Monday, March 11, 2013

Absinthe Restaurant (Review)

I wish I had included Absinthe in our top 10 restaurant picks of 2013 because, after dining here this past Friday night, I have to say it's one of the best culinary experiences I have had in Ottawa in a long time. The atmosphere was casual yet lively, the service was impeccable and of course the food was remarkable from the first bite of home made bread to the last bite of Creme Brulee. Their commitment to serving fresh food and partnering with local farms in the area added an extra community aspect to this already great restaurant.

We celebrated a friend's birthday again this week and the staff (Joey in particular) at Absinthe made our experience very memorable with personalized service, great meal recommendations and unique cocktail choices.

With the name Absinthe we had to try one of their Absinthe infused cocktails. They are a little on the pricey side, but definitely worth the experience. The bread is also freshly made in house with their honey infused butter. Our group ordered a wide variety of appetizers and main dishes and nobody was disappointed. I started with the Escargot Gratin in mushroom caps with duxelle and terragon cream. The flavor was so rich and hearty and the leftover cream sauce was perfect for dipping the fresh bread. Other appetizers receiving the thumbs up were the Korean BBQ Quail and the Sockeye Salmon Trio.

Escargot Gratin
Clockwise from top left: Benevolent Burger, Seared Tuna,
Pork Belly and Scallops,  Mariposa Farm Duck
My appetite was quite hearty, so I decided to try the Benevolent Burger for my main. The burger came topped with Baconnaise, aged cheddar and housemade bacon with a side of BBQ pork poutine and arugula salad. I don't normally choose burgers, but I admit this was probably the best one I have tasted. My friends also raved about their dishes, including the Mariposa Farm Duck Duo, the Seared Tuna and the Pork Belly and Scallops. Each dish was a decent serving size, leaving us just hungry enough for one or two bites of the birthday Creme Brulee that was surprised to our friend.

Taihitian Vanilla Creme  Brulee 
I would recommend Absinthe over and over again for their impeccable service, fresh and local cuisine and comforting atmosphere. 

Verdict: 10+ in all categories 

Price: Appetizers range from $7-$14. Main courses range from $23-$30. Drinks are on the pricier side - Cocktails range from $9-$14. 

Hours: Monday to Friday 11:30am-2:00pm, 5:30pm-10:00pm. Saturdays and Sundays 5:30pm-10:00pm

Absinthe Cafe, 1208 Wellington Street West, Ottawa On. 

1 comment:

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