On Friday, L had plans that didn’t involve me, as none of his friends were bringing out their old broads. Boys’ night out is not only gender-unfriendly but is also the bane of my social life. To quell my displeasure, he promised we would go somewhere nice for dinner on Saturday. I wish I could say I am exaggerating that I subsequently spent hours debating between River Cafe and Cassis Bistro, but I’m dead serious. Did I want to go somewhere scenic and romantic? Or should I go somewhere close and charming? Cassis won in the end because the wines are more to my taste, and the latest Google reviews are consistently excellent. For this post, let’s listen to “Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son” by France Gall.
Unlike Rea’s Italian Cucina, which is packed at 6:00 pm and empties out by 8:30 pm, the guests at Cassis Bistro dine much later in the evening. When we arrived at 6:00 pm, only a quarter of the restaurant was full. However, when we left at 7:30 pm, it was starting to bustle with customers.
L started off with a beer ($8), I picked a glass of Sauvignon Blanc ($12), and we shared the Foie Gras Torchon ($24). The sauvignon blanc was delightfully cold, with bright acidity and green notes. I remarked to L that the temperature was optimal, as I like my wines cool and crisp.
I told L I was surprised he wanted foie gras, as he doesn’t usually eat rich foods. He responded that Cassis’s version is the best in the city, and he still remembers when we last tried it over a year ago. The texture of the foie gras was light and buttery. The thin ginger crisp was sweet and crunchy, accentuating the delicate savouriness of the liver. The portion was so large, so we added a side of French bread to mop up the last smear.
Oh my gawd, the bread was terrific, crusty on the outside with soft, silky innards. Even the butter was sublime, creamy and grassy, unlike the waxy version I eat at home.
We ate slowly to make each morsel last as long as possible. As we tenderly shared the last piece of bread, I felt like I was in the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp. At this point, I was getting excited for our main courses. L picked White Cream Veal ($44) for his main dish, and I ordered the BC Spring Salmon ($42).
The owner of Cassis recommended pairing our dishes with an oaky Novellum Chardonnay ($14). Pro-tip, always get the recommended wine pairing for each course, as this is the second time at Cassis that the wine and food pairing blew me away. Even L raved about the wine pairing. Again, my wine was served delightfully chilly – colder than my fridge can achieve.
The veal was firm but tender, and while the meat tasted clean and mild, the white cream was deliciously boozy. The side of potato gratin was piping hot and fluffy. The lentils were my favourite – lusciously seasoned and slippery smooth.
I typically order the mussels at Cassis, but I’m glad I ordered the salmon. The large flakes effortlessly fell apart when I took my fork to the salmon, which soaked up the rich, satiny smooth lobster sauce. I loved the fatty, fresh flavour of the salmon. This dish was so stellar that L was envious of my choice.
We shared Marquise ($14), a chilled dark chocolate bomb so damn good that I cleaned the plate. I don’t have a sweet tooth, so it has to be excellent for me to eat dessert.
This meal was so good I proclaimed that I would die happy if I died that night. When we woke up alive the next morning, L said that was one of the best meals he’s eaten all year. I concur. If you haven’t been to Cassis, I would highly recommend it.