387 S. Oyster Bay Rd. Plainview, NY 516-653-0090
Vintage ads, tiled floors and a full bar offer a full dining opportunity, with a menu offering dishes prepared with French flair.Hours:
Lunch: Noon-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Dinner: 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.Reservations:
Brasserie Cassis, an offspring of Bistro Cassis in Huntington and Bistro Citron in Roslyn, lets the beer flow, the wines uncork and the bracing food of French memory spark your appetite.
Besides, the place looks terrific. Someone has spent more than a few meals and euros trying to re-create the image and feel of a vintage brasserie. It may not be Bofinger or Balzar, but Brasserie Cassis is a snappy faux show, full of re-created color and genuine good fun.
The posters, the vintage clock, the mirrors, the lighting, the bright and faded touches create a sparkling stage set. The artwork includes a framed menu from Taillevent, the exemplar of Parisian haute cuisine, as much to say what the brasserie is not; and a photo of the popular Bistro Cassis, as if to underscore from where it's coming.
So get started with chef Alexandre Petard's excellent, sauteed frogs' legs in garlic and butter or his bracing onion soup gratinee. Sample a satisfying salad of frisÃ©e aux lardons, or zesty filets of marinated herring with potatoes and onions.
A richer opener is tartiflette, a potato gratin with tangy goat cheese, smooth and nutty Reblochon, prosciutto and greens. But the onion tart is pretty tepid stuff. The house's gilded crab cake veers continental with shaved fennel.
Roast chicken for two arrives juicy and generous, as does the savory fondue Savoyarde, made with Comte cheese. The kitchen sends out a lush croque monsieur, the toasty ham-and-cheese sandwich. And the brasserie takes a practical, Italianate turn with ravioli in a lush walnut-cream sauce.
Tender, grilled hanger steak in a red white-and-shallot sauce is one of the essential main courses. But the shepherd's pie, with ground sirloin, materializes on the dry side; the braised lamb shank, slightly underseasoned.
A special of choucroute Alsacienne, the classic of braised sauerkraut and pork, has the general idea, but could use a bit more verve and variety; just as the localized bouillabaisse, while heady with anise, would be better by emphasizing finfish.
For dessert, profiteroles improve on peach Melba, fruit tarts on chocolate mousse, strawberry cheesecake on each.
Among the beverages here is Absente, an herbal liqueur that intimates absinthe, the high-octane, wormwood-driven drink. In the absence of "the green fairy," it certainly will do.
And unless you have a reservation tonight at La Coupole or Le Vaudeville, so will Brasserie Cassis.