I remember last winter, when I was shoveling the snow, my ex-neighour raved about the charcuterie platter at Cassis Bistro. One year later, I finally got a chance to check it out. I wanted to have a light dinner, so when I called to make reservations, I requested two seats at the bar. I imagine there’s nothing more annoying to a small, busy restaurant when a couple monopolizes a table only to sip and snack the night away.
The ambiance at Cassis is something special. The French music in the background was playful and lively. At the back of the room, a silent black and white film was projected against the wall. As the evening grew longer, the room became darker, illuminated by candles and soft lighting.
I like the energy at the bar. Service throughout the night was attentive, courteous, and friendly. It seem to me that all the staff enjoyed working at Cassis. L ordered a Kronenbourg while I ordered a glass of house white wine ($7.00). I don’t anywhere else in Calgary where I can get a nice glass wine for $7.00.
To start, we ordered the Charcuterie plate ($19). L hates pate and mustard, but Cassis’s version converted him into a believer. I love pate, and Cassis makes the best that’s ever graced my taste buds. The house made pate was velvety smooth, creamy and decadent. The pate melted on my tongue like butter. L and I both enjoyed the meats. All the cuts were flavourful without being overpowering. For example, the Rosette de Lyon wasn’t too cured or salty. The salami wasn’t overly fatty. The French ham was light and clean tasting. The platter came with a pile of cornichons, black pitted olives, three types of bread and two types of mustard. We enjoyed the charcuterie even more so than our usual favourite haunts.
I wasn’t hungry, but we decided to order the Steak Frites ($32). The edge of the slices of the prime grade Alberta striploin had a crusty seasoning, a stark contrast to the tender centre. I like the light white cream sauce drizzled over the pieces of steak. I used the frites to mop up the sauce, which were crunchy, light and nicely seasoned. I think Cassis makes one of the best house salads in the city, the dressing has a nice bite to it, while the lettuce taste like it was pluck from a garden.
I mentioned to L that I would like to have my birthday dinner at Cassis. The bartender overheard and mentioned that they would be happy to arrange a set menu for our party, as well as wine pairings. Regardless of where L takes me, or if I have a party, we will be back to this neighbourhood gem. I have my eye on the Milk Fed Veal Chop ($36) and the Wild Mushroom Fricassée ($14).