NYC Dining: International Culinary Center & L’Ecole
By Shari Hartford
It’s no secret that New Yorkers love to eat…and explore new restaurants. I recently discovered a fabulous find nestled on a well-traveled, lackluster corner in Soho. I’ve passed it dozens of times and never took notice. That will teach me a lesson!
The building houses the International Culinary Center, a 30-year old cooking school for professionals and serious amateurs alike. With programs both here and abroad, master chefs teach their techniques in state-of-the-art kitchens and classrooms. There’s a course of study for just about every interest, from pastry to bread to food media. That first class in 1984 was attended by a young and eager Bobby Flay.
But if you want someone else to do the cooking for you, don’t miss dining at L’Ecole, the in-house restaurant for the school. With food prepared by top level students and chef-teachers, the offerings are sophisticated and elegant. My recent lunch was a sublime three courses beginning with a vegetable terrine, moving onto perfectly prepared duck breast in a red wine-shallot sauce and ending with a chestnut cake garnished with Parmigiano gelato. I couldn’t rave enough to everyone I know.
The restaurant serves lunch, dinner and Saturday brunch, with menus that change regularly. This is one place that is worth a special trip downtown to just relax with friends or celebrate a special occasion.
NOTE: As a special incentive for readers of this site, when booking your reservation at L’Ecole please ask the reservationist to note that you saw L’Ecole in “Everett Potter’s Travel Report.” As a VIP guest you will receive the Chef’s selection of an additional savory and dessert course per table.
Offer expires August 31, 2014.
Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.