Absinthe Café Resto Bar
       
Page Viewed: 36171 times

Absinthe Café Resto Bar

Neighborhood: Westboro/HintoPrice Range: Average
7.7
Based on 60 reviews


1208 Wellington Avenue
Ottawa/Gatineau

Tel: 613-761-1138

Categories:
Bistro

Absinthe Café Resto Bar offers a warm, inviting dining room that sparkles through the expanse of glass and beckons diners to join us for lunch or dinner or perhaps a drink or just coffee and dessert. The space perfectly reflects Pat & John's vision to ensure you are warmly welcomed and treated to a dining experience that exceeds your expectations and intoxicates you in the spirit of our namesake cocktail.



    
 

Reviews

User Review Rating
Jebbe99
2013-Aug-30
10:51:47


Contribution Status:

Good (89.10)

Lunch event
We went as a group for a colleague's retirement. The restaurant was fairly busy with most tables occupied. The ambience and service were good. I opted for the benevolent burger and it tasted very good as all the constituents were fresh, especially the brioche bun. However, the mini crteme brûlée was way too small to be satisfying. Prices were on the high side but overall good food.
-- Jebbe99
Might
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
taylor
2012-Sep-27
09:38:18


Contribution Status:

Good (92.10)

Visited on 2012-Sep-25
Another place that's doing right in Ottawa.
This place is a little out of my recent budget, but I was in the neighbourhood and it looked too good to pass up. I wanted to try something new and after looking at the menu posted in the window, we were sold.

The décor did not do much for me. It’s trendy, comfortable and spacious, but a little boring. The service is very good with personal touches noted. The server was attentive and very knowledgeable about the menus.

We ordered two cocktails to start. Not something, I normally do because I find most drinks over priced and it’s cheaper to drink at home. I had to try the Absinthe though, since I heard about how true Absinthe had been banned in some parts of North America and the whole Van Gogh thing. I went with the Czech Republic Absinthe (70% - $14) and it was a ritual in itself. The drink is brought out with sugar cube soaked in Absinthe that is set aflame. You let the sugar caramelize to your desire and then you pour ice water over the sugar cube from a small carafe. You add as much water as you want, depending on how strong you want the drink to be. It was real treat. My partner decided to try a not so daring Cherry Coke with Jim Beam Cherry Whiskey concoction ($14). It came in a tall class garnished with, you guessed it, a cherry.

Now onto the food. We had (taken from their online menu) “8oz Benevolent Burger – $12 - Sharp Cheddar, Double Smoked Bacon, House Made Brioche Bun, House Cut Frites, Salad ~ Since December 1st, 2011 Absinthe has donated $1 from every burger sold to Cornerstone Housing for Women.” I thought that last part was pretty cool. I recommend you eat this on an empty stomach and make sure you have plenty of room. It's have a half pound of fresh ground steak and it took two of us to finish it. I didn’t take many bites, but from what I tasted, it was more than worth the price. The homemade fries and salad were excellent too.

I ordered, the three-course Duck burger lunch special ($21), which is not on their on-line menu since it’s a special. You get a cup of the soup of the day to start and a mini crème brule for dessert which were both first-rate. I was told that for an extra $6 you can add a cup of soup and a mini crème brule to any meal. I was delighted to try the Duck burger, since I love almost anything made with duck. It’s duck mixed with mushrooms on a soft homemade bun with a side of homemade fries and salad. The burger was freakin’ awesome and the sides were just as good. Luckily, it was not as gut busting as the Benevolent burger or getting home would have been a challenging. Having said that the duck burger left me feeling very satisfied.

Two drinks, two mains and plus a 20% tip ran us about $80 which I think was worth the experience. Wish I could do it more often and I look forward to going back.
-- taylor
Recommended
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Emanonem
2011-Dec-17
21:32:50


Contribution Status:

Frequent (22.00)

Wonderful experience!
My husband and I had a wonderful experience tonight. Honestly, the only thing we thought was a little odd was that we weren't offered a coat check like everyone else.

The service was great and the food was phenomenal!

We ordered the table d'hôte:

App - quail and seafood trio

Mid - soup and salad

Main - duck and steak frites

Everything from the veggies to the presentation was great! My husband tried the absinthe and loved the experience. The waiter took the time to explain everything to him.

