Friday, October 1, 1999
Restaurant review: Cassis Bistro Français French Restaurant 16 Post Office Square, Andover, MA
Drive 25 minutes from Carlisle, right into France. Last summer we discovered Cassis Bistro in Andover. After two dining experiences, we found the food and service to be of consistently high quality. The décor at Cassis is exactly as I remember the French bistros, white tiled walls and white window curtains. It must have been easy for the owners to duplicate this, as David Rosetto (the name sounds Italian but he is indeed French) is a direct import. He and his lovely wife Michelle have been in the restaurant business on both sides of the Atlantic and their combined years of experience are evident, though this is their first personal restaurant venture. On a side street in Andover, this bistro boasts all the robust flavors of France with both light and medium presentations. We were told the menu is lighter in summer to match the season and progresses to heartier dishes in fall and winter.
Our first visit started with a shared pâté ($7). This was chicken liver pâté with port gelée, cornichons and toasted pinenuts. We don't have pâté often these days so we truly appreciate an exquisite combination of flavors and lovely presentation. Earlier this summer I had the monkfish with lobster sauce ($17) and the reduction in the preparation of the lobster sauce brought this monkfish to new heights. Alex had pork tenderloin with scallion, red bliss potato salad and herb jus ($17). On our latest visit there in August, we started with a goat cheese tartelette with vegetable confit and black olive vinaigrette ($7.50). It was exceptional. For entrée, Alex had a sautéed sea bass with homemade fennel and haricot vert salad ($17), and I had the rack of lamb with rosemary jus, cocoa beans and arugula. (Now doesn't that sound like an unlikely combination? It was unlikely, but it worked!) This was a wonderful flavor combination ($21). We had the house wine, a red Le JaJa de Jau from the Languedoc region of France at $23 and dessert at $5.50 was a classic chocolate tarte on one visit and a fresh raspberry tarte on another.
The service at Cassis is exceptional. From the owner/hostess greetings at the door to the delightful and knowledgeable waitress, everything made for a pleasant visit. I would highly recommend Cassis and strongly suggest dinner reservations.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito