The Handbook
The Handbook
By | 7th December 2010

We may be more accustomed to Cassis popping up in our cocktails with a healthy measure of vodka but it’s also the name of a brand new restaurant that’s just launched in the Brompton Road on the former site of The Oratory.

Cassis is the latest offering from restaurant entrepreneur Marlon Abela’s MARC group whose portfolio includes Uma, The Greenhouse and Mortons, the four floor extravaganza of a private members club in swanky Berkeley Square. On the other side of the pond there are the Michelin-starred A Voce Madison and A Voce Columbus plus and the newly opened Francois Payard Bakery in New York.

The new restaurant focuses on the Provencal cuisines of Southern France, has been more than a year in the making and has been designed by Tara Bernerd of Target Living which took its inspiration both from the cuisine and the colours of the Provencal region.

Head Chef David Escobar uses the finest seasonal ingredients for his innovative menu that recreates the bold flavours of Provence in this Knightsbridge setting. Typical dishes include Pastis flambéed snails, Sea bream carpaccio, Bouillabaisse, Roast Landes duck breast, Monkfish ossobuco with St Marzano tomatoes and basil and then Rum baba and Grand Marnier and orange soufflé for dessert. An extensive wine list of over 650 bins comprises many unusual finds from the South of France and starts at a reasonable £18 per bottle.

Decor sees washed-out oak floors and bar-side banquettes with elegant Farrow and Ball hues adorning the walls alongside artwork from Matisse, Gary Hume, Julian Opie and Eve Arnold. There’s also a large zinc-topped bar lined with ruby red leather bar stools, oak-framed wine displays and an open fireplace. Cassis accommodates up to 90 people when it’s warm enough to dine al fresco and imagine that you’re in Province for real.