Cuisine Classique takes over across from the model train set in Germany.
Like with each of the previous Studios, Classique follows a theme although it’s perhaps a bit thin here as I’m hoping our beer isn’t going to arrive heated and stewed.
The $7.50 Braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Purée, Broccolini, Baby Tomatoes and Aged Balsamic is another solid contender – these dishes may not look quite as attractive as they were walked from Germany to Liberty Inn because of rain. The beef was incredibly tender but still retained a nice chew to each bite. The vegetables and the broccolini in particular were cooked to a nice al dente and had a nice flavorful crunch. And what looks like mashed potatoes but is actually parsnip puree helped soak up the flavors from everything placed on top. I could have done without the balsamic, I think, but we may have still been trying to recover from the Margherita Flatbread that we had tried a couple of kiosks before. Overall, this didn’t strike me as being unique enough to demand a purchase and some may find the vinegar in the balsamic a bit overbearing, but it’s certainly better than any of the regular quick service items in the area and the portion is deceptively large for the money. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
The Seared Red Snapper with Braised Ratatouille and Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc was seared nicely and at one time looked more attractive on the plate – the fish otherwise retained some its natural sweet nuttiness while at the same time soaking up the flavor from the light, but flavorful white wine and lemon butter. The braised produce, which was heavy on tomatoes, offered a nice burst of color and flavor when combined with the fish or eaten on their own. Like the braised beef, we are not exactly reinventing the wheel here, but it’s another solid dish that would stand out much more if almost everything else wasn’t so good.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Port Wine Poached Pear, Vanilla Panna Cotta and Pistachio Crumbs, which is served cold and has a nice, refreshing, fruity flavor with some cinnamon and spice that warms the palate. It seems like virtually all of the desserts are either chocolate or sourced from potatoes, so this is certainly a nice change of pace. The creamy vanilla panna cotta helps cut some of the juiciness from the pear and the pistachio crumbs are much more than a garnish with the nuttiness contrasting with the sweetness from the cream and pear nicely. Very good and another nice plating even after being trekked half way across the World.
The beer flight here is really solid particularly if you favor taste over obscurity or alcohol percentage. If you follow my Food/Wine/Flower/Garden reviews, you may have noticed that I typically favor rarity or uniqueness over flavor, which might be kind of silly. “This 3 Daughters beer sucks but you’re probably not going to be able to find it outside of the area, which may make it more attractive.” It’s the opposite for the most part with the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale being about as ubiquitous as a “craft beer” can be – easy to drink and with great flavor. Really one of the best pale ales you’ll run into. Bell’s Two-Hearted IPA is also a fantastic entry – smooth and pine-y with a nice citrus backbone. I had not tried the Milk Stout from North Carolina’s Duck-Rabbit Brewery, but it had all of the appropriate characteristics – roasted malts and chocolate. It’s also thinner than I was expecting given that it’s brewed with milk sugar – something I appreciated on an afternoon that was still 82 degrees. If you’re “Drinking Around the World” during the Festival dates, you might pick this up and pretend it’s from Italy rather than going with the Moretti.
Remember that the flight is three 4-ounce pours while the individual servings are six ounces.
The Campo Viejo Art Series Reserva looks to be a nice glass of wine from an $18 bottle if you’re in the market.
We continue with Mexico.