Dianne Porter, whose been making fabulous cocktails behind the bar of Morton's for fifteen years, is turning her attention to other parts of the menu as well. She's opening her own place in Allegheny West on the North Shore. Cassis, which is located near the corner of Western and Galveston Ave, will open October 13 for lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch.
The restaurant has two dining rooms, which together can seat about 50. There's also a two-level back patio and a permit for sidewalk seating, but given the cold weather, Porter will likely wait until next summer to add outdoor seating. The dining rooms are decorated in "rich jewel tones," said Porter. Tables are covered with burgundy linens and white butcher paper, and the walls are decorated with photos of North Side windows and doors taken by a local photographer.
The menu ranges across a number of styles and cuisines. There are steamed dumplings of the day (6 for $8) and smoked trout spread with sliced apples and baguette ($7). There's also squid salad with Greek dressing ($10) and flank steak fajitas with black beans, spicy tomatillo salsa and sour cream ($10). The vast majority of the dishes are inexpensive, including lots of interesting sandwiches and salads for less than $10.
Since Porter certainly knows her way around a bar, it's no surprise that she's also enthusiastic about the wine list --about 30 bottles, 20 of them under $40 -- and cocktails. There will be several signature drinks featuring creme de cassis (black currant liqueur), including the Kir Royal - creme de cassis and champagne.