The new restaurant Pangea opened at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park last month. It is considered a pop-up restaurant, not only because the CIA re-purposed an existing classroom by turning it into a restaurant, but also because of how the students were involved in creating the eclectic plant based menu.

Is this a restaurant for "only vegetarians"? No, not at all. In fact, I challenge a carnivore to eat here and not feel full and satisfied. When I was speaking with the front of the house instructor, John Storm, he mentioned that the one comment that he gets from most guests is that they are so surprised about the combinations of ingredients. With most guests saying that they would never think to combine items like carrots and mango for a dessert, but the resulting dish leaves them talking for hours after their meal is complete.

Four courses is what you can expect. With in each course there will be a plate presented to you and explained in great detail, what you are enjoying. There will also be a plate that is shared at the table. (Are your counting? That's eight plates. You might want to eat a light breakfast and skip the mid-morning snack.)

I was thrilled to have Deuce with me. He is an adventurous food eater and was able to finish the table plate when I was getting too full to press on.

Other things to point out: the only choice you will have with your dining is vegetarian or not. When you sit down, you will be asked about any dietary restrictions. Then you will begin your experience.

"First and foremost it is a plant- and grain-focused cuisine that emphasizes the flavors and culinary possibilities of cooking with less animal proteins and more vegetal elements. This allows us to develop new delicious dishes that also have a positive nutritional value," Waldy Malouf, senior director of food and beverage operations at The Culinary Institute of America, said in a CIA press release.

Try this for yourself. The restaurant will only be open until June. Here are the hours of operation:

Lunch
Monday through Friday, 11:30AM – 1PM, now through May 5

Dinner
Monday through Friday, 5:30PM – 8PM, now through June 11

You will need to purchase a ticket in advance and that can be done through their website. Beverages, other than tea or coffee will be additional and payable at the end of your meal. Would I go again? Yes, to continue to see what the students do with the ever changing menu and to check out the differences between lunch and dinner.