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At Niagara Falls' Savor, fine dining at a bargain price helps students learn

A fine-dining restaurant run by students at Niagara Falls Culinary Institute reopened last week, providing elaborate meals at inexpensive prices to help students train for restaurant careers.

Savor, 28 Old Falls St., is open for lunch and dinner, with set-menu meals that allow customers to choose courses for a set price.

Other local budget-friendly dining opportunities created by culinary education include the Statler dining rooms at Erie Community College’s City and North campuses, and Emerson Commons, 70 W. Chippewa St., where high school students from Buffalo Public School 302 serve lunch.

At Savor, lunch, served Monday through Friday, costs $15, and because of Internal Revenue Service regulations, tipping is not allowed. (Though you can donate to a culinary scholarship fund instead if you feel so inclined.)

[Related: Thorough look at more culinary education opportunities for public benefit]

Here’s the rundown on the present menu. Lunch starts with fresh baked bread, the smoked eggplant spread called baba ganoush, salt-and-peppered butter and pumpkin butter. Choose one of smoked buttercup squash bisque with spiced pumpkin seeds and New York State maple cream, or roasted chicken and bacon soup with gnocchi dumplings.

Six lunch mains include spaghetti carbonara with housemade pork belly, a country fried chicken and waffle sandwich with bacon maple jam, apple slaw and house-cut fries, and two vegetarian options, including roasted root vegetable salad with whipped feta cheese, baby kale and pear vinaigrette, with housemade lavash crackers.

Lunch concludes with coffee and a small housemade sweet.

Dinner, served from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, is a similarly eye-popping value. For $25, diners get the same bread service, and the starters lineup is broader, including the roasted vegetable salad and a pierogi sampler.

Four entrees include coq au vin, New York strip steak, Parmesan mushroom arancini and grilled branzino with lobster risotto.

Desserts include panna cotta with cinnamon shortbread, warm apple and pear compote, pomegranate gelato, chocolate hazelnut crunch with chocolate mascarpone, hazelnut and cocoa nib mousse and flourless chocolate cake.

Call 210-2580 for reservations.

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