REVIEW: Absinthe

Saturday, November 12, 2011

1208 Wellington Street West 

Ottawa, Ontario Canada
Phone: +1 (613) 761-1138

Type of Restaurant: Modern Bistro
Attire: Business Casual
Prices: E- $12 M- $27 D- $8
$$$ pricey

Payment Options:
Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Debit/Eftpos
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:00pm; 5:30pm-10:00pm
              Saturday & Sunday 11:30am - 9pm
Reservations? Recommended.
Handicap Accessible? Yes. 
Vegetarian Friendly? Yes.
Vegan Friendly? No.
Gluten-Free? No.


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Quality of Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Atmosphere: 5/5

Absinthe is a one of a kind bistro that rises above all the rest. The restaurant is a modern bistro that sources local ingredients and prepares them on the plate in a unique, sophisticated, and enticing manner. Absinthe, named after the popular and often controversial liquor, famously consumed by artists like Pablo Pacasso and Vincent VanGogh. The restaurant boasts an Absinthe cocktail menu filled with over 13 cocktails highlighting Absinthe, as well as using some in their cooking. The "Jamican Me Crazy" Absinthe cocktail was the perfect way to get this particular night started ;) 
Butternut Squash Soup

Russ, Sara, and I decided to go all out for this dining adventure. We ordered the three course Table d'Hôte which included our own choice of appetizer, mid, and main and three wine pairings to match. The way the three of us love to dine is by ordering all of our choices different so that we can share each others and try a wider assortment of food. Russ went with beet salad (2009 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc), the butternut squash soup (2010 Calamus Estate Pinot Gris), and Absinthe Steak Frites (2009 Larel Glen "Reds" Zifandel, Carignane, Petite Syrah). Sara chose the seafood trio (2010 Gazela Vinho Verde), the arugula salad (2009 Domaine de la Villaudiere Sancerre), and house agnolotti (2006 Lar de Barros Tempranillo Crianza). I, personally, went with the crispy quail (2009 Domaine Albert Mann Auxerrois Vielles Vignes), butternut squash soup, and pan seared rainbow trout (2009 Malivoire Chardonnay).

The Seafood Trio
Let me tell you, the food was sensational. I often compare restaurant's food caliber to my dining experience at Fifteen Melbourne coincidentally Russ, and Sara were there for that as well. Well this place has definitely taken the crown away. The food was so well cooked, the meats all perfectly cooked, the crepe wonderfully fluffy, and that butternut squash soup... TOO DIE FOR. I was iffy, at first ordering what sounded like a plan, jane soup that I could get at just any restaurant. But this was definitely one of a kind. If you look at the picture, you can see what looks like a dark brownish red dot near the middle of the soup. At first, Russ and I were thinking perhaps it was a housemade cranberry sauce, upon having a taste our taste buds went exploded with flavour. We had to ask our waiter what it was. Apparently, it was some sort of raisin-apple sauce which perfectly counter-balanced the buttery, creaminess of the soup. Our wines were all of a high caliber and matched each of our dishes perfectly. Our meal just couldn't stop with our mains however, despite how full we were we, decided to split on a dessert. Just couldn't pass it up with how amazing the rest of our meals were. We decided to go with the dessert sampler which included a tahitian vanilla creme brulee,  profiteroles, a lemon tart, and a warm dark chocolate fondant. All exceptionally great, but it was that dark chocolate fondant that stole my heart.
Our Dessert Sampler: the chocolate fondant
took the cake ;)

I HIGHLY recommend Absinthe to any of Diner's Dish's readers. Not only for their use of fresh, local, organic ingredients, but the service, atmosphere, and food were simply something that other restaurants could only aspire to have.


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