It was just a couple of weeks ago that I finally made it to Cassis Bistro. This is surprising, mainly because I'm a huge fan and regular customer of their chef Dominque Moussu's other venture, L'Epicerie.
After hearing all the raves,Vicki and I finally ventured in for a weekday lunch. Cassis is located in the Casel building at the corner of 17 Avenue and 24 Street/Crowchild Trail southwest, across from the military museum. It's part of the Casel Marché conglomeration on the main floor of the building, which also includes Market 17, a J. Webb Wines store, and the Bro Doughs pizzeria (which I have also been meaning to try).
Cassis itself is a small but charming place. The vibe is French bistro as you'd expect - very relaxed and yet upscale at the same time. The menu is also petite, and changes seasonally. Vicki bypassed her namesake Victoria shrimp salad in favour of the quiche of the day, which was seafood, and I had a croque monsieur.
Vicki's quiche was perfect. The pastry was buttery but firm, and it was generously studded with seafood. The flavours of each individual type of seafood were distinguishable, with the salmon a particular standout. It was accompanied (as was my sandwich) by a green salad that was lovely and light to contrast both of our heavier main dishes.
My choice of the croque monsieur may have been a bit of a cop-out, because I already know I love Moussu's version at L'Epicerie. However, since he's now chef at both places, I wanted to see if they had changed it any at Cassis. They didn't - and that's good. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and Moussu's croque monsieurs remain perfection. If there was any difference at all (and I'm reaching here) the Cassis version may have used slightly less bechamel sauce.
Another carry-over from L'Epicerie to Cassis is the standard of service. Bar none, this is some of the best in the city. The staff are attentive without being pushy, and were completely gracious as we sat and gossiped after finishing our meal.
It may have taken me awhile to visit Cassis, but it won't be long until I go back. Literally. On Monday, October 15, at 6 p.m. I'll be one of the judges for the One-Pot Turkey Leftovers recipe competition being hosted at Cassis by Culinaire Magazine.
Notably, shortly after our lunch, Cassis was named of the top 50 restaurants in Canada by Maclean's magazine. I'm delighted to report that Maclean's and I agreed on almost all their Calgary choices, which included Model Milk, Charcut, and Rouge, among others.
#105, 2505 17 Avenue SW