Walking away from your meal at The Dining Room at Kendall College is akin to the giddiness you feel after watching a baby take his first steps. The Dining Room provides the opportunity to taste the marvels of chefs-in-training just a year and a half into their culinary education. The students have already taken core classes (fish, sauces, soup, sanitation, etc.) and completed a six-month internship before stepping foot into The Dining Room's kitchen. They operate every facet of your meal while being supervised by veteran chefs who ensure a smooth dining experience.
The Dining Room offers a modern, urban atmosphere, overlooking both the Chicago River and downtown skyline and the industrial sight of a cement factory. The lunch and dinner menus change quarterly as new classes begin and new professors/chefs supervise the kitchen (find the current menu on Kendall College's Web site). Items like chilled cucumber and honeydew soup scented with kafir lime and tea-smoked quail with watercress, garlic roasted potatoes with pomegranate sauce reflect the menu's mouthwatering tendencies. Lunch runs about $20 a person and dinner around $30, though food of this quality would run your bill much higher in a non-classroom restaurant. BYOB for a $15 corkage fee. Also offers a full bar and wine list.
Because of The Dining Room's campus setting, you have to get past security guard before taking the elevator up to the third floor restaurant. If you make a reservation ahead of time (which you can secure through Open Table on Kendall's Web site), you'll be on a guest list; if you're a walk-in, just mention that you're there to eat and the amiable guard will let you right up. So go ahead...eat someone's homework.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Laura Brown