All in all an enjoyable meal! We'll definitely go again!
-- Emanonem
Recommended
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Bacchus
2010-Aug-20
17:52:46


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.00)

Visited on 2010-Aug-20
Absinthe is a treat
My wife and I ate at Absinthe this evening in the company of 3 friends. One of the best restaurant experiences any of us has had anywhere -- and the group is well travelled. Excellent food, expertly prepared and imaginatively presented. Good wine list. Calm, professional service -- attentive , thoughtful and friendly without being even slightly intrusive. Not inexpensive but excellent value. A top-notch experience all round.
-- Bacchus
Recommended
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
knowgoodfood
2010-Mar-29
09:47:00


Contribution Status:

Great (105.70)

Just Go
We had a fantastic dining experience here a few nights ago. Our service was spot-on; friendly, courteous, quick but not rushed, and very knowledgeable. We each had a glass of wine to start and decided to go with the table d'hote, which we thought was an incredible value. We had the charcuterie platter, seafood trio (salmon pogo? hell yes!), mushroom veloute, salad, duck entree and pork tenderloin entree. It was all very delicious and well presented. We would order everything again with the exception of the salad, which we found too garlicky and boring. Just over $100 before tip, and worth every penny.
-- knowgoodfood
Recommended
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
ag2007
2009-Nov-10
22:18:28


Contribution Status:

Great (167.40)

Visited on 2009-Nov-9
Superb salmon and steak done just right
The restaurant is named after the anise flavoured drink that was favoured by artists & intellectuals in the late 19th and early 20th Century France. A slotted spoon is used to dissolve a sugar cube in a glass of absinthe to sweeten the drink and counteract its mild bitterness. We found the preparation and serving of our Hill's Absinthe quite interesting and enjoyed its minty flavor.

For our appetizers, my friend ordered the the Seafood Trio while I chose the Charcuterie Duo – bison terrine, duck parfait, port gelée and onion rosemary bread. Quite good.

For our mail meals, we ordered the Wild Pacific Salmon and the Absinthe-Steak Frites, a Hanger Steak served medium rare, with fries, a horseradish aioli, and green beans.

The salmon was excellent and my steak was superb, done just right. For two appetizers, two mains, one Hill's absinthe and two beers, the bill with tax came to about $100 without the tip. And one chocolate dessert was complements of the restaurant as it was my friend's birthday. Overall an excellent dining experience.
-- ag2007
Will
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Rachelle Eats Food
2009-Sep-30
09:12:07


Contribution Status:

Occasional (8.20)

Visited on 2009-Jul-4
Good time with friends and yummy food
I can finally knock this restaurant off my wish list. We arrived in the early evening and got a great seat next to the window. Actually, any spot in this restaurant would be great. It's got such nice big windows at the front and overall a really great atmosphere. My mouth started to water the minute I began reading the menu. I decided to go with the table d'hôte, which gives you a choice of appetizer, mid and main course. They also offer wine pairing for an extra $30 but we didn't go for that. I had a tough time choosing between the Seafood Trio and the Charcuterie Duo to start. I decided to go with the latter – bison terrine, duck parfait, port gelée and onion rosemary bread. It was really good. I especially liked the strong flavour of the duck parfait, which came in a little shot glass with slippery gelée on top. For my mid I went with the soup, a white onion velouté sprinkled with chopped chives, so yummy and a great choice over the ceasar salad that everyone else got. The salad was only disappointing to everyone because of the croutons, which looked like they came from a box. Nice big homemade croutons would have been a better complement to the salad.

My friend Teresa picked out my main before I did. That often happens as people know what I like. The warm potato salad and tomato jam that came with the maple marinated bison sirloin made the bison dish an obvious choice. The meat was so tender and paired with the jam made for a robust and flavourful taste experience. The potatoes were also quite tasty and served alongside some crispy peas in the pod and broccoli. My husband had the Hog Wild – wild boar loin rubbed with rosemary and juniper and served with apple smoked belly with maple glaze, mushroom ragout and lyonnaise potatoes. I got to try some of his and it was really tasty. The meat unfortunately, seemed a little overcooked, as did my friend Bruce's steak. But other than that, all offered a great medley of flavours. To drink we had a fantastic rosé that our server recommended, 2007 Cuvée Marie-Justine, Chinon from France. Fun atmosphere, good food and great service made for a wonderful evening. Apps range between $7 and $13, mains between $21 and $31 and for the 3 course table d'hôte, $37 to $47.
-- Rachelle Eats Food
Will
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
defnotmartha
2009-Apr-12
20:48:13


Contribution Status:

Regular (32.60)

Visited on 2009-Apr-9
i just love this place
Visited on April 8th with hubby and friend and had yet another fantastic meal here.

All three of us got the table d'hôte and all thoroughly enjoyed our meals. Highlights were the beef duo, roasted red pepper soup (which was OUT OF THIS WORLD good) and the maple dessert tart.

I maintain that this place is one of the best value dining experiences in Ottawa. The food is always delicious, the service impeccable and the price justifiable for the lot of it. ;)

If you like fresh, modern, local food, this is the place for you.
-- defnotmartha
Recommended
Show this persons past visits... (2) Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Food4thought1
2009-Mar-06
15:52:36
Avatar


Contribution Status:

Occasional (6.00)

Visited on 2009-Mar-2
good palce
Food food, great service and atmosphere!
-- Food4thought1
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
jane-buck
2009-Jan-21
10:41:58


Contribution Status:

Frequent (11.65)

Probably would have been a better experience if we didnt get the 3 course special. For this you had a choice of apps and choice of main, and also choose a soup or caear salad as a second course. The rabbit terrine was awesome, but the caesar salad that came next was awful. The main was good as well, meat properly cooked.
-- jane-buck
Might
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
justafoodguy
2009-Jan-06
17:21:26


Contribution Status:

Frequent (17.70)

Might
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
egodystonic
2008-Oct-19
11:01:30


Contribution Status:

Frequent (10.00)

Visited on 2008-Oct-17
Flash in the pan...
First dining experience at the new location, had heard favourable things about it, and was entirely disappointed with the failing culinary offerings.

As appetizers we had the caesar salad (grossly over-dressed, but a decent portion of fresh romaine at $7), and the salmon ceviche (bland, unseasoned, and utterly tasteless at $14), whose only redeeming quality was the side of avocado and tomato salsa.

As mains we had the steak frites (hanger steak - also happened to be incredibly bland, with the tough consistency of an old tire) - at $19, I would steer clear from this. The duck breast was cooked properly however, with a flavourful thyme/stock reduction, despite the bitter assortment of uncooked turnips accompanying it ($23).

Although the presentations on the plate were beautiful, the ingredients and flavour (or lack thereof) left much to be desired. May visit again if some passion is reintroduced into the kitchen.
-- egodystonic
Might
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
wolverine
2008-Sep-28
10:12:52


Contribution Status:

Good (53.20)

Beckta-Lite
Nice room , good atmosphere. When the clock strikes 11 on Saturday a DJ comes out , which is pretty sureal for this part of town.

Service was with a smile but very slow and akward. Good wine list with some nice variety.

Food was uneven. A seafood trio app consisting of a greasy crabcake, one rubbery shrimp and an ok scallop was very disappointing. Others fared better. The pork duo main had the worst "confit" I've ever had: A huge piece of fat on a plate. A friend's steak frites was better. Others gave mixed reviews. We'd already been "dining" for 3 hours so passed on dessert.
-- wolverine
Won't
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
foodisgood
2008-Sep-15
16:22:06


Contribution Status:

Frequent (13.40)

Visited on 2008-Sep-12
One of the better meals we've had in a restaurant ...
My husband and I decieded to dine at Absinthe before heading over to the GCTC for an 8p.m. play. When we made the reservation we told them we had a play at 8p.m. to ensure we had plenty of time, which they had noted in their reservations book and noted when we arrived.

We were greeted promptly and seated. Within short order water was poured and we were asked if we wanted a cocktail.
We were allowed sufficient time to make our dinner choices. After ordering the bread arrived and amuse bouche which were tasty mini turnovers.
Wine was delivered and poured and then our appetizers arrived. My husbands tomato and goat cheese salad was tasty as was my roasted squash soup. There was ample time to enjoy our appetizers, table to be cleared before our entrees arrived. We both ordered the Cornish Hens with frois gras. We thought the presentation was rather creative. Instead of the whole bird being served, there were three stuffed rolls on a jus, Roasted Veggies, and a frois gras tart. All extrememly delicious. My only complaint was the portion size was small. We chuckled at that when our neighbouring table was deciding what to order only to ask the server if what another table had just received was an appetizer or entree...indeed it was the entree.
We are not normally desert folks but since we were still hungry we ordered the maple tart with maple ice cream to share which was absolutely delicious. (deserts are made at the restaurant).
The server returned throughout our meal to ensure all was ok, and to pour our wine.
Overall, I have to say that this is one of the better meals we have had in a restaurant for a very long time. The food was tasty, the service was always at the right time and they had us out the door with 10 minutes to spare.

I would definitely come back here and recommend it to you.
-- foodisgood
Recommended
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
passion4food
2008-Jun-23
11:55:11


Contribution Status:

Great (140.25)

Visited on 2008-Jun-20
First visit was better
I came back here last Friday with my boyfriend, since he had never been. Getting there was a bit of a struggle due to the construction.

