Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Orlando has a full-service restaurant, Technique, which is open to the public with very limited dinner hours from Tuesday through Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The opportunity to experience culinary students using what they’ve learned in a traditional dinner setting was what interested me most about Technique. The restaurant offers a choice between a three or four-course menu at $10 or $15, respectively.
Adam and I were treated several weeks ago by Chef James Wessman and his staff to beautifully presented four-course meals. Adam chose the Nicoise Salad with Seared Ahi Tuna, Caprese Salad, Lamb Loin, and the Classic Creamy Cheesecake. The presentation of the salad with Ahi Tuna was nicely put together, and the tuna had a nice color, but was a little on the bland side. Maybe a pinch of an herb or spice would’ve given the tuna a slight boost.
The Caprese Salad included a great fried mozzarella cheese that was surprisingly light and not oily at all. The cheese was served with fresh heirloom tomatoes — red and yellow slices of possibly Beefsteak or Brandywine — in an olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Few starters beat super fresh, thick tomatoes with simple dressing to open a meal.
Adam mentioned the Lamb Loin was a tiny bit overdone, but still tasty with a delicious mint chimichurri sauce. The mint flavor of the sauce complimented both the lamb and vegetables and then opened up to a full-bodied spice with each bite.
The Classic Creamy Cheesecake was light and almost fluffy by the way it just melted in our mouths, but still held together with a solid consistency. When we told our server that the cheesecake was one of our most favorite dishes of the night, she grinned and excitedly told us that she made the cheesecake herself. Adam and I were both thrilled to be able to let her know how much we enjoyed her cheesecake!
My four courses were the Grilled Fruits and Arugula Salad, Chef’s Soup of the Day, which was a Chicken Vegetable Soup, the Filet Mignon with Tomato Hollandaise, and Chocolate Mousse. The arugula, grated cheese, and sweetness from the fruit went well together, but there wasn’t any of the caramelization I expect with a grilled fruit. Still, a refreshing way to start a meal after walking in from a balmy Florida night. The crispy prosciutto and arugula helped cut through the sweetness of the fruit. I could easily see this salad served as a large, lunch-sized portion.
My Chicken Vegetable Soup was surprisingly sweet from the sliced carrots, but the cubes of bread and shredded chicken helped balance the carrots in the light broth. Our server was quick to let me know that my original entrée, the Veal Shank with Risotto, was not available, but I’m glad I chose a medium rare filet mignon. The meat had a buttery, tender consistency and was nothing short of melt-in-my-mouth delicious. Fries were an unexpected, but tasty side — I have a soft spot for well-made shoe-string fries. The small tomatoes served with the filet were interesting; they seemed skinned, extra juicy, and were garnished with what could have been baby beet greens or tiny field lettuce leaves. Either way, interesting touch on a grilled plate.
The chocolate mousse was served chilled in the form of a sizable round ball and garnished with a few raspberries and raspberry sauce. The mousse had a thin layer of Viennese sponge cake at the bottom and an outer chocolate shell. The chocolate was darker than I expected, and would have been balanced out a little more with an additional raspberries or raspberry sauce to help temper the dark chocolate flavor.
Technique is a capstone course for the students, the menu changes often, so patrons can always look forward to something new. Adam and I had a relaxing time at Technique and wonderful talk with Chef James afterward, so I’m sure we’ll invite friends and visit Le Cordon Bleu again soon.
Disclosure: The food mentioned in this post was paid for by Technique, although the views and opinions expressed in this post are purely my own. This post was not reviewed by Technique in any way.
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