Good eats – The Daily Meal says Connecticut College has some of the nation’s best food

Students put the finishing touches on their dishes for a
Students put the finishing touches on their dishes for a "Top Chef" competition at Harris Refectory. In its rankings, the Daily Meal praised the special events offered through Connecticut College dining.

As good as the chowder and ice cream may be on the Connecticut shoreline, a major website has found the on-campus food at Connecticut College to be just as delectable.

For the second straight year, The Daily Meal included Connecticut College on its list of the Best 75 Colleges for Food in America. The Daily Meal was even more impressed after second helpings, moving the College up four places from No. 38 in 2013 to No. 34 on the 2014 list.

The Daily Meal’s profile of the College praises the menu in the dining halls, including regional favorites like New England clam chowder and specialties like white cheese broccoli pizza. But for Ingrid Bushwack, director of Dining Services, mealtime at Connecticut College is also about good service.

“We strive to provide the best experience possible,” Bushwack said. “It begins the moment diners step through the door and see smiling faces of all our staff, from our cashiers to the cooks creating great food and continues with the people behind the scenes, washing dishes and cleaning up.” 

Beyond the food and ambiance, Bushwack said that Dining Services communicates well with students and employees to meet dietary needs and preferences. In Harris Refectory, the College’s largest dining hall, students regularly write notes, draw pictures and even pen poems to the staff, providing feedback and requests. Each of these “Napkin Notes” is reviewed and staff members post them on a bulletin board, complete with responses from the staff.

Matt Delaporte ’17 of Lincoln Park, N.J., is one of several students on the Dining Services Advisory Committee, which meets biweekly to discuss ways to keep students well fed and happy. The committee’s input has led to changes, including adjusting meal schedules to accommodate student needs and making health information, such as calorie content and ingredients, more readily available to students.

“Dining Services is very good and receptive to our suggestions,” said Delaporte, a government major. “Often we see changes in places like Jane Addams (dining hall) and Harris within a few hours of our meetings.”

The Daily Meal’s profile raved about themed dining events, including the Happy Halloween Celebration and Festivus, a nondenominational holiday party originally modeled after a famous Seinfeld episode. The profile also complimented the student-run Sprout Garden Club for sustainability efforts and organic culinary offerings.

Delaporte said that each dining facility has signature events and meals that students enjoy, including Sundae Sunday in Harris and wing nights at Jane Addams. His personal favorite is the stir fry night at Freeman.

“They really make sure that there’s a variety of good food out there and the staff is really polite and friendly,” Delaporte said.

August 20, 2014