MANCHESTER, NH — The Quill, a student run, full service restaurant at Southern New Hampshire University, opens for service just eight days after the start of classes. For these ambitious and talented culinary students, it’s just another challenge.
“Some might question our sanity, but the students get up to speed real quick,” said Chris DeCloux, General Manager of The Quill.
DeCloux, who once owned his own restaurant, says the skill level and professionalism shown by the students continually surprises patrons of the restaurant.
“When one thinks of a student run restaurant, high quality might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But nobody in Manchester is cooking better food than us, and I have no problem saying this because I believe it,” said DeCloux.
The reason, says DeCloux, is that the students bring a high level of enthusiasm, energy and positive attitude to their jobs, something that can get lost in the grind of a regular restaurant.
“Also, it doesn’t hurt that every day in the kitchen is also a grade,” DeCloux quipped.
The restaurant is predominantly run by sophomores, with seniors taking the helm for several nights during the year to showcase their talents. The international menu is based on the students’ classes and working in the restaurant is the lab portion of their grade. Students are responsible for the front and back of the house and gain real world experience by working at The Quill.
This fall’s schedule opens on September 10 with a Northern Europe dinner. All dinners are five courses prix fixe for $28 and include your choice of an appetizer, entrée, soup, salad and dessert. On the opening evening, patrons have seven options for entrees, including a traditional Irish stew, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and Finnish cod cake and leek pie. There is also a vegetarian option.
Dinner is served Wednesday and Thursday evenings between 6 p.m. -6:30 p.m. Lunch is served on Tuesday and Fridays between 11:30 a.m. -noon. There is only one seating and reservations are strongly recommended.
Lunch begins on September 11 and this fall the theme is Italian. Lunch is priced at $5 for the first selection, $8 for two selections, $10 for three selections, and $14 for four selections. The Italian menu includes an extensive antipasto station, and entrees such as chicken Saltimbocca with mushroom risotto, wild Boar ragu with fresh papparadelle, and Monk fish with white wine and buttered polenta followed by a selection of desserts.
The fall schedule is set and it is worth pointing out a unique evenings where seniors take full control of The Quill, including staffing. Senior evenings are October 28 with Oktoberfest, November 4 with ‘A Night of Tapas’, on November 18 with a Sustainability Dinner. On December 8, students will host ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ where guests will vote on the prettiest and most flavorful amongst more than 20 wedding cakes as part of the student’s final grade. Finally, check out the Sensory Dinner on December 7. Here courses are served with different sensory deprivation, for example, one course you are blindfolded.
If you go;
- Reservations are strongly recommended, and it is ok to call the same day. Call 603-629-4608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- A 15% fee will be added to your bill; it is a donation to the Culinary Scholarship Fund.
- You are welcome to leave a tip for the students, but it has to be cash.
- All major credit cards accepted, but tipping is not allowed on a credit card.
- Seating for luncheons is between 11:30 a.m. and noon, and they reserve the right to refuse seating for guests arriving after noon. This policy ensures students have time to take care of their responsibilities before leaving for their next classes. For this reason also, the restaurant must close promptly at 1:30 p.m.
- Dinner has one seating between 6 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.
- Dinner is a $28, five course prix fixe, beverages not included.
- Lunch is typically priced at $5 for the first selection, $8 for two selections, $10 for three selections, and $14 for four selections.
- The Quill has a full cash bar. You are welcome to bring your own wine and there is no corking fee.