9675 S Broadway
This is the restaurant inside the culinary program at The Art Institute school. The menu offers a choice of three appetizers, entrees and deserts - $16. Each quarter the menu has a different theme. The taste of the food was delicious; the presentation superb. Had I a picture of my plate you'd think it was French nouvelle but I had borscht and stroganoff -- very Russian. Excellent. I was with a group. Among us we had all of the menu items; everyone liked all. We will be going back every quarter. The restaurant is in the building west of the large parking lot. The signage is not great along Broadway. Just look for the canopy awning; that is the entrance.
What a fun lunch experience. Menus are set for the system. 3 course meal for only $12, not including beverages. There were 4 choices for each course. I did the seared scallop, steak and egg, and we got a sample of all the desserts. All the staff and chefs are culinary students learning their fields. They do take reservations, but not always necessary. There were only a few tables dining today.
5-stars for their service, value, and being a cooking school, perhaps it goes without saying, the food! These student chefs are obviously well on their way to graduating with honors. Assignments has a fancy atmosphere, offering the white-tablecloth experience, but without being stuffy. The students are eager to practice their steps of service - and the entire staff works as a team. You almost feel like you're sitting at the Downton Abbey dinner table because the timing for each course is perfectly orchestrated and you're waited on hand and foot. When we arrived, the lead instructor welcomed us with friendly conversation and also asked us if we were under any time constraints for the lunch hour. We planned for a longer lunch, but we were in and out in little over an hour. Don't go here if you have only an hour - I'm sure they can make it happen, but it's the type of place that you'll want to relax and not look at the clock. They excel at the details: fancy napkin "skirts" around the soup bowls (which are filled at the table), butter in the shapes of flowers, even catching water drips from the carafe with white-starched napkins. They basically follow all of the steps of service you'd expect at a fancy restaurant, except for tablecloth scraping, which I don't usually care for anyway. I mentioned value...it's very reasonably priced, but more like a steal. Where else in Denver can you get a 3-course lunch for $12, a 4-course dinner for $21? Drinks are not included. Our waiter noted that they have unusual hours - open Weds - Friday, and they close at intervals that would seem random if you weren't familiar with the place being a culinary school. They suggest making a reservation, and I'm glad we made one as the restaurant was quite full. The portions are just right. You won't likely leave with a doggie-bag. My favorite dish was a wild-mushroom minestrone which had an very rich and savory broth. I also had a divine caramel pudding with a pine-nut macaroon on the side. Yes, dessert is included and the dessert portions were very large. Overall, every course we had was delicious, well-seasoned, and was a lot fancier than your average weekday lunch. My office is nearby, so I'll definitely be back!
The interest of dining at Assignments prior to going was very high. My thoughts were similar to the thoughts of going to a Hair School: fresh product, cheap cost, and great service. After all, Assignments (or any culinary school) is giving culinary students the opportunity to practice in a real dining environment to earn a grade. However, I found my time spent at Assignments a complete mess of 3 hours on a Friday night. First thing you should know - don't go here expecting to be wined & dined... literally. Assignments does not offer any alcoholic beverages, so I settled with an Iced Chai. Or should I say, the most watered down creamy substance that had a bare taste of chai tea? Second thing - be prepared to receive your neighbor's order after 45 minutes of waiting and 15 excuses to follow. Different than a Hair School, where the heck are the teachers? And by teachers I mean instructors to pull these students aside and teach them what to say for damage control and what not to say. I don't want to hear "Oh, I'm sorry your salad didn't have cheese. Your salad was actually supposed to go to that table" while pointing at a table on the other side of the room AND my salad was not the only salad at our table of 4 missing the cheese in the first place. A white lie in the restaurant business can make or break a ticket - but don't blatantly lie when no one received cheese or dressing on their salads. Additional, be prepared for side arguments between the students. They look at each other on how to serve the plates, they point at which side to serve the plates, and they bicker about not serving the plates correctly. Again, the purpose of Assignments is to learn the front and back of the house - not just about getting the food out hot. I don't want to hear "that's wrong!" or "what" as a response when I ask a question, and "yeah" is not a good answer to an open-ended question. Lastly, my tips for Assignments-goers: 1) for the first course - get the duck; but ask for the ricotta to be served with the duck. This dish was incredible once I stole my neighbor's ricotta to accompany it. 2) I am not a fan of onions, but the onion vinaigrette is delicious.. once I got it! 3) the portions are small, but they are flavorful. And let's be real, America could warm-up to smaller portions at dinner, in general. 4) the dessert that reads "tart" - note that it is nothing more than a super-sweet sugar cookie bottom. 5) do not dine here if you have post-dinner commitments. The dessert alone took 34 minutes to come out and the menu is PREFIX!!! I will likely never go to Assignments again, but I think everyone should try it at least once - for the experience and to help the students learn. That said, I don't expect them to truly learn when the majority of people dining there are family members AND they fail to hand out survey cards to give feedback. I dined there in July and I am just now writing this because I have considered if I should or not. Is it fair to review a group of students on a public site?? Well, they didn't really leave me an option now did they...
This is a very interesting restaurant as it staffed by students. Yes, they are supervised by their teachers, but you do get some real "entertainment" when eating here. In our experience, the food is always very good to fabulous. Creative dishes and the student chefs go all out. The service is hit or miss. If you go at the beginning of the term, then the servers are very nervous (terrified is a better term) and you have to be kind to them. They are much better at working the front of the house at the end of the term. But, strong or weak, they are friendly and fun to work with. Every lunch we have ever eaten here has been enjoyable. P.S. ALWAYS call before you go. They close during school vacations. They change their operating hours all the time.
