Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jasper Getaway 2011, Day Three: Cassio's Italian Restaurant Review

Our decision on where to eat tonight was a difficult one. I had thought we'd do one of three things:

Pick up pizza and eat in the hotel room
The L&W Restaurant or Cassio's Italian Restaurant

All day, we weren't sure what we wanted. I was feeling a little off this afternoon and wasn't feeling anything. After another great day of sightseeing and picture taking, we came back to the hotel for a little rest before deciding.

My husband was in favour of going out for dinner - I always agree with him but I decided I didn't feel like either of the restaurants I'd previously suggested. So, back on the Internet I went in search of somewhere else.

I selected two options - based on other reviews I'd read. The options were Karouzo's Steaks & Seafood and the Downstream Bar & Grill.

Karouzo`s has apparently closed for the season. It would have been REALLY handy if their website had said so. Jasper is a year round community - so it was a huge surprise to us as well as the several other bewildered patrons we saw wandering past.

Deterred but not finished, we headed on to Downstream. Not being able to find a menu on line, I really had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, most restaurants in Jasper post their menus outside - reviewing what the Downstream had to offer, we decided to pass.

A little further down Connaught Drive and we happened upon one of my original choices, Cassio's. When we were here two years ago, we went in to this restaurant but left as the menu was not at all something either of us would enjoy. But apparently, things have changed since 2009 and the new menu was very appealing.

The decor is a mash of Mountain inspired Greek. It's dim and potentially romantic and if you want a window seat, a reservation is required. We were tucked back at a private table that over looked the entire restaurant - it was perfect for us.

We ordered the Artichoke and Spinach Dip for an appetizer. First, we were presented with a small loaf of warm bread with a vinegar and oil dip. The bread was fab but neither of us were big oil/vinegar fans so butter would have been a nice option. Very shortly after it arrived, the dip came. It was served with ciabatta crisp and another portion of the dinner bread. The dip was good - very cheesy but a bit oilier than I would have liked. The ciabatta chips were amazing and the highlight of the dish. The spinach would have been better if it had been shredded instead of whole leaf lumps and the artichokes were few and far between.

For our mains, I ordered the Fettuccine Con Polo and my husband had the Cannelloni.

The fettuccine was excellent - although I had to add a table salt for a bit more flavour. The chicken pieces were plentiful and tender and the noodles were fresh, light and cooked to perfection! The sauce was creamy, light and just the perfect combination of garlic and cream.

My husband reported the cannelloni was "good". He felt the Rosé sauce blended harmoniously with the mild flavour of the cannelloni filling.

We both had a glass of wine with dinner and coffee for dessert. My husband ordered the Hot molten lava cake, which is described as "individually baked chocolate cake filled with hot chocolate fudge,topped with vanilla ice cream, raspberry coulis and whipped cream". My husband said it was good - but he doesn't like it when many flavours are brought together. Chocolate should be chocolate, on its own.

Overall, the portions were HUGE - too big even! The value for money was very good and the atmosphere was relaxed. The service was very good - friendly and cheerful and the owner popping around to all the of the tables checking on how the meals were was also an added bonus. Cassio's certainly has a great menu, good value and exceptional quality. Our dinner for two, with appetizer, wine and dessert (including tip) was $105.

We would give Cassio's Italian Restaurant:


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