Diane’s Delicious Diner now open at Truax Campus

Diane’s Delicious Diner at the Truax Campus is now open for the spring semester.

Mary Joan Nastri, Staff Writer

Diane’s Delicious Diner is named after a local benefactor who helped finance the new Dining program at Madison College and its facilities. I had a tour of the kitchens by the affable hostess, and it was impressive. The kitchen, equipment and layout rival some of the higher echelon hotel kitchens in the world.

The restaurant is a learning lab for students in Madison College’s culinary arts program. It gives them a chance to practice cooking techniques that are utilized in full service restaurants. It offers the rest of us a true gourmet dining experience.

I was excited to begin my food journey, but was disappointed when I was shown to my table. It was in a tight corner of the restaurant, and this often happens whenever I dine solo, unfortunately. But I decided to focus on the lovely formal place settings. My server, Miranda, was enthusiastic, personable, and anticipated my needs.

There were two choices for the three-course menu. For my appetizer, I chose a liver pate with Cognac gelee. The duck liver was luscious  with the Cognac gelee, however, after several bites, was too strong as to cover the delicate flavor of the liver. The accompanying pickled cauliflower would have worked better with a touch of sweetness to bring out the natural sweetness of the vegetable. Instead, it had a strong, bitter flavor. The crostini came with a touch of salt and pepper and was delicious.

For my entrée, I chose the eggplant curry. The eggplant was grilled on top of mixed vegetables and potatoes in curry. The flavors were rich, and flavorful. However, the eggplant, once again suffered from a slight bitterness that could have used some salting before placing on the grill. Some pieces were not bitter, but creamy and perfectly grilled.

And, for dessert I chose the Sachar torte, a beautiful chocolate confection with espresso powder that tasted heavenly, and came in a huge portion.

Some people like to relax in a spa; I like to relax, in a non-hurried pace, in a dining room that serves a fine, French inspired menu and Diane’s Delicious Diner delivers. There are a few details that need tweaking, but it was like dining in a good restaurant in Paris for a quarter of the price.

  • Open Jan. 31-April 21 (closed for spring break). Serving on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at noon.
  • Menus change daily. Cost is $25 for all courses or $8.50 per course à la carte.