We have been to The Wine Spectator, and based on our experience there, the Conservatory has a big problem. Definitely not worth the $290! A 17 percent service charge is automatically added to your bill!
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