Restaurant Week: Cassis measures up

dish-cassis-outsideRestaurant Week comes to Cassis on Water Street. The verdict? Awesome!
PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR

"How bad was it?" jokes Cassis chef/owner Sean Lawford after a Hook reporter had finished interviewing three Charlottesville Restaurant Week goers at his Water Street restaurant. It's not often he gets such immediate feedback, perched as he is at the stove behind the bar, but he didn't have to worry about a bad review this time.

"It..was...awesome," declared Charlottesville resident Sue Alston and her two daughters, Lyndsey and Helen. Although the family has lived in Charlottesville for ten years, the elder Alston said they had never been to Cassis before. But Restaurant Week was too tempting to pass up.

"It was definitely worth it," said Lyndsey. "The portions were good...there was plenty to eat."

Indeed, around 6:30pm tonight it looked like there were plenty of people eating at Cassis, as the patio and right side of the inside of the restaurant were already full.

The elder Alston, a transplant from Great Britain, says she's been telling everyone she knows about Restaurant Week. Asked if they'd welcome another one in January, the verdict is unanimous.

"We would definitely do it again," they say in unison.

3 comments

No surprise, Sean's been serving up great food for years. Another week of great deals in January would be appreciated as there are lots of places I'd like to check out but only so many days in the week.

Thatgrrl is correct and I had a similar experience at one of the restaurants involved in restaurant week. My habit is to simply throw my card in without looking, but the calculations done in my head didn't add up. Regardless, I tacked on another 20% tip, which is my custom. If the restaurants want to nickel and dime their customers in these times, it is their option. It doesn't exactly engender goodwill, however. In the long run, these practices will only hurt the restaurant, whatever extra dollars they can skim from their customers.

I ate there last night as well. One of the best menus available among the Restaurant Week participants. More options than most are offering. And these aren't cheap options. Fried oysters. Cold corn soup with lump crab. Steak. Salmon. The food was stellar!

Very minor nitpick: there was an automatically added 20% gratuity. I normally tip more than that (and in fact did last night). So it wasn't the amount that bothered me. It was that in a party of only two, I am unused to seeing automatic gratuities added to the check. When first getting my bill, it seemed inordinately high. It wasn't until I spotted the gratuity that it made sense. It might make everyone a lot happier if the automatic gratuity was made more prominent to diners in some way, prior to paying. Apologies if it really was on the menu initially, in which case it's my own fault for not spotting it. However, as I had made my choices before arriving using the online menu, I did check again there to see if I missed it there. That menu only says, "Prix fix menu $25 per person excluding tax, gratuity & alcohol." A statment there regarding an automatic additional gratuity figured into the total bill might be in order.