I may have mentioned before that my younger son is studying Culinary Arts at a community college in South Portland. One of their classrooms is actually an operating restaurant that is open to the public, so yesterday we made a trip to the restaurant for the midday meal. From what I gather, a couple different classes prepare the meals. Advanced Cooking Specialties is one of the classes, plus the Baking class, and a restaurant technology class, I think.
Lunch was a four-course meal consisting of appetizer, salad, entree and dessert. I had cream of parsnip soup; wilted spinach salad; roast duck with carrots, peas, baby pearl onions and something that looked like a mashed potato croquette; and white chocolate cake with strawberries for dessert. My husband had polish cabbage; garden salad; veal stew served in a puff pastry shell with veggies; and french silk pudding for dessert. My son actually made the roast duck earlier in the day, and his instructor allowed him to sit and have lunch with us, so he had the polish cabbage and garden salad; salmon; and chocolate cake for dessert. The meal was absolutely delicious, the portion size was perfect, the dishes were nicely presented, and the service was fabulous. The chefs, waiters, waitresses, and maitre'd are all students, and they were actually in class.
For anyone who is local and would like to visit the restaurant next time you're in Portland, the midday meal is served from 12:00 to 2:00 Wednesday through Friday. Friday is a buffet meal. You must have a reservation to attend, and reservations can be made by calling 741-5612 between 11:00 and 2:00 Tuesday through Thursday. We made our reservation a month before, but they advise you call at least a week in advance. The cost of the entire four-course meal is $12 per person, which is really an excellent value. We were so full after lunch that we had cereal for supper last night.