Friday, 8 February 2013

REVIEW: Brasserie Flo, Maastricht, Netherlands

There are so many upscale restaurants in Maastricht it truly is one of the culinary capitals of Europe, though unfortunately it's not really recognized as one, most people I speak to have never even heard of the town, let alone it's restaurants. The town boasts a total of 8 Michelin stars, with one restaurant owning two of those, that's pretty impressive for such a small area.

Unfortunately I was unable to dine in a single Michelin star restaurant as they were all fully booked, luckily it's not all about those stars and instead we chose to dine at Brasserie Flo. The Parisian style French brasserie is all about classics presented in a modern style. Prices are pretty hefty but as with most restaurants in the area a set menu is offered, here it was €32.50 for the courses, relatively cheap compared with its neighbours.

Brasserie Flo restaurant Maastricht rillette of duck

The first starter out was salad with smoked duck breast, rillette of duck, duck sausage and a mustard cream. The different piece of duck bring a nice contrast to the dish turning it from boring salad to something a little more exciting. The duck breast was soft and tender, rillette was a little salty and I didn’t seem to notice much sausage, or any of it for that matter. The dish nice but to me it seemed more of a filler then anything; I don't think it quite knew exactly what it wanted to be.

Brasserie Flo restaurant Maastricht home smoked salmon

The home smoked salmon with potato pancakes, poached egg and horseradish chive cream was a good solid starter. The smoked salmon was very delicate in flavour but could of perhaps been a bit stronger. The potato pancakes seem to have been completely lost on my plate and instead I had blinis. Whether this mistake was just a direct translation just on the menu I'm not sure, still the blinis were the best I have ever had, incredibly light and fluffy. The runny poached egg and horseradish cream turned this dish into pure indulgence.

Brasserie Flo restaurant Maastricht roasted duck breast

For main we had the rose roasted duck breast and steamed haricot beans with a bacon and potato gratin. I should first point out that rose duck is again a bad translation on the menu, it is in fact true Margret de canard, the breast taken from a duck which had been brought up for the use of foie gras. Because of this the meat is much thicker, richer in flavour and very moist if cooked properly. The Margret de canard here is textbook quality, I couldn’t ask for better. The potato gratin was also practically faultless.

Brasserie Flo restaurant Maastricht roast guinea fowl

The second main of roast guinea fowl breast and braised leg with sauerkraut, pommes mousseline and a mustard sauce was cooked extremely well. The guinea fowl was a little on the tough side but I think I’m just being a bit picky, it was juicy and had lots of gamey flavour as you would expect. The pommes mousseline was again very good, smooth, buttery and light. The sauerkraut was OK but I have never been a big fan of it myself so I wouldn’t really want to comment, the mustard sauce gave the dish a nice kick!

Brasserie Flo restaurant Maastricht creme brulee

Desserts in the restaurant were defiantly its strongest area, they were excellent. The Crème brûlée with bourbon vanilla which arrived at the table on fire had a hard thick top layer with a beautifully toasty marshmallow like flavour. The crème was filled with sweet vanilla and its thick density gave it lots of substance. So delicious I could have done with two. The same had to be said for the next dessert.

Brasserie Flo restaurant Maastricht tarte tatin with caramel sauce

Tarte tatin with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream was heaven in a small dose. The pastry was buttery, light and flaky and the apples were sweet, caramelised and very soft. The caramel sauce and soft vanilla ice cream helped put this dessert into outstanding category. It is a dessert I will be longing for, until my next trip to Maastricht that is.

When it comes to French classics this modern brasserie is a great choice if you're looking for well cooked food at an affordable price with large portions. It may even be worth as visit if only for the desserts.

7/10

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