The place was quite busy, and it was quite loud due to a few large groups. We were seated immediately. Our server was excellent. Very friendly and efficient. We ordered each a cocktail. To start, I had the beat, goat cheese salad with candied walnuts, apples and pecans. It was soo good! Actually, kinda like a dessert cause it was so sweet. My bf had the crab cakes, which were also very good. For my main, i had the rabbit duo. The description on the menu made it sound so amazing. Unfortuntately, it sounded much better than it tasted. It wasn't horrible. The plate was good, it was just not excellent. My boyfriend ordered as a main the steak and frites, as the server recommended it to him. Well, let me tell you, it was nothing special. The steak was only ok, and the fries with the aioli was very salty and ordinary. It was a very mediocre meal. We also had a glass of wine each to pare with the meal.

So all in all, a good experience i guess, but not exceptional like my first vist, which is too bad. And my meal was defintly better than my bf's. Oh well....And for $130 bucks, it's quite a bit for an "ok" experience...
-- passion4food
Might
Visit
Again
Show this persons past visits... (2) Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
reynard
2008-May-19
14:27:20


Contribution Status:

Frequent (19.70)

Visited on 2008-May-16
not as good as usual
I love this place, but...
might have been an off night, the steak was pretty chewy, everything seemed a bit uninspired. I will be back, hopefully it was a one time thing.
-- reynard
Will
Visit
Again
Show this persons past visits... (3) Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
elf1657
2008-Apr-28
17:04:35


Contribution Status:

Good (66.50)

I liked it!
This was a spur of the moment decision. Fried of mine and I decided to just walk in, unplanned. And we were extremely glad we did. The food was delicious with an excellent blend of flavours.

The hosts were charming and entertaining, the atmosphere cozy and the service prompt, cheerful and knowledgeable.
-- elf1657
Recommended
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
cclemon
2008-Feb-24
11:34:27


Contribution Status:

Great (118.80)

Visited on 2007-Oct-25
dark times
I went last year with a date for a restful time at this gem in west end. When we arrived we were seated but not served for almost 20 minutes. Now I am understanding if things are busy, however there was us and about 6 other tables. At first we wondered if it was kind of dim in the restaurant or if we were adjusting from coming in from outside. When we finally got our server's attention my date ordered absinthe.

For an appetizer I ordered a cerviche taco. The marinated seafood was excellent with the crisp tortilla served with salsa guacamole.

The mains came and it was then that i realized that i could hardly see what was on my plate. When i asked the server if it was part of the atmosphere she said she had not noticed. The main problem was something was burnt on my plate and i could not tell if it was the duck, the sauce or the side since everything was an amorphous dark blob before me. My date got the steak and frites and found the cut was more hanger than sirloin and overcooked. The frites were nice though. After complaining to the server she said nothing and did nothing but drop off a desert menu and later the check.
When we got outside we realized that at 9 in the evening it was brighter than in that restaurant.

No full fault to the kitchen but the service and atmosphere ruined the experience.

My only suggestion bring your own candles or a flashlight.
-- cclemon
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
FrequentDiner
2008-Jan-21
12:27:23


Contribution Status:

Occasional (5.00)

Visited on 2008-Jan-4
Fantastic Evening
We visited this establishment when it was in its old location and were quite impressed with the food and the service. We decided that we were going to visit the new location. Very clean, modern and quite appealing. The meals were as good as the first time. The table d'hote with the wine paring is essential. We have recommended this restaurant to many friends and have heard only good responses. You will enjoy it!!
-- FrequentDiner
Will
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
lifesci99
2008-Jan-20
23:59:30


Contribution Status:

Novice (3.50)

Visited on 2008-Jan-18
Good food, atmosphere lacking
The first thing that struck me as soon as we set foot in Absinthe on a Friday evening was that it was really, really noisy. Maybe because it is one large room with an unfinished ceiling and nothing to dampen sound, but eating in the full restaurant sounded like being back in high school eating lunch in the cafeteria. The food, however, was really good. I had the ahi tuna, which was nice and light (though perhaps more suited on a summer menu). My friend had the bison rib-eye which was amazing - really tender and flavorful. The service was friendly and efficient.
-- lifesci99
Will
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
sig
2007-Dec-17
11:36:08


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.00)

Outstanding!
The steak & frites are outstanding and the service is great!
-- sig
Will
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Cosmo
2007-Dec-07
09:00:38
Avatar


Contribution Status:

Good (51.20)

I don't get it
Not being able to order your food how you like it done; i.e. the steak frits is cooked to the 'chefs specifications' is beyond me. After all, I'm the one who's paying for my food, aren't I?
The food in itself was okay but not anything super. $19 for skirt steak is a bit much too. I figure the piece fo meat I got was 8oz so do the math-nearly $40 a pound for skirt steak? That and the frits are actually frozen McCain variety!
The service was good. The wine list is okay, a little limited but a nice selection of what they do have.
The atmospher is too dark, almost dingey.
This wasn't my first time to Absinthe's as I like to give places a few tries, but it is likely my last.
As I said, I don't get it, the hype. It was okay but in no way worth the money.
-- Cosmo
Won't
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Dynomite2910
2007-Sep-25
12:43:17


Contribution Status:

Occasional (7.90)

Visited on 2007-Sep-22
Love the new location...
Had a chance to stop in at the new location on Saturday night. We had drinks, a couple of appetizers, and dessert at the bar.

The food was delicious - we had the ceviche taco, the brocolli soup, and the chocolat fondant for a dessert. The guacamole on the taco plate was especially good.

The new location looks great much more space (double at least) and much more open. I think this place will become a favorite of the new theatre crowd.

-- Dynomite2910
Will
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
hrs
2007-Sep-13
10:32:26


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

A Rewarding Experience
Absinthe passed the ultimate test – pleasing my sensitive and discerning family! We took my mother out for her 76th birthday and we all found the food delicious and created with attention to detail – for example, the sauce for my shitake-stuffed pork loin had been reduced (rather than thickened with flour)so that the flavour was highly concentrated. Every bite was truly delectable. My meal was accompanied by a glass of wine selected to go with the meal and recommended by the well-informed waitress. Our waitress, Janet, was exquisitely patient with my mother who wanted to find the perfect wine for the quail she had selected and tasted several before making her choice! Janet also reassured my brother, who is allergic to wheat, yeast and milk, consulting with the chef to confirm each ingredient. The atmosphere and decor is pleasant and unobtrusive and the chairs comfortable. I will add this restaurant to my list of favorites, along with L’Orée du Bois and Les Fougères in Chelsea!
-- hrs
Will
Visit
Again
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
mcsheffrey
2007-Jul-18
14:36:04


Contribution Status:

Novice (3.00)

Not closed...moving
Absinthe is moving to 1208 Wellington, the former site of the JIJ Beer Garden and Schnitzel House.
-- mcsheffrey
No Rating
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
OSoloMeal
2007-Jul-18
14:20:44


Contribution Status:

Great (100.00)

Closed?
July 2007 - Seems to be closed. Anyone know anything?
-- OSoloMeal
No Rating
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
lambmoir
2007-Jul-08
22:49:29


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

I have to say, that with the growing number of restaurants in westboro (most of which seem to be taking on that pretentious vibe that social, kinky and others in the market have) this restaurant was a breath of fresh air. It reminded me a little bit of the black tomato in the late 90's and early 2000's. Perhaps a place where the truly cool people go to that don't need to prove that they are hip and happening. I like the decor - spare, simple a few funky touches but not over the top "trying too hard".
The food is good, not the best in ottawa but definitely worth the price in most cases. I am a bit curious about the "frites", that is the only item on the menu I have questioned... I've been there twice with groups of people larger then 6. We did not have to wait long for the food and the server was attentive. All in all, a great choice if you want to dine in westboro
-- lambmoir
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
tyse
2007-May-28
12:25:03


Contribution Status:

Good (50.30)

Inexcusably slow service
I finally got a chance to try this place on a Sunday night. When my group of 6 arrived there were maybe 10 other diners. Not long after we arrived these people started to leave and by the time we were done, about 3 hours later, there were 1 or 2 tables of 2 still in the restaurant. My point is, it was not a busy night. Which makes the impossibly slow wait times all the more perplexing. I can understand if the kitchen is swamped, there will be a wait for food. However there is absolutely no excuse for waiting 20 minutes for just TWO drinks! And when we were finally done, the waitress was nowhere to be found when we were looking to pay. She was friendly enough I suppose- I just don't understand what she was doing after we placed that drink order!?!
Anyway, the food was for the most part very good. The table d'hote is indeed good value. Some people chose an app, others the dessert, and there were no disappointments there. The only unfortunate meal was the lone Vegetarian option. It was a goat cheese and veggie calzone. Very heavy on the goat cheese, overpowering would be accurate. Also, the ingredients and flavour were nearly identical to the grilled-veggies-and-goat-cheese flatbread which was also the only vegetarian appetizer (besides salad).
Overall I enjoyed my meal and most of my party did too, though a couple were less than impressed. We were all simply confounded by the service, however.
-- tyse
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
pattytatty
2007-Mar-28
19:45:39


