Jump to content

Cassatt's, Lee Heights Shopping Center - New Zealand-Themed Cafe in Arlington - Closed


Recommended Posts

I see from today's lettres that Mr. Rockwell was at Cassatt's recently. I fervently hope that he wasn't there Saturday night, as every time the band stopped playing would be the exact moment that I would say something shameful that would suddenly carry across the restaurant.

The meat pies were indeed very good and there are easily 7 or 8 to choose from. My beef and cheese was great until I hit the occasional bits of gristle. The steak and mushroom pie didn't have that problem and was perfect for a cold night.

The lamb kabob and the grilled tilapia were fine, but you can get those elsewhere AND those unfortunate souls who ordered them were forced to borrow my mango chutney.

I protected it like an enraged giant weta.

We came because of their inclusion in the Neighborhood Eats on WETA (which is different from a weta; look it up) and because New Zealand has always been the escape plan if we had to flee the country, so it would behoove us to see if we like the food. Has anyone else been? Is the food small "a" authentic?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What Cafe Cassatt does quite well is the flat white -- basically cappucino with a fancy swirl in the cream on top. We had those a lot in Australia (haven't been to NZ yet). The meat pies resemble the ones we had in Oz also -- and I don't know where else in this area you can get them -- I really like them. Brunch at Cafe Cassatt is generally pretty good -- fairly standard brunch fare, pleasant for families, and you can sit outside when it's nice. It's a really pleasant neighborhood venue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My only point of reference for the meat pies of the antipodes is the Down Under Bakery in NYC, but Cassatt's was fairly enjoyable for lunch today (had a bit of shopping to do in Arrowine at the other end of the same row of storefronts). Their delicious curried chicken pie is probably best eaten with fork and knife, as the curry filling is quite runny. It also contains less chicken than DUB's version. I was far less impressed with the sausage roll, which is generously sized but somewhat bland in the pastry. My particular example was also completely non-flaky, and appeared to have been microwaved. Bzzzzt. Both were served with a bit of mango relish for a condiment.

The flat white falls somewhere between a cappucino and a latte, as they hold back most of the foam when adding the steamed milk. Perfect beverage for brunch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Their delicious curried chicken pie is probably best eaten with fork and knife, as the curry filling is quite runny. It also contains less chicken than DUB's version.

If you like the pies at Cassatt's, you can get the exact same ones ("Ram's Kiwi Pies," they're called) at Arax Café - an Armenian bakery / ice-cream-shoppe / coffee-house down on Washington Blvd, just down from the original Lebanese Taverna. Arax serves them a la carte (to go if you'd like), and charges $5.25 for them.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At exactly noon this place had but 2 tables left open, both of which quickly filled. It is not the fanciest of food, but it certainly seems to have found a niche clientele. I had a nice tomato basil soup garnished with pesto and a respectable BLT with avocado put through the panini press with an all-too-small side of Asian slaw. It was simple and well prepared. Cheery service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pardon me....I misremembered. The first that I had heard about this restaurant came thru a Washingtonian chat on 3/2/10 with Kliman where someone asked for Australian food and someone else posted:

re: Australian:

Cassatts in Arlington is New Zealand-ish. Thats kinda close to Australia and there may be overlap in the dishes. Or what about a good British pub, like Againn. Is that sort of food popular in Australia...I imagine there are alot of British-esque Australian foods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At exactly noon this place had but 2 tables left open, both of which quickly filled. It is not the fanciest of food, but it certainly seems to have found a niche clientele. I had a nice tomato basil soup garnished with pesto and a respectable BLT with avocado put through the panini press with an all-too-small side of Asian slaw. It was simple and well prepared. Cheery service.

When I was at DHS, we went there once for lunch. I got the impression that there are regulars, and then ... there's the others who come in. We never went back, felt kind of unwelcome, to be honest. Might've just been the day, but between the cost and what felt like a cold shoulder, we were left feeling rather "meh" about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cassatt's has been a brunch and breakfast favorite of ours for years with the big kiwi breakfast being my standard order. They can get backed up in the "kitchen" but other than that service has generally been good with a few standout servers.

As for the regulars, in my experience these consist of residents of Cherrydale as well as the communities north of Lee Hwy. It's very convenient to walk to during the warmer seasons and when shopping at Arrowine or the great toy store who's name slips my mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cassatt's has been a brunch and breakfast favorite of ours for years with the big kiwi breakfast being my standard order. They can get backed up in the "kitchen" but other than that service has generally been good with a few standout servers.

As for the regulars, in my experience these consist of residents of Cherrydale as well as the communities north of Lee Hwy. It's very convenient to walk to during the warmer seasons and when shopping at Arrowine or the great toy store who's name slips my mind.

Their website says that their carryout case is back. Kiwi pies, soups, and entrees. Has anyone tried it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Their website says that their carryout case is back. Kiwi pies, soups, and entrees. Has anyone tried it?

We picked up a couple of Kiwi pies after lunch for dinner that night; $6.50 each. The Curry Chicken was very good, I thought. The Roasted Lamb, not so much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I enjoyed dinner at Cassatt's last night. We had the early dinner special which is 18.95 for 3 courses. I started with a very fresh Gazpacho (yum), followed by a lamb steak cooked medium rare (a little tough). That was served with fabulous potatoes and caramelized onions. I finished with a warm brownie (I could make better at home). Honey had warmed brie with some sort of sweet chutney and bread. The bread and brie were great but I thought the chutney was too sweet. His dinner was the "Cajun" Tilapia. I am pretty sure that tilapias don't come from Cajun country but regardless, it was very tasty but NOT spicy. I loved the rice with cilantro but what's not to love about rice and cilontro. The fish is topped with another chutney that I thought complemented perfectly. I think it had raisins in it but only got a bite and a look so I"m not sure. He had The Pavlova to finish. I loved it. It's a marange-type fluff-monster thing that isn't too sweet.

