—by Dave Williams–
Le Juene Chef which translates to “young chef” self-describes as a casual, fine dining experience, and it is that….but in reality, it is so much more. It is hosted by the School of Business and Hospitality at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA. Staffed by industry professionals, students partake in learning the ins and outs of preparing and presenting a “fine dining experience” in concert with their studies.
Lunch is offered Mon-Fri. from 11:30-1:30. Dinner is served Wed-Sat. from 5:30-8 and Sunday brunch is available September-May reflecting the school year. Dinners are subject and cuisine themed. Of course, al a carte dining is available featuring changing cuisines using fresh local ingredients, but the themed offerings are truly remarkable. For example, they have a Regional American Dinners highlighting America’s vast culinary variety. In addition, they also have Classic Cuisine Dinners from around the culinary globe where old world cooking is showcased. Both of these dining experiences provide 5-7 course meals properly sequenced and presented on a completely set table. The price for American Cuisine Dinners is $34.95, and $39.95 for the Classic Cuisine. Wine is considered an essential part of the meal. Wine flights are offered to pair with whatever themed cuisine you select at very reasonable prices. The wine list boasts 400+ wines. All wines are no more than $10 over retail which enables one to experience a truly great wine at reasonable (not restaurant) prices. I saw outstanding Bordeaux and Burgundy at $60-90 per bottle, not the $200-500 restaurant prices. Oh, I almost forgot they offer cooking classes as well. There is too much to cover in a brief article so I encourage you to visit their website www.pct.edu/lejuenechef to see all they offer. Williamsport may not be convenient for spontaneous dining out, but I can tell you it is well worth planning a trip. Reservations required.
I enjoyed the Gascony and Languedoc themed Classic Cuisine and I was nothing short of delighted with both the food and service. Seven superb courses, wonderfully presented in partnership with a corresponding wine flight. This is “dining” by definition. The sommelier and I had an active exchange which only enticed me to return to experience other great wines at affordable prices.
Le Juene Chef Restaurant, Pa. College of Technology, 1 College Ave., Williamsport, PA. 17701 ~ PH 570 320-2433 ~ www.pct.edu/lejuenechef