Cassis is back. Owner Jef Fike is reopening his dearly missed French country-style restaurant, but this time on a beach, Alki Beach to be exact, at 2820 Alki Ave SW.
New head chef Andy Dekle, formerly of the Ruins and Portage Bay Cafe, will carry on the style of cooking that Fike fell in love with on a trip to France, where he ended up staying in the coastal town of Cassis a week longer than he had planned.
During the restaurant's 10-year hiatus, Fike would run into old patrons who asked when he planned on reopening. One such encounter resulted in Fike opening Cassis at Alki, in a building owned by a couple that had frequented the restaurant's previous location on Capitol Hill.
Cassis will be open from Wednesday to Monday from 4 to 10. Here are five reasons to get excited about its triumphant return.
It's the same as before, in a good way. The location just might be the only thing different from the Capitol Hill days, says Fike. He brought a few mementos from the 10th Avenue days, like the mirror behind the bar and the drawings of the original restaurant that now greet you on the wall beside the maitre d'.
French classics and rotating seasonal dishes. Staples like steak frites and mussels mariniére will always be on the menu. A classic fish soup, which was wildly popular at the original Cassis, also made the permanent list. Wintertime fare includes marinated winter vegetables, and a braised pork with root vegetables and greens.
Francophilic cocktails. Half of the bar in the back is covered in oranges ready to be zested and paper-wrapped bottles of bitters. Drinks like the Cassis martini and the Pompier both make use of the French liqueur Cassis, made from black currants. The Alki 75 is an elderflower-tinged take on the classic Parisian Champagne cocktail.
Let's not forget it's on a beach. West Seattle residents may not need the reminder, but Alki Beach has pretty stunning views. Hop the Sound on the water taxi and grab the free shuttle bus along the beach to Cassis, or anyone wanting to really work up an appetite and take in the views can skip the bus and walk the 2.3 miles down the beach.
Everyone likes a comeback story. It is not an uncommon occurrence for a restaurant to close, but for a well-loved and missed restaurant to reopen... well not to be too sentimental, but that is reason to celebrate. Perhaps with a bowl of moules and a glass of Champagne.