Crestview Inn restaurant open for business

READY TO SERVE — Culinary arts students prepare meals in the Crestview Inn Restaurant at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School. The eatery opened its doors on Tuesday and operates from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. To make reservations, order takeout or obtain information, call (740) 264-5545, ext. 602.

BLOOMINGDALE — The Crestview Inn Restaurant officially has opened for business and gives culinary arts students a taste of life in the working world.

The student-run eatery at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School offers a menu of breakfast and lunch dishes. Program instructor Glenn Zalenski said it is open from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and is operated by senior students. Takeout and dine-in services are available. Small meetings and parties also can be accommodated in the 40-seat dining room.

“This year, we are striving for more of small, basic menu, and they will add seasonal items as the season changes. We will have pies and cookies for the holidays, heavier meats and stews in the winter and lighter salads in the spring,” he explained. “We are bringing back a few favorites and will add more complex items.”

Among them are original-recipe burgers with fresh beef, homemade chicken patties, a steak dinner, pumpkin soup and guacamole, all made from scratch. Zalenski said this was the largest group he’s had in one class with 16 juniors and seniors. Because of the size, the class has been divided into groups that rotate in the kitchen each day. Some also will be assisting in the school cafeteria to gain more hands-on experience.

“They will get practical experience in mass food production by working in the cafeteria line,” he added. “We have a super class and my expectation is for them to come up with some great menu items.”

The restaurant seats up to 40 people, and groups have already started booking reservations.

The program has incorporated a smoker created by the JVS welding program and a small herb garden. Fundraisers are planned to help the program, including the second-annual cookie walk around the holidays.

“Every day they will also be working on their competition skills. They will be given two hours to hone their skills,” Zalenski said. “They will be given items and ingredients and must portion them out and cook two dinners each day. Each group will be in the staging area once a week.”

He added that the junior project is to establish a restaurant from the ground up, which incorporates building and operational costs, product pricing and talking with the health inspector.

For information about Crestview Inn, to make reservations or to order takeout, call (740) 264-5545, ext. 602.