The Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) first foray into the currently in-demand pop-up dining trend, Pangea, presented a menu fueled by conceptual cohesion and food consciousness. Clean, vibrant flavors infused every dish, each centered around vegetables and legumes invigorated by culturally inspired twists.
Come February, the CIA will open the doors to their second pop-up dining experience, Post Road Brew House, this time curating a more casual climate, focused on craft brews and gastro pub fare that Waldy Malouf, the CIA’s Senior Director of Food & Beverage Operations, says will give visitors “a different style of restaurant as opposed to the French and Italian ones we have.”
With Malouf hinting at American-style menu items, like a Post Road burger slathered in local cheddar and a brick-cooked half chicken over a panzanella salad, you can imagine a menu similar to the CIA’s The Tavern at American Bounty, but more complex and in a larger setting (Post Road should seat about 90 guests). Driving home the complexity will be a prevailing theme of local collaboration: most of the menu, from cheeses to beverages, is sourced from New York.
“We will be highlighting a lot of the local distilleries in our cocktail program. I think there’s about eight of them that we’re working with now,” explains Malouf. “And then we’re also working with a couple wineries: Millbrook, Brotherhood, Clinton vineyards.”
The star partnership on the menu is found among the craft beers. Post Road will feature eight beers on tap from local breweries like Poughkeepsie’s Mill House Brewing Company, but most notably from The Brewery at the CIA, which serves as a class in advanced beverage. That means a few of the sudsy concoctions gracing the menu will be brewed by CIA students, while others will be from head brewer Hutch Kugeman, a founding brewer at Crossroads Brewing Company and former head brewer at Ithaca Beer Company and Great Adirondack Brewing.
Craft beer has captured the affection of today’s culinary scene for its ability to complement a diverse range flavors. Post Road’s menu will acknowledge this with “beer-related food and sauces,” says Malouf, “and we’re going to be using a lot of the beers in the cooking and in the desserts as well.” As with many notable brew houses, there will be flights to test out, too, which Malouf says, “will be a lot of fun and something really special.”
And while you wash down hearty gastro pub dishes with crisp craft brews, you’ll be helping CIA students earn a valuable educational experience. The pop-up format allows students to see what it’s like opening a restaurant and developing food and beverage programs firsthand, which Malouf says, “is a really good experience for them.”
Post Road Brew House will only be around from February 16 to June 15, with a lunch-only stretch from March 24 to May 4, so while we would recommend you reserve a spot as soon as possible, Malouf says reservations are not necessary. Not having to secure a table in advance is relaxing and pairs nicely with Post Road’s casual atmosphere. The cherry on top will be a 14-seat bar situated in the dining room that, while acting as a highlight, will only enhance the easygoing ambience.
“The furniture is different, the colors are different. It feels separate, it’s very nice,” says Malouf. “It’s going to be fun. More fun than Pangea, and a lot looser.”