Monday, December 29, 2008

A Kiwi Breakfast

Basket of Goodies

There is a wonderful bistro in Arlington off of Lee Highway that my sister and I first heard about in the Washington Post (where else?). Cassatt's was inspired by the owner's stay in New Zealand. He loved the cafe culture of New Zealand, and wanted to bring that same feel to this establishment.

While I have never been to New Zealand, I can vouch for the warm hospitality and quaint feel of this restaurant. I first ventured here to grab a cup of coffe and a snack with AJ a couple of weeks ago. He orderd an endive salad with walnuts, cranberries, and goat cheese. I ordered the New Zealand version of a latte, the White Flat. The strong espresso is complimented nicely by the steamed milk. A little sugar makes this a delectable beverage.

On my next trip, my mom and I stopped in for a late brunch. Cassatt's serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-3pm. I ordered a salad, while she got a vegetable omelette. The salad was nice and fresh, featuring field greens, cranberries, walnuts, pears, and feta cheese. Some nice fall flavors. The salty feta was a nice contrast to the sweet fruits.

The real star of the brunch menu is the egg. Cassatt's serves these in a variety of styles. On my following trips I ordered eggs over easy, an Italian frittata, and tasted the omelette and the eggs with smoked salmon. I was very pleased with how well the eggs were cooked to order. The eggs over easy were slightly cooked through, with just a little runniness (I recently developed a love of fried eggs). The toast is an excellent tool to sop up the runny yolks. I would also recommend the Italian frittata for those who are hoping to get in some veggies in their meal. The Italian frittata is essentially an open faced omelette served with sauteed onions, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and feta. The veggies are so fresh and perfectly cooked. Some omelettes served with this many vegetables can be soggy, but this omelette was not watery at all - letting the flavors shine through!

Eggs over easy, bubble and squeak potatoes, toast, and fruit salad.

Not only do the eggs come with toast and fruit salad, but a wonderful kiwi version of potato hash called "bubble and squeak potatoes". The potatoes are cooked with onion, carrot, and cabbage. It is really quite delicious. The hash has a nice crust on the outside. Quite the complete breakfast.

Cassatt's also serves different pastries. These can complement an egg dish, or just be ordered for a small breakfast with a white flat. Malia, Jenny, and I were out to brunch last weekend, and ordered the Basket Cassatt - an assortment of pastries. The basket came with a cranberry scone, blueberry muffin, lemon poppyseed muffin, croissant, and apple turnovers. They certainly don't skimp on the butter! The scone was extremely dense and buttery. The blueberry muffin was again, very buttery, with nice blueberry notes, but definitely not the best season to serve this fruit filled sweet. The highlight of the basket was probably the lemon poppyseed muffin, which was lemony, with a nice texture from the poppyseeds, and not too sweet. The croissant was flaky, with a nice buttery flavor.

I can't wait to try their dinner menu. This is one girl who has become a kiwi convert.

1.5 out of 3 JAMs

4536 Lee Highway
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 527-3330

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