Contribution Status:

Regular (26.00)

Nice joint. Very reasonably priced tabled'hote and always smomething for the vegetarian in your life. I don't know of another place in the city where you can order food like this after 9pm(my biggest complaint about Ottawa). I've only had slow service once, on a PACKED Friday . Too many people gripe when they walk into a zoo of a restaurant. Don't drive in rush hour if you can't handle the traffic, folks. The owner is the chef and he's come out to say 'hey' every time I've been in. Good wine list, decent draft selection.
-- pattytatty
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
JennyR
2007-Mar-17
16:15:10


Contribution Status:

Novice (4.00)

One of my faves in the west end. Never disappoints with food and service!
-- JennyR
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
xiola
2007-Jan-16
14:19:46


Contribution Status:

Novice (4.00)

We were hosting important business clients in December and needed a quality restaurant with personal service and Absinth didn't disappoint. Small enough so you're not forgotten in a sea of tables, and one of the best menus in town. The steak & frites is outstanding, as well as the banana split. Wine list is paired well with the menu. Consistently one of the best restaurants in town.
-- xiola
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
zoomfoody
2006-Aug-08
02:59:43


Contribution Status:

Frequent (16.00)

I thought it was really good. I really like the escargot!! great wine list, and nice vibe
-- zoomfoody
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
Chimi
2006-Jan-20
17:37:54


Contribution Status:

Frequent (20.00)

I've been here a few times for different reasons: business lunches, dates, drinks with friends after work, dinner by myself. It's got freshly prepared food, at a reasonable price. One time, the chef made a mistake when preparing my meal. Consequently, my plate made it to the table a little late, but the server offered me free drinks or dessert. When someone corrects a problem without me having to complain, I can't fault them. I'm glad they took this proactive approach instead of just serving me my food, leaving it up to me to complain.
Anyway, the food is tasty, and the drinks are yummy. Sometimes I find the atmosphere to be too intimate, since you're literally elbow to elbow with the patrons due to the spacing of their tables... otherwise, a decent restaurant in the Central-West area of town.
-- Chimi
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
dclee
2006-Jan-19
12:39:24


Contribution Status:

Frequent (19.00)

This place is a nice intimate room, with a modern decor.

Decent smallish wine list, with a nice blend of the new and old world.

Menu offers a fair selection of options. They do not seem to change up the menu a lot, so what is available is well done and consistent in quality. I think the limited size of the restaurant helps with the consistency, too - they can only get so busy, so the kitchen does not suffer if the place is fulled.

Enjoyed the ability to choose to pair up apps and main as a table d'hote - have had it with wine pairings (not sure if this is just a special occasion thing) and the option really added to the meal.

Service is good - spotty in places; but, generally attentive.

Overall, I would give a 7.5 but this option is not available.
-- dclee
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
justmarried05
2005-Oct-19
12:30:12


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

I recently was married in Ottawa (september) and we chose to have our rehearsal dinner at Absinthe. We are regulars at this restaurant, always super pleased with not only the amazing food, but the service and atmosphere are second to none in the city as far as we're concerned. Although we live in Westboro we have recommended this place to many people who make the trip often to return, which is another reason I feel more the comfortable writing this review.

We had around 35 people at the party,and owner and head chef Pat Garland closed the restaurant for our party alone! Awesome, as it is not a small place but not a big place either (seats around 50) We had everything from mushroom phyllo to beef satays to escargot to mahi mahi and rack of lamb and it was simply put....DEVINE! We were treated and served with the utmost class.

The menu consists of various dishes you can have alone or order as a table d'haute (my personal favorite) and everything is more then reasonably priced for the quality you get! This restaurant, it is easy to see, prides itself on excellent food and amazing service, you can't help but feel welcome and appreciated as a patron. I would recommend Absinthe to anyone and everyone before I would recommend anywhere else to go in the city for a wonderful lunch or dinner. They certainly played a big role in making our entire wedding experience unforgettable!


S&J
-- justmarried05
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
cdm
2005-Sep-28
01:39:04


Contribution Status:

Occasional (7.00)

Friend took me here shortly after they opened and he loved it - the service was fine and I really loved the atmosphere. I really wanted to love what I ordered but the salad came with *burnt* pumpkin seeds (way past toasted) and the dresing was shy on the acid, heavy on the oil. My entree had to much oil as well... a shame but he adored his pasta and he is picky. Give it a try... I'm sure it's gotten better, its eems to draw quit the lunch crowd from Tunney's.
-- cdm
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
ticketyboo
2005-Jun-21
09:17:36


Contribution Status:

Occasional (6.00)

My wife and I were invited here for dinner with friends. Great atmosphere and friendly, decent service from our waitress. I admit, however, we were disappointed with the food itself: The carrot and scallop soup just seemed to have next-to-raw scallops dropped in: I was expecting at least some flavour integration. Also, the soup itself was flavourless and thin compared to, say, the store-bought Campbell's carrot soup in the carton. My dish of seafood farfalle was also seemingly flavourless: three large shrimps and, again, a few scallops that felt dropped in amidst a bland sauce. Also bland was the vegetable spread that came with the bread: all texture and no discernable flavour. The escargots were definitely yummy, though! So, while not so much _terrible_ food or anything -- for the price I can think of so many other places I enjoy more. Note that most of the reviewers here who dislike the food here point to this blandness, and I hope the owners are paying attention: it's a nice place that just needs to rethink its dishes and flavours (or lack of).
-- ticketyboo
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
momor
2005-May-06
10:34:28
Avatar


Contribution Status:

Good (55.50)

I have been here several times and have always had a great experience. I love this place-- not only is the atmosphere quaint and warm, the service is friendly and attentive (a little too much sometimes).

The food is excellent and at a very reasonable price--I recommend everything, but specifically the grilled chicken stuffed with blue cheese and shallots/leeks.
-- momor
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
snorkboy
2005-Feb-13
21:51:06


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

Where to start. Stopped in with my wife. She ordered the Grilled Vegetables with goat cheese, the chef's salad and the Grilled Portabello Mushrooms. I ordered the Coquille St Jacques, the "Caesar salad" and the Chicken Fettucine. The grilled vegetables & goat cheese was composed of eggplant and the whole thing was quite insipid. My Coquille St Jacques was reasonably good. The chef's salad was afloat in a strong vinegar sauce which my wife didn't like, and which I found just ok. The "Caesar salad" was not your classic recipe but rather used an oily dressing instead of a creamy one and was overpowered by lemon juice. The grilled mushrooms and chicken fettucine were rather boring.

Overall, I had the strong impression of the flavours not being well integrated, but rather one ingredient overwhelming the flavour for the entire dish. This might be to some peoples liking, but I prefer a more subtle melding of the flavours. I kept thinking that I could do much better at home, and I seldom think that 'cause my cooking sucks. Overall, we were quite disappointed with the food.

Life is too short for bad food.
-- snorkboy
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
milk
2005-Jan-26
01:54:28


Contribution Status:

Frequent (12.00)

this is a very stylish looking place. full of very stylish westboro groupies. the staff is very friendly. our waitress though seemed to interject into our personal conversation almost everytime she came by , which was a tad too much. the food all came out perfectly . the presentation is simple and fresh. we ended the meal with very powerful and tasty martinis and coctails. overall very nice.
-- milk
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
spy
2004-Dec-04
21:23:46


Contribution Status:

Superb (494.09)

I had duck with scalloped potatoes and mushrooms as well as the banana split. Great service. My only complaint: the prices are pretty high.
-- spy
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
(tina)
2004-Dec-01
16:03:24


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

I want to like this place- it's by my work, it looks great, the staff are nice, it's cheap, but i have now had 2 BAD meals and one mediocre. (See I wanted to like it so much I kept going back!). Steak and frites is bad- poor quality meat, fries not right. I had a Duck Confit that was completely over-salted, my partner had a panini sandwich that was yummy but burned. It took so long to get there that we didn't send it back, but still.. it was visibly burned.
This was all followed by a truley foul espresso- agian it tasted burned and very bitter indeed.
-- (tina)
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
abeacham
2004-Nov-06
10:40:47


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

Our dining experience was completely disappointing. Although friendly, the service was glacially slow. Given the high prices and admittedly upscale atmosphere, we had high expectations for the food. Excellent food would have partially offset the high prices and poor service. Unfortunately, we were to be underwhelmed again.

After waiting close to an hour for our salad to arrive, we were dismayed to discover that it was a Caesar in name only: the dressing was oily and salty, with no discernable garlic bite. After another interminable wait, our food arrived. My chicken fettucine was overcooked, and the bland tomato sauce did little to improve the occassional chewy piece of chicken. My fiancée's grilled portobello mushrooms were overly oily.

Overall, we would recommend staying away from the absinthe cafe. If you are looking for a high end establishment for a great meal, this is not it.
-- abeacham
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
miko
2004-Aug-24
09:39:25


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

Coming from Montreal, I have to admit that I was highly disappointed by my dining experiences in Ottawa. It seemed impossible to have a good meal in a pleasant atmosphere at an affordable price. Absinthe proved me wrong.
-- miko
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
jiffy
2004-May-18
02:03:04


Contribution Status:

Novice (4.00)

an interesting combination of things going on here. live dj's and good food. this little corner is a hip and happening place . the food is great. weekend breakfast is excellent, my only complaint is in the concistancy of the food quality . other than that I'm sure I will be back.
-- jiffy
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
leper
2004-Jan-05
13:22:16


Contribution Status:

Frequent (19.00)

Man this turned into a flame war, I was reviewing another restaurant and decided to stop by here. This place is worth a shot, the food to value ration is very good! Remember this is not a monitored forum, and people POSSIBLY competitors or someone who has something to gain by slamming a place so badly when it really doesn't deserve it, can slam at will!
I am totally unbiased other than the fact that I dined here twice, and I liked it, if you would like further info email me at heathx@hotmail.com
Definately a good place to dine....
-- leper
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
deep6
2003-Dec-21
00:14:32


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

Who's the dude with the 'tude. Is it just me or does he come off a little over the top. I mean, this is someone's livelihood you're slamming so viciously. I've been to the restaurant twice now - once for dinner and once for brunch - and of the 7 people I ate with, every one of them loved it. Keep up the good work! The steak was superb and the lemon pudding's a killer. As for the reviewer with the chip on his shoulder, your review comes off like a cry for attention, not constuctive criticism.
-- deep6
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
cwyc
2003-Dec-18
00:51:09


Contribution Status:

Good (91.35)

Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
eric.p
2003-Dec-17
18:35:32


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

Hey cwyc you seem to have an axe to grid. I'll take the xpress comments over yours anyday. What makes you such a critic?
-- eric.p
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
herbert
2003-Dec-14
16:22:00


Contribution Status:

Novice (3.00)

So after reading all the previous commentaries about this place, I thought I'd give it a try. It was very disappointing. I had the house smoked trout with black olives and artichokes. This was extremely salty which took away from the true flavors of the dish. Someone else had the sesame shrimps on skewers atop a bed of rice vermicelli. The vermicelli must have been made a few days ago because it was dried and had already lost it's freshness. The house salad consisted of 3 Boston lettuce leaves and a raddichio leaf drizzled with only olive oil and garnished with burnt pine nuts. One person had the carrot saffron soup with scallops. I think the chef/cook was so focused on make a fancy presentation because the scallops were truly raw! They weren't even close to being half cooked because my seafood farfalle (the main entree)had the half cooked scallops. This place should focus on making good food rather than trying to create a fusion type trendy image because they start with such good quality type ingredients but is waste in poor preparation. The water glasses were streaked with dirt (not water spots) and were sticky. Two of the four napkins at our table were frayed and torn around the edges. This restaurant should work on what's important instead of being chintzy with it's poor paint job, ripped arm chairs and forgeting to use dish detergent. By the way, Captain Fish, this place does doesn't even come close to a Parisian cafe.
-- herbert
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
sletouze
2003-Dec-14
11:25:58


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.00)

I love this place. They now have DJ's on Friday & Saturday nights. Finally somewhere to go in the hood that's got a late night vibe!
-- sletouze
No Rating
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
openmind
2003-Sep-28
14:57:18


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.00)

Great chairs, beautiful friendly staff. Evokes a feeling of the cafes in Paris. Had the table D'hote option super cheap, Escargots, Scallop soup and Steak Frites for $23. Steak frites alone is $22 at Bekta (also a great Restaurant). The food at Absinthe is great and so is the atmosphere, stellar music, nicely candle light been twice already can't wait to go back.
-- openmind
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
golfguy
2003-Sep-27
09:22:06


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.00)

Very nice restaurant, very good food, beautifully decorated, you must give this restaurant a try......
-- golfguy
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
from the islands
2003-Sep-25
17:51:26


Contribution Status:

Novice (2.00)

No Rating
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
testuser3
2003-Sep-14
13:12:17


Contribution Status:

Newbie (1.00)

A very pleasant experience...personally I like the large windows being bare as it feels like eating outside but with the comforts of being in. Another addition to the gourmet delights of Wellington Village
-- testuser3
Comments (0) ... 
     

User Review Rating
anonymous user
2003-Sep-09
14:38:02


Had lunch there, somewhat pretentious, but the decor is comforting the food is awsome and the service good.... need some coverings on the windows, but otherwise if you get over the stupid name the restaurant is good...
Comments (0) ...