You may learn a thing or two when you dine at a culinary academy.
You can enjoy bargain-priced haute cuisine prepared by future Wolf-gang Pucks at culinary school dining rooms all over the West.
BLEU, WESTERN CULINARY INSTITUTE Portland
Prix fixe meals include such dishes as sorrel and arugula salad, braised lamb with macadamia-mint pesto, and roast duck with fig sauce. $25. (503) 294-9770, www.westernculinary.com.
CAFÉ BLEU, LE CORDON BLEU COLLEGE OF CULINARY ARTS Las Vegas
An à la carte menu offers creations from hearth-baked pizza to profiteroles filled with raspberry–chocolate silk. $7 to $16. (702) 851-5322, www.vegasculinary.com.
CARÊME ROOM, CALIFORNIA CULINARY ACADEMY San Francisco
Buffets may offer up to 80 appetizers, charcuterie, entrées, and desserts crafted by students who are on hand to answer questions. $24 to $38. (415) 216-4329, www.baychef.com/restaurants.asp.
CLASS ACT, MAUI CULINARY ACADEMY Kahului, Hawaii
Savor a delicious four-course lunch (call for schedule). Bring your own wine (no corkage fee). (808) 984-3280, mauiculinary.com.
OAK CAFÉ, AMERICAN RIVER COLLEGE Sacramento
Lunch only; tasting menus or prix fixe meals include dazzling desserts such as pomegranate-rose granita and pear-ginger upside-down cake. $12. (916) 484-8526, web.arc.losrios.edu/~chef/hmcafe.html.
PACIFIC INSTITUTE OF CULINARY ARTS RESTAURANT Granville Island, Vancouver, B.C.
Feast on French-influenced cuisine and watch students design wedding cakes or work with chocolate. $34 to $36. (800) 416-4040, www.picachef.com.
PORTFOLIO DINING ROOM, ART INSTITUTE OF SEATTLE Seattle
Enjoy dishes like pan-roasted steelhead trout and butter lettuce drizzled with a honey-truffle dressing while taking in a sublime view of Elliott Bay. Moderately priced West Coast wines are available. (206) 239-2363, www.ais.edu.
Illustration by Mary Lynn Blasutta
This article was first published in November 2004. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.