Thursday, March 18, 2010

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

398 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA

Absinthe is a casual but elegant restaurant. Upