We continue on from the Wine and Dine Studio.
The Cheese Studio nestles itself in between the Chocolate and Wine & Dine Studios along the walkway that connects World Showcase and Future World near the Imagination Pavilion.
The Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake replaces last year’s Onion Tart and the wines are all-new,
- Braised Beef “Stroganoff” with Tiny Egg Noodles, Wild Mushroom, and Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce – $5.25
- Cheese Trio – $5.50
- Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Caramel and Pecan Crunch – $4.50
- La Crema Pinot Gris – $5
- Alta Vista Estate Malbec – $7
- Domaine Saint André de Figuière Rosé – $5
Braised Beef “Stroganoff” with Tiny Egg Noodles, Wild Mushroom, and Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce – $5.25
I’m always a little wary about food items that arrive in “quotations,” but on buy-one-of-everything day, there isn’t much of a choice in the matter. I really didn’t care for this one – the sauce should have a creamy, mildly sour character, but is instead sweet and goopy. The pickle, which I would not ordinarily add to stroganoff myself, is supposed to add a tart crunch to the sauce, but the unadvertised slice of cucumber is simply laid on top of the dish, probably so 99% of people can easily pick it off. The “Tiny Egg Noodles” are basically spaetzle and had a similarly gummy texture as the mushrooms. If the sauce had been more flavorful, then it might have been worth doing all of the chewing. And the beef this year was incredibly fatty. You can click this picture to see what I mean, but I wouldn’t suggest it because it’s pretty gross. An easy skip.
Cheese Trio – $5.50
Profiterole topped with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese and Orange Apricot Jam, Smoked Salmon Pinwheel with Boursin Shallot and Chive Cheese and Everything Seasoning, and Strawberry Macaron with Boursin Pepper Cheese
Another surprise, this trio offered a nice variety of satisfying flavors. I thought the profiterole was the weakest component – it was a pretty bland, dry puff pastry that wasn’t helped along as much as I would have liked with the tangy cheese and sweet apricot sauce. Still fine, though. I would have loved a larger portion of the salmon – the bread underneath had a terrific chew and the salmon was incredibly fresh and flavorful with a delightful zing from the herbalicious cheese. Really fantastic. You don’t typically see spicy cheese adorning macarons, but this was another bite that worked surprisingly well. The heat from the cheese contrasted really nicely with the natural sweetness of the macaron and the bit of sweet strawberry sauce spooned on top. On the downside, the platter serves two at most and you probably want your own.
Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Caramel and Pecan Crunch – $4.50
This might be our favorite new item at the Festival. The Cheesecake base is soft and plump, but sturdy enough to stand tall underneath a generous scoop of deliciously sweet, lusciously-maple bourbon cream with plenty of crunchy candied pecan pieces and then finished with a rich caramel sauce. Words don’t do it justice. You want to try it.
La Crema Pinot Gris – $5
You’ll see La Crema Chardonnay on the menus of a lot of mid-tier restaurants, but it’s interesting to see their Pinot Gris offered here. Officially, you should be able to pick up the “wet river stone” mineral undertones that are unique to Monterey Wine Country, but you’ll probably taste more peach, pear, and melon than anything. Still, if you’re trying to impress someone, mention that river stone and if they call you out on it, tell them to look it up. You were right all along. The bottle price is about $18, making the $5 pour a pretty average investment. Not bad.
Alta Vista Estate Malbec – $7
This is a poorer value considering the bottle price is the same, yet the pour costs $2 more than the Pinot Gris. The wine is appropriately spicy with softer tannins than a lot of the bolder blends we’ve seen so far. It’s too expensive to give strong consideration.
Domaine Saint André de Figuière Rosé – $5
This is a basic Rosé, dry and refreshing with your typical strawberry and watermelon notes with a heavy shot of minerals at the finish. It’s not worth seeking out, but if you’re here and in the mood for Rosé, it’s certainly not a bad buy at five dollars, relatively speaking.
The Cheesecake is a must-buy and you might attach a wine along with it if you’re in the mood. It may or may not be cheesy overkill to add the Trio, but you might consider trying both items. I probably wouldn’t on the Stroganoff, but the portion is large enough that even if you don’t love it, you shouldn’t feel too ripped off. This is a good stop this year.
We’ll saunter over to the Chocolate Studio next with the review here.