I had lunch at Assignments Restaurant on Jan 26, 2012. Ended up in the ER with food poisoning. Left 2 messages at the restaurant to check if someone else had had the same issues. No one called back. I would not recommend this restaurant and for sure will never go back!
I'm granting five stars because, overall: What a really neat experience!!! Go here with having fun in mind and you'll love it. Not so much a first-date place, but the absolute PERFECT place for you and a friend or three...(ok, OR the date you've seen a few times and thought "alright, we're diggin' each other so let's hit some fun places...") From what I understand, they rotate out and share the "server" part so this would explain whey your server might be nervous. Ours was a bit, but she was awesome! Be very nice to them, as I really don't think the focus is as much on the waiting tables part as it is being a chef - and this makes sense...to me, anyway. Now, let's move on the the food. It was OUTSTANDING! The menu changes quarterly but on the Winter 2011 menu - I had a steak that came with Gorgonzola cheese, hand cut fries and home-made steak sauce. It was perfectly tender and I SWEAR that I would have drank that sauce right out of a cup. I will definitely return to try some other things on the menu that were of interest and I hear they serve lunch too. Check it out!
So I booked us a table this past Valentines Day, we had never been before. I had heard about the premise of the restaurant, and thought that it would be fun. I mean sure, there are naturally some reservations (ha)....student employees...the food is cheap (literally...$21 for 4 courses)...so there are definitely ways that this experiment could go wrong. However, the staff all had perfect timing, and every course was really very delicious. I have had only a few better meals at "normal" restaurants, and MANY that have been worse. In addition, it was really quite fun to watch the students and instructors. We had a great Valentine's dinner...we'll definitely be back!
Our family came here for his birthday. My son is a cook in the military and we loved the four course meal. All the meals were delicious and well prepared. The unison service was a little weird because we weren't use to it, but all in all everything was amazing.
Last spring, before her son Sam entered ninth grade at Gonzaga College High School, Darla Gonson hired a tutor to prepare him for the transition to high school.
“We wanted someone to help him get organized and show him how to study, how to stay on top of things,” says Gonson. Sam had always gotten good grades but had difficulty focusing in class and remembering to turn in his homework.
Testing showed that Sam was wrestling with a delay in executive function, which describes how the brain’s delicately developing frontal lobe manages things like organization, switching focus, and planning ahead. “He’d be taking a math test and working on the fourth problem, but then he’d go back and work on the first problem again,” says Gonson, describing one of the clues that made her think Sam could use some extra help.
It’s a familiar scenario to executive function coach Kathy Essig, who works both as an independent consultant and within local private schools such as Maret and Landon.
“Neuroscience has taught us that frontal-lobe development can be out of sync with the rigor of the school system. Many children will be fine in their subjects if they can just figure out the organization, time management, and study strategies,” Essig says, noting that this often is an issue right around the time students enter middle or high school, when balancing assignments and developing good study habits becomes more challenging and more crucial.
As for Sam, “I didn’t want him to be overwhelmed by the intensity of the new school,” Gonson says of her reasons for hiring a tutor. “I could have helped him myself, but having someone independent of our family who could communicate the tricks and tools [of studying] better than I could took the stress off us both.”
Could hiring a tutor put more pressure on your child?
Ann Dolin, founder of Educational Connections, an educational coaching firm based in Fairfax, cautions that foisting a tutor on an unwilling student won’t do anyone any good. But for students who are clearly struggling or asking for assistance, a tutor can help connect the dots and preserve family harmony.
“Tutors can alleviate the stress of feeling disorganized and overwhelmed, help archive and purge papers, and break down long-term assignments,” says Dolin, who hired a tutor for her son, who is going into the seventh grade.
She notes that schools don’t often have the capacity to teach “soft skills”—organization, long-term planning, and effective study habits. “Plus, if a student doesn’t understand the way the teacher is teaching to begin with, more help from that same teacher doesn’t really help. But hearing the information from someone who can explain it in a totally different way,” she says, “a light bulb can go off.”
Even school administrators recognize the value in hiring a tutor: Frances Landau, a 23-year resource counselor at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, says that tutors can be the buffer that keeps families sane: “[Tutors] can help the parent step away from the process” and remove a layer of conflict. She notes that they can be particularly helpful for ninth graders, who tend to be less mature and may not have the organizational skills that high school requires.
Phil Pine, co-founder of DC-based Capital Educators, says that while the company’s primary goal is to raise standardized-test scores to improve college prospects, they’re looking to help students do more than pick up points. “We want them to gain the skills and confidence that will help them approach their college studies with greater independence, self-assurance, and success,” he says. Pine points out that once students conquer a test as intimidating and important as the SAT, they’re going to feel much more confident when taking on other academic challenges.
“You want someone who’s a mentor,” says Matt Dershewitz, an independent tutor who also runs a free tutoring program for hospital-bound kids at Georgetown University Hospital. “Sometimes parents think their kids need tutoring, but much of the time they just need some guidance to set up a structure and add accountability.” Dershewitz often calls his charges between sessions just to check in with them: “I have one kid whom I call every day and ask, What’s your homework? Are you ready for the test?”
With tenth grade on the horizon, Darla Gonson reflects on the decision to hire a tutor for her son as a hugely positive experience. “Sometimes Sam comes to me and says, ‘Mom, you were right,’” Gonson says. “It’s a lot of money to have someone come tell your kid that he needs to hand in his homework, but it was worth it to set him up for success in high school and college—and beyond.”
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