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Elegant dining: Oak Room has new location on MTI's south campus

Chocolate chip cheesecake served with white and dark chocolate drizzles served at MTI's Oak Room. (Chris Huber/Republic)

Delightfully decadent desserts and mouthwatering main courses are what's for lunch as Mitchell Technical Institute's The Oak Room opens in its new location.

Now in its 52nd year, The Oak Room is used as a teaching tool for Mitchell Technical Institute Culinary Academy of South Dakota students. Between 10 and 20 students work on The Oak Room staff each year, rotating between a variety of jobs ranging from waiter to head chef. Students rotate positions every three or four days. "The second-year students get a chance to lead and help the first-year students out on some of the jobs," said Culinary Academy of South Dakota Instructor Jim Wagner. Wagner said the menu is created by faculty, but student chefs get to choose the chef's entree and introduce it to diners. The eatery is now situated in the new Campus Center building on MTI's south campus, along Interstate 90 in Mitchell. The new Oak Room features dimmed lights, candle centerpieces and eight tables with seating for 46 guests.

The Oak Room also is attached to an expansive new kitchen complete with some new equipment. The soft piano music can barely be heard in the dining room over the chatter of "it all looks so good" and "that sounds delicious" coming from the patrons as they look through the menu.

Appetizers, salads, soups and desserts are offered, and diners have a choice of three daily entrees. Meals are modestly priced for the quantity and quality of food, with most entrees costing around $8 and starters and desserts costing between $1 and $1.50. The Oak Room can only be experienced through reservations, which can be made by calling 995-3030.