It has been said that Middlebury’s standards in its dining hall food surpass the norm. We have no meal plan nor swiping system that strategically keeps track of our every dietary consumption as everything is covered under the general comprehensive fee. All three dining halls– Ross, Proctor, and Atwater— offer special elements that keep ever-so-loyal regulars returning for each meal and cause people to check out the menu to see what the hype is all about because after all, checking the daily specials on go/menu is a favorite past time of all Midd students. For instance, Ross dining hall serves pizza every day, Proctor has awesome vegetarian selections present at every meal, and Atwater has ridiculous lines during peak hours. We also LOVE Breakfast for Dinner as lines are known to snake around the massive dining hall as students greedily help themselves to heaps of chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs done in southwest style (complete with red peppers, scallions, generous portions of cheese, cilantro, and salsa).
As great as our dining halls are, there will be times when students want to eat off-campus just to spice things up. This is where Dolci is introduced as a creative alternative to dining hall fare allowing students to enjoy a gourmet multi-course meal for free. Dolci tickets are available on Wednesdays at 9pm sharp and you may want to learn to be quick on the keypad as these tickets run out very quickly.
Pronounced “DOL-CHEEE”, this is an organization that enables aspiring chefs to use their skills in the kitchen and plan the most fantastic meals. This is all student-led. Generally, there are work slots for 3-4 prep cooks, 4 cooks, 2 dishwashers, and 4-5 waitstaff members. Work slots are also competitive as students find this to be a fun break from their studies. Themes vary by week; I’ve had the pleasure of attending several that ranged from just desserts to the most recent one— Harvest theme. The creamy beet soup was to drool over and the rack of lamb was worthy of being worshiped. The level of expertise and professionalism that is displayed in the food and service never ceases to blow me away.
It was wonderful to convene with old friends over this delicious meal and we laughed and cried (of happiness, of course) as we reflected on our freshman hall memories. Some formed new meaningful friendships as a result of this dinner and Dolci is just one of the ways that Middlebury fosters a sense of community in aspects of student life here.
I heard through the grapevine that the next Dolci theme will be Thai so make sure to get on board!
For those who are still skeptical, “it’s just a free dinner…” BRING A DATE!