Poutine at Absinthe Café Resto Bar
Fondue at Absinthe Café Resto Bar
Absinthe Café Resto Bar
Absinthe Café Resto Bar
Absinthe Café Resto Bar
Foods from Absinthe Café Resto Bar

2012 Mar 6
Please contact me directly at info@absinthecafe.ca, letting me know when this happened. I'd like to know how this happened, because it violates so many of our values that I'd like to get to find out how it happened so I can prevent it from happening again. Our steaks can be chewy especially if cooked past medium-rare; it's the nature of hanger steak, but there is no way that a chowder should have gone out with broken or closed clams. Even more baffling is that any of our staff would have argued with a guest about food being sent back. If you review the last few comments, you'll see that is not how we typically operate.

Please contact me so that I can attempt to fix this.

Thanks in advance,

Thomas McVeigh
General Manager,

2012 Feb 21
Compared the ratings online and this place seemed hopeful. After $300 for 4 (with wine of course) we left disappointed. The steak was tough and chewy the chowder had broken clam shells and unopened clams. When we tried to return it to the kitchen the chef said that it was ok for clams to be closed after cooking. The service was also slow for a restaurant that was only a quarter full. Not going back.

2012 Feb 6
While any time something goes wrong we are upset, I'm glad that we were able to make up for it.

I always tell the staff that everyone makes mistakes, but how you deal with them makes the difference.

I hope that next time you come out you won't have to see how we fix mistakes... you just have a really great time.

2012 Feb 1
I totally agree with Lemontart. About two months ago, I had dinner at Absinthe and one of our plates was sub-standard (a seared tuna dish, I believe): dry and chewy. We gently sent it back and the chef came out, apologized, said he'd pulled the tuna from the menu and would talk to his supplier. Then we ordered another dish and it was all free of charge. Amazing customer service. The rest of the meal, for the record, was excellent.

2012 Feb 1
We were craving steak frites the other day and so we headed to where we consider one of the best places that offers it in the city – Absinthe. Unfortunately the restaurant was having a bad day. It was lunch and the place was roughly half full. There were two tables of 8+ and of course most everyone was under a slight time constraint (lunch hour on a weekday), however, a restaurant of this calibre should have been able to handle this no problem.

I’m not sure what was wrong but we waited over ½ hour for our meals. When they did arrive the steak was unevenly cooked, in one case, completely underdone (I think it barely touched the grill). When the server came back to check on us, we mentioned this and the plate was immediately whisked away – no questioning, no quibbling – it seemed like the server did not even look at it, just took our word (I was completely surprised as I have never sent anything back to the kitchen). We were immediately told a new dish would be prepared. While we were waiting the server automatically refilled our wine glasses. About 10 minutes later, a completely new dish was delivered, along with the message that the chef was going to pick up the tab for the table.

This is a restaurant that knows how to treat their customers. They immediately recognized that they were not delivering up to their usual standards and went out of the way to fix any problems. In my opinion it would have been enough to refill the wine glasses while a new dish was prepared – it was above and beyond to not have us pay for the two meals. I will gladly be back to eat steak frites at Absinthe!

2011 Mar 19
Good meal at Absinthe last night. I almost replicated my first dining experience from about three years ago.

The service was good. My only nagging thing (which applies to all restos) is wanting to be offered fresh ground pepper rather than have to wait and ask for it.

I had the three course meal:
- seafood trio (since I currently can't eat raw meats and seafoods, I opted for two lobster rolls along with the crabcake): crabcake was delish, lobster rolls were less impressive although still tasty
- Romaine salad: fresh with a nice citrus-y vinaigrette, nothing outstanding though. Not something I would order on its own
- steak and frites: tasty

The virgin caesars were great.

During the course of the meal, I observed how the layout of the restaurant works really well. As a diner, I didn't feel squished as is the case with many restos.

All in all, a great dining experience for both my friend and I.

2011 Feb 5
[NOTE: This review is from November 2009, cross-posted from www.lexxxy.net ]

I love Westboro and I love Wellington Street….There are a lot of tiny little cafes, vegetarian spots and cozy restaurants. When I asked my Twitties where I should go eat next the consensus brought me to Absinthe Café Resto Bar. I’m always down for something new so I went!

I was DELIGHTED to find that this place uses organic, locally grown ingredients…now - that’s what I’m talking about!!! They feature meats, cheeses and produce from eastern Ontario and western Quebec…and the best part – the menu changes on a daily basis! And to top it off the prices are great! You can choose to get a 4 course meal for $30!

The service was fantastic right off the bat! We were seated at a small table and served very quickly. The staff is very knowledgeable and caring. We decided to go with a variety of tastes to share and we found the portions to be filling and the menu – very inventive! If your extra hungry when you come – don’t worry – they bring you a rosemary bread with butter as well as a tiny soup sampler that should hold you over!

Here’s what we ordered:

Seafood Trio
Fanny Bay Oyster Beignet, Matane Shrimp, Albacore Tuna

Artisanal Greens
Pine Nuts, Parmasan, Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette

Absinthe-Steak Frites
Hanger Steak Served Medium Rare, Frites, Horseradish Aioli, Green Beans

Cherry Tomato Salad
Warm Goat Cheese, Roasted Red Peppers, Oregano, Balsamic

Dessert Sampler (comes with a variety of 4 tasty bit size treats)

This is a GREAT date spot or even just a chill spot to go with some friends! The décor is minimalistic but inviting, the lighting is just right and the price is very decent! There’s a full bar at the back and yes – you guessed it – they serve 3 different types of absinthe as well as any other liquor based drinks you can imagine. * ALSO FOR WINE LOVERS* For each item on the menu there is a suggested wine pairing - which is phenomenal!!!



2011 Feb 4
I had the burger for dinner last week. Might have been the worst burger I've ever had. So incredibly dry, flavouless and overcooked dressed with mealy tomatoes and iceberg letuce. If there was baconaise on that thing I couldn't taste it. Same for the pulled pork poutine which consisted of a pasty-dry, orange, bland, amorphous, blob perched on top of some actually decent fries and unmelted cheese curds.

I almost forgot about the ceaser salad...overdressed, way too salty and generally inedible.

People seem to like this place so maybe it was just an off night. I won't be back to find out.

2009 Oct 20
Was here for lunch and had the steak frites which my colleague adamantly recommended - however, I didn't really enjoy it that much; I found it a bit overdone and dry. What I did enjoy was the butternut squash soup; it was so delicious I had to ask if it was possible to order larger amounts of it for take-out. Our friendly waitress told me it was actually possible, if I call before hand to let them know so they could make more :) Needless to say, I'll be giving this place a second chance to win me over some more.

2009 Jul 29
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.

Newer · Older
Wine 2


2007 Apr 9
I had the wine paring with my 3 course meal and each selection matched the course perfectly! Excellent selection.


Fries 2



2009 Jun 5
They now serve homemade ice cream in 1L containers to go, looks like they're stepping up to the Gastropub!






Poutine 2


2014 Jan 19
Crummy iPhone photo of the benevolent burger with poutine and Caesar salad sides. For your consideration. :)

2014 Jan 19
Can I go out on a limb and name the poutine at Absinthe best alternative poutine in Ottawa? Ok it's painfully rich, served with mushrooms and bacon, and it's a SIDE to a delicious BURGER!? But it is super satisfying and I think I like it better than my previous favorite alternative poutine, the Murray Street spaetzle poutine. Thoughts??

PS - For reference, my favorite classic poutine is a tie - stand beside the Dom, stand at Bank and Sunnyside, and Mellos, although its been a while since I've had any of the three.

Steak 1




Clams 1



Fondue 1


2014 Jan 8
The next person that goes should ask about the broth option and the reference on their homepage that says "a main course of meat cooked in a hot oil or broth at your table"

2014 Jan 7
Went for the fondue last night, and I must say I was extremely impressed with the quality of the food and service.

Our server was very professional and friendly. We had a few technical difficulties with the fondue burner (it kept going out)but she quickly fixed the issue with a smile and sense of humour.

The cheese fondue was very good and we both loved the flavour of the cheeses used. Beef fondue was tasty but, and as others have commented, I think I would have preferred the broth option. The chocolate fondue was exquisite. The quality of the chocolate was top notch and the fruit was nice and fresh.

Will definitely return to have fondue again and try options from the regular menu

2014 Jan 6
Went for the Monday fondue in late Dec 2013. I'll echo lemontart's post: Great food. Totally enjoyed the experience. Would have liked the broth option for the beef.

Service was excellent, wine pairing was spot on.

Nice to have a reasonably priced fondue option in Ottawa. Was pretty much limitted to Meule and Crquelon over in Gatineau and while i enjoy that place, it's way more family than fine dining.

Would go back, would send others.

2014 Jan 3
A couple of months ago Absinthe introduced fondue nights on Mondays. I think this idea is innovative and a welcome addition to “single night special menus” which are offered at some restaurants around town. I was surprised to find out that their regular menu is also available so if you are not in the mood for fondue you do not have to avoid Absinthe on Mondays.

For $44/person you get:
- Cheese fondue served with baguette, broccoli, apples and pear. I liked this course the best – cheese sauce was very flavourful and the accompaniments were a perfect mixture
- Beef fondue with four (if I remember correctly) sauces. The beef was very tasty and we were appreciative of the tip from one of the waiters about how long to keep the beef in the oil so as not to overcook it. I was disappointed that the cooking liquid was oil and not a broth which also works and is a lot lower in calories (I see on their website that they reference a choice of oil or broth but this was not offered to us)
- Chocolate fondue with a mixture of fruits – enjoyable but a little difficult to finish - unfortunately the use of oil for the beef fondue made me feel very full after the second course so I didn’t enjoy the final course as much as I would have liked

I would try it again in a couple of months but request the broth instead of oil. Also, fondue to me is a winter-type meal so not sure if this is going to work in the summer months.