|Table with a View|
Described as fusion, the menu is engineered with French technique, a modern flare and an assertive focus on using the highest quality of ingredients, many of which are organic and found locally on the island. Specialty items such as Canadian lobster are imported live and, in the case of this crustacean, stored in Cascades’ own holding tank.
We’re here for dinner and have requested some of Cascades’ signature dishes in a six course tasting menu. Bread, amuse bouche and petite fours are all further inclusions. Soon after our water glasses are filled, warm bread is served with a selection of brown rolls, white baguettes, grissini, and crunchy flatbread sticks with black sesame seeds, for the choosing. We both take a wholemeal bun finding it soft throughout and munch on the crunchy grissini also.
The amuse bouche is a small bite of a signature dish that seems a treasured favourite, never to be removed, Beef Tartare. It’s gently seasoned with a splash of Asia with teriyaki, coriander and sesame seeds. A crisp black rice wafer, of a similar texture to a thin prawn cracker, holds the raw beef. It’s a precise, quality entrance to the meal.
A dome cover keeps the Oxtail Consommé perfectly hot from the moment it leaves the kitchen until it’s unveiled on the table. A long shaving of carrot wraps around finely chopped meat, tiny pieces of carrot, onion and chives, forming a petite orange roll in the centre of an almost clear pond of broth. Upon breaking, the vegetable wrapper unleashes its contents into the consommé. A defined smokiness carries through from start to finish. It’s another elegant dish.
The next plate is an eye-catching artwork and we soon learn that this is the direction of the new menu. A rectangle of mahogany hued slate is the canvas for a stripe of diced dehydrated mango dividing the plate down the middle. It’s dotted to the sides with tiny mounds of chopped sautéed seasoned red grapes and petite ponds of grape coulis. Red edible flower petals and a chunk of mango chutney add a splash of colour, but the protagonist of this show is the large fat disc of Hungarian foie gras terrine. The rich smooth wad of liver is wedged between bubbled beige wafers of filo pastry, standing proudly upright in the middle of the plate. Side components, no matter how small are not solely adornments but work to balance the intensity of taste and consistency of the terrine. Crunchy pastry jumbles up the mouthfeel, while the sweet fruit lightens the principle ingredient. It’s a must order.
The main course of veal is befriended with sweetbread, artichoke mashed with truffle, a baby carrot, and spinach. A cube of potato soaked in a demi-glace is a bite of flavoursome contentment and pretty yellow flowers brighten the fringe. Glistening in its own juices with a drizzle of red wine reduction, the meat is lightly caramelized around the edges and a rosy pink in the middle. I can’t imagine a more well executed dish.
Following European convention a Cheese Plate follows our main. This is no ordinary rendition however. A sharp creamy Brie, parceled in a fine layer of pastry, sits warm atop of a bundle of caramelized walnuts. A mesh of shredded leaves and micro greens make a bitter integrant and, strawberry crumbs form an attractive side sprinkle. Hubby sums it up simply, “Wow.”
Caramel Crunch arrives as dessert and sees whippy mounds of mousse stuck with thins of dark chocolate, strips of soft brownie, honeycomb crumbs and tiny meringues with a few drops of caramel sauce encircling it all. It’s rich and only a small amount is needed to satisfy, but it doesn’t stop me (nor hubby!) from scraping the bowl clean. Honeycomb sticks in the teeth reminding us of the wonderful finish. Yum!
We’re 100% satisfied. Not over stuffed. Not wanting a single drop of anything more and so very happy. Thank you chef Nic and the CasCades team for a deliciously enchanting evening.
Reasons to visit: beautiful scenery; hospitable service; Beef Tartare; Hungarian Foie Gras; Cheese Plate; Caramel Crunch.