Finally, we had a very early dinner (5:30) and really enjoyed the vibe, servers and service. I'd go again. It's a chillaxing place overall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband and I had a very negative experience at Cassatt's today. Over the past 9 years we have frequented Cassatt's a few times per year. Every time I go back, I always remember why it's not more often. The food is fine but nothing special. The serving sizes are very small - particularly the "lunch salads" (and I am not a big eater). The prices are a bit steep ($9.50 for a BLT?). The real downside is the service which is at best slow and uninteresting, and at worst downright rude and snotty. Today, my husband and I witnessed the manager telling an elderly woman with a walker to move from a 4-top to a 2-top at lunchtime. The woman was there with what appeared to be her daughter, who became indignant because the 2-top tables are close to each other along a banquette. The 4-tops have more space around them. The manager said that they had to move because a larger party MIGHT come in and need to sit there. What?! Did he not have eyes to see that the woman who was already seated had taken quite a while to sit there and that it would not be a tremendous sacrifice for them to have allowed them to stay, and had any imaginary 4-tops coming through the door to wait a few minutes for a table. The manager ended with a haughty and indignant "Well, if you stay here, I will not serve you!!" Fortunately the woman's daughter said that they were leaving. My husband and I had just ordered our food and we too considered leaving as well, and would have had we not been short on time. We will not be returning until we hear there is new management and they have figured out their place as a neighborhood bistro and not a Michelin-starred restaurant!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband and I had a very negative experience at Cassatt's today. Over the past 9 years we have frequented Cassatt's a few times per year. Every time I go back, I always remember why it's not more often. The food is fine but nothing special. The serving sizes are very small - particularly the "lunch salads" (and I am not a big eater). The prices are a bit steep ($9.50 for a BLT?). The real downside is the service which is at best slow and uninteresting, and at worst downright rude and snotty. Today, my husband and I witnessed the manager telling an elderly woman with a walker to move from a 4-top to a 2-top at lunchtime. The woman was there with what appeared to be her daughter, who became indignant because the 2-top tables are close to each other along a banquette. The 4-tops have more space around them. The manager said that they had to move because a larger party MIGHT come in and need to sit there. What?! Did he not have eyes to see that the woman who was already seated had taken quite a while to sit there and that it would not be a tremendous sacrifice for them to have allowed them to stay, and had any imaginary 4-tops coming through the door to wait a few minutes for a table. The manager ended with a haughty and indignant "Well, if you stay here, I will not serve you!!" Fortunately the woman's daughter said that they were leaving. My husband and I had just ordered our food and we too considered leaving as well, and would have had we not been short on time. We will not be returning until we hear there is new management and they have figured out their place as a neighborhood bistro and not a Michelin-starred restaurant!

So you felt strongly enough to join the website today at 3:24 PM just to say this?

I'm truly sorry you've had 30-40 bad experiences at Cassatt's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My spouse and I have had lunch at Cassatt's many times and never experienced anything even approaching rudeness. It's true that lunch time is busy, and the wait staff is stretched, but we have always been treated very well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My spouse and I have had lunch at Cassatt's many times and never experienced anything even approaching rudeness. It's true that lunch time is busy, and the wait staff is stretched, but we have always been treated very well.

This is pretty much my experience, as well. It is not my favorite restaurant, but I have been there a number of times and have never witnessed anything remotely similar to what was reported by mw9456a. I will concede that the not-cheap Metro 29 just up the street will let you have a BLT for a mere $6.50.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was there for the first time a couple of weeks ago for Sunday brunch and a nicer set of waitstaff I have never met. I'm not pooh-poohing the complaint above, but perhaps it is a 1-off incident. I thought the brunch (veggie omelet/bubble and squeak/toast) was pretty good and filling. French press coffee was good too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was at Cassatt's Sunday morning for brunch with my FIL and SIL.  We just wanted someplace close that had eggs and etc.  We have never had a problem getting in just MK and I, but as a party of four our wait was considerably longer.  To the point that I wish we would have gone elsewhere.  I was a little embarrassed.  Now I will say there was one four top camping out to the bitter end in kind of a rude way, but as this place bills itself as part coffee house, I think that's a hard middle ground to work.  But the staff was very apologetic.  Once we sat down food came quickly.  And there brunch to me is very general purpose in a good way.  I had the frittata, which didn't have the veggies on the inside, but tasted good.  MK had a pie, SIL and FIL had eggs.  The sandwiches ordered by the table next door looked pretty good.  We have never been here for dinner, and haven't been to breakfast in a while, but it's kind of like a diner, just a good eggs and toast kind of place. Oh, and I would like more crisp on their potatoes, but that's just me.  I am a crispy breakfast potato type of girl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/15/2014 at 4:11 PM, DonRocks said:

This sounds like a refrain to a country music song.

I am a crispy breakfast potato type of girl.
The kind that you just can't find at Cassatt.
Yes, I'm a crispy breakfast potato type of girl.
When grilled just right there is nothing that can surpass it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hilton Brothers Bringing ‘Cafe Colline’ to Lee Heights Shops, on ARLnow.com, July 9, 2019.  This is quite an interesting development.  There is zero competition for this type of restaurant at that location.  Looking at the storefronts for several blocks in either direction on Route 29, that is a situation that is not likely to change anytime soon.  I say this is well played.

---

Cafe Colline (hopsing)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...