Backstage Bistro

Now this post may sound like it belongs on an episode of Rachael Ray's $40-a-day. That is not my intention. Please, Rachael Ray and her horrible tipping habits on that show really rub me the wrong way. But, Backstage Bistro, which is the restaurant run by the culinary program of the Illinois Institute of Art, is such a steal of a deal, I can just picture Rachael there with her EVOO and Yum-Os.

On to the Bistro. I walk by the window that displays the kitchen of Backstage Bistro on a daily basis and this week, I convinced my coworker to join me there for lunch. The entire restaurant is staffed by the students in the culinary program - from the front of house staff (managers, maitre'd) to the waiters and of course, the line cooks and chefs.

Once seated, we were presented with the choice of bottled water (still or bubbly) and the specials list, which emulates some finer dining establishments in the big city. The menu is eclectic - duck and mushroom spring rolls, tuscan onion soup, a daily pizza special, salmon and grouper, and NY Strip - all make an appearance. Feeling the need to stuff my face, I ordered the panini special, which was a mozzarella, marinara and mushroom panini on Texas Toast, while my lunch companion ordered what turned out to be a hearty burger. We both enjoyed our meals and found them to be quite the bargain - at $11 and $14, and while the service was a bit slow, it made for a nice break in my day.

And I couldn't help but be a little jealous that these students get to run a restaurant as a part of their curriculum! And it's good!

At the end of the meal, you get to assist in the education process by providing constructive criticism in the form of a short survey. Reservations are highly recommended, and can be made by calling 312.475.6920. Just don't tell them Rachael Ray sent you.

1 comment:

meg said...

my burger was messy and really good. Just the way a burger should be!