French · Restaurants · Special Occasion

Cassis Bistro – Birthday dinner

Turning a year older wasn’t so bad this year due to the unexpected shower of gifts and well wishes from my family, friends and workplace. I started the day on the right foot with my father-in-law at Costco. From there, my day got even more exciting. To set the mood for this birthday post, let’s listen to a song I have stuck in my head, “Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donovan.

Initially, I wanted to try a new restaurant. However, Vero Bistro had a “wine and dine” event on Wednesday, and I didn’t want to partake. Franca’s has been on my list ever since I read about it in the news. Unfortunately, Franca’s isn’t currently open on weekday evenings. My third choice was omasake at Nupo, but the only seating was at 8:00 p.m. That’s too late for me to go out on a Wednesday night. So I settled for a tried and true favourite – Cassis Bistro.

Lindy is the best server I’ve experienced at Cassis. She provided excellent suggestions to make our meal even better. Also, her warm, welcoming personality added to our dining experience.

I started with a glass of Cellier Chartreux ($13, Lirac, Cotes du Rhone 2018) and L drank a Crisp Pils ($8). I found my wine light, with a minerally aftertaste.

I always enjoy the bread and butter at Cassis. The innards of the baguette were silky and soft, while the crust was crusty and munchy. The butter was rich and mellow and melted on my tongue.

We shared a big plate of Beef Tartare ($29). This main size order comes typically with frites, but we opted for potato chips instead. The beef tartare was fragrant – it smelled bright and refreshing like citrus and dill. The taste, texture and temperature was sublime – flavourful, soft and chewy. I would get this again.

The salad paired well with the tartare. I liked the subtle acidity in the creamy dressing. The spring greens were so fresh and crisp, and almost fluffy in texture. L liked the addition of beets, which added a sweetness that contrasted with the tartare and salad dressing.

To pair with my Duck Confit ($29), I ordered a glass of Chateau Franc ($14, Magnus Bordeaux 2016). I enjoyed the bigger, juicier notes in the Bordeaux over the Cotes du Rhone. I would order this wine again.

The duck at Cassis is outrageously decadent. The chef nailed everything that makes a duck confit so enjoyable. The skin was ultra-crispy, the meat was meltingly tender, and the hot, thin layer of duck fat triggered some serious eye-rolling ecstasy. The duck came with carrots and a generous side of potato gratin. The carrots were so delicious and sweet, I wondered where Cassis buy their produce.

L’s Steak ($44) was sublime. The exterior of each thin slice of steak had this delicious char. The interior was soft and flavoursome. I loved the sharp peppery notes in the gravy and on the extra crunchy frites. Sweet Besus, the food at Cassis is heavenly.

Hitting the Sauce gives her birthday and dinner two phat thumbs up. Thanks to everyone who made this coming of ageing event a spectacular day.

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