NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Going out with GDS 


Picture your perfect Valentine’s Day dinner. Maybe there are candles on the pristine white tablecloth, and a chocolate fountain gurgling merrily in the background. The chef brings out a dish and whips off the cover with a flourish.  

I don’t know about you, but when I think of romance, I think of NJIT’s own Gourmet Dining Services, better known as GDS. On the amorous evening of Feb. 14, the service hosted a three-course Valentine’s Day dinner for the price of $24.95 per person, with participants able to reserve spots at 6:45 or 8 p.m. As soon as I heard about the event, I knew I had to check out GDS’s finest.  

So, that night, second-year computer science major Nishtha Dandriyal and I walked to the University Club, a dining room on the main floor of Eberhardt Hall, to celebrate Galentine’s Day. In complete honesty, we had some misgivings about the occasion, as we were the only two who had registered for a table. I didn’t even know if there would be food — would you make a meal if you knew only two people would be coming, and that they might not even show up on time?  

In that sense, I am truly grateful to the Gourmet Dining staff who organized the occasion. Despite the entire dining room being empty, they made our experience there special with their warmth and friendliness. They were extremely kind, taking photos of us from multiple angles so that we could preserve the experience.  

The menu had been announced a few days prior; the appetizer and dessert were fixed, while attendees could choose between three options for the entrée: 


Salad with mixed berries and pecans  

Main Dishes 

Braised short beef ribs 

Chicken breasts stuffed with mushrooms and cheese 

Vegetarian wellington 


Roasted broccoli  

Baked potato 


Strawberry mousse parfait 

Just to be clear, I don’t mean to harp on the chefs; it’s not like I can cook. This review is just meant to be a recap of the experience in good fun!  

First, we got water in some of the largest wine glasses I’ve ever seen. I just hope that they’re not actually used for alcohol, or diners might need to take a nap before returning to work — or driving home. Riding on the high of being served in a wine glass like I was a grown-up, I requested the vegetarian option as a final farewell to my short-lived vegan diet.  

Spoiler alert: the salad was the highlight of the entire meal. There were no wilted leaves in sight; not only was there a variety of colors and textures, but it was very flavorful as well. I also think it was a good portion, as appetizers go — Gourmet Dining really stepped it up for this one.  

Dandriyal and I are both vegetarian, so we had the same entrée but different opinions of it. For context, a wellington, of chef Gordon Ramsay’s “Where’s the lamb sauce?!” fame, is usually a chunk of meat wrapped in pastry and baked. For this rendition, a meat substitute was used instead.  

Now, I personally don’t like the taste of meat, and I found the substitute eerily close to the real thing. When I cut into one of the larger pieces, there was pink inside — of course, this was meant to mimic what a wellington usually looks like, but I was repulsed and couldn’t eat much of the remainder. I don’t blame Gourmet Dining for this preference, however.  

What I can blame them for is the serious lack of seasoning in almost everything. When the food came out, we took a few bites. Then we looked at each other and wordlessly began to shake the salt and pepper over our entire plates indiscriminately. After this, the meal became much more tolerable.  

I read once that the reason why humans have molars, like herbivores, and canines, like carnivores, is because our diet was omnivorous before the advent of agriculture and oat milk. For most people, it still is. However, not even the most dedicated herbivore could have chewed through the broccoli; after gamely spending ten minutes gnawing on a stalk, I decided to cut my losses.  

The potato was fine, as most potatoes are; I, for one, have never met a potato I didn’t like. However, Dandriyal was not a big fan and found the wellington more appealing. I think that this difference comes down to the texture, as both tasted about the same.  

Dessert was the last arrival, and I actually did not have many issues with it besides the name. I was expecting to see strawberry mousse parfait, as per the menu, but we were served whipped cream in a chocolate cup. I don’t think anyone could dislike this, but I had just expected something a bit different.  

So, would I bring someone here for Valentine’s Day? First, I’d have to find a date, and I wouldn’t want to scare them off; everyone knows that multiple courses scream commitment. If your significant other is an insomniac, though, I would highly recommend it. I had the best night of sleep afterwards, a feeling not unlike being knocked out by anesthesia or tranquilizers.  

Yet despite all this bellyaching, the experience was a lot of fun and one-of-a-kind. If nothing else, the lighting was fantastic. 

3.5/5 Crabs 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Vector

Your donation will support the student journalists of New Jersey Institute of Technology. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Mrunmayi Joshi, Managing Editor
Donate to The Vector

Comments (0)

All The Vector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *