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

2013 Nov 13
Some tantalizing pictures from this past Monday's test run: constantlycooking.wordpress.com

Feedback from the invitees on my Twitter feed was most enthusiastic!

2013 Nov 13
Disclosure - I am the General Manager for Absinthe.

We've started a fondue night at Absinthe every Monday. All the pertinent info is on our website - absinthecafe.ca

I'd be happy to hear any suggestions or feedback.


2013 Aug 3
I went for lunch yesterday. It was mostly filled by the time my beer arrived at the table.

I ordered the 'heirloom tomato salad'. Don't forget to read ALL of the ingredients in a menu. This one came with breaded, deep-fried steak tips! Delicious, if a bit large. Nicely chewy and very moist. The thin breading fell away immediately when cutting them into bite-sized pieces. It also came with a lovely goat cheese ball that had been deep fried as well. Salad was good and lightly dressed. Beer was beer.

Oh, the tomatoes were very good as well.

2013 May 14
Delicious beef bourguignon and tuna nicoise for lunch.

Service was very slow, close to 40 minutes before our food came, but the manager did the right thing and comped the meal, kudos!

The place was the busiest I've seen it at lunch, and I'm glad. This is one of the most underrated resto in the city, but consistently delivers.

2013 Mar 7
I am posting as a recent new user to this network

We have been ringing in the New Year here with a fabulous dinner after doing the Resolution Run for the last 2 years!

Absinthe's menu and staff are worthy of the highest praise!

Death in the afternoon (Absinthe and champagne) is absolutely wonderful! Amazing appetizers, amuse-bouche, exquisite duck, beef and the desserts are divine!

The staff are attentive, professional and make you feel welcomed!

We love this place!

2013 Mar 3
I had quite a brilliant supper at Absinthe recently a few Sundays ago. I dragged my parents along--they are not adventurous in terms of dining--very much meat and potatoes and nothing too fancy or "weird." Nevertheless, I took the plunge with them and it turned out great, thanks to both the food and the service.

Naturally, they both went with the burger. I got to sample the burger as my mom couldn't finish hers (due to the size, not the quality), and I have to say, even as a non-burger eater, this was GOOD. Super juicy, thick, and well flavoured. Pretty sure this is what a great burger ought to resemble. The fries were happily substituted for the accompanying poutine on the menu, and they even charged us less because of it on the bill... nice touch!

I have read up quite a bit about absinthe but never got to try the real experience until that night and our server gently walked me through the steps explaining things all the way. I really ended up enjoying my drink (I went with the Canadian "Taboo" brand of absinthe).

I ordered a few small plates instead of one main dish, namely the mushroom velouté, seafood tartare trio, and arugula salad. I'm a mushroom freak and their version of the soup was really good. I can't remember the last time I had one that tasted so intensely "mushroomy."

My only criticism would have to be about the salad. It was pretty much just arugula and a very tart dressing. I didn't think it went well with the already-spicy arugula, and it was pretty one-note as a result. The same stuff also came alongside the burger/fries.

I asked about the soup, and what they used in it. Our server not only went to check for us, but came out with the recipe written down for us by the cook!

Needless to say, the service was top notch.

I'll be going back to try some more absinthe hopefully sooner rather than later!

2013 Feb 3
Wow, so I can't blame the cut of meat then. :| I absolutely loved the hanger steak at Play Food and Wine.

Incidentally, googling the term "drop filet" suggests that it is unique to Absinthe, at least on the internet. Weird!

2013 Feb 3
Drop filet is a hanger steak. I buy them at The Butchery in Bell's Corners and cook them sous vide. It is too bad the steak was well done because when cooked to medium rare they have excellent flavour and tenderness.

2013 Feb 3
My wife and I came for a quick lunch on Thursday. I've found the food here to be hit and miss in the past, and this visit was no exception. Service was super friendly and the atmosphere is very good. Our 1pm start time meant we could sit anywhere we wanted -- the cozy corner booths are quite wonderful.

The bread was an unexceptional crusty loaf with anise. My wife was quite sad about it, while I found the anise seeds to be a fun play on the "absinthe" theme (she hates anise).

The food we ordered:

* Parsnip Soup - reasonably priced and nicely garnished with oil, but it was too sweet and the flavour lacked depth.
* Coq au Vin on Pappardelle - gorgeous house-made noodles with a light citrus oil treatment, topped with generous (one thigh, one drumstick) browned and braised chicken pieces in a succulent rich wine and mushroom gravy. This dish was definitely the hit of the meal and I was glad to have ordered it!
* Steak Frites - the menu says "medium rare" but this was a solid medium well. No matter, as my wife prefers medium well anyway. I tasted some and found it to be overly salty, and I like salt. The "frites" were excellent British style thick-cut chips, not really the delicate French style frites as the name suggests. If I'd ordered this dish I would have ranted more, but since my wife was okay with it I won't. She agreed that this was not even close to the best steak frites in town. Note that the lunchtime cut is described as a "drop filet" and I have no idea what that is. It is likely quite different from the dinnertime hanger steak that was praised so highly by Ottawa Magazine and Foodieprints a couple years ago.

The lunchtime value here is good. $14-$15 for a hearty dish is not bad at all, especially considering that's what they charge for their more interesting cocktails.

2013 Jan 16
I ate dinner here last week, taking advantage of the WinterBites specials on now. I live in the area and have been meaning to try this place out for a long time; I was not disappointed! The service was attentive and friendly, and the food was delicious.

I chose one of the Winterbites menus for the night. My starter was escargot and mushrooms in a creamy sauce. Definitely not diet food but it was delicious, and I used the extra bread provided to sop up all the sauce. My main was a duck confit leg with roasted root vegetables and spatzle. The skin on the duck was crispy and the meat underneath was tender and flavourful. My mouth is watering just thinking of it again... Dessert was a chocolate tart which melted in my mouth. Again, definitely not low fat, but I could have started with a salad!

My only minor critique of the restaurant was how loud it was at times, but this is to be expected in a restaurant with such an open layout. Will visit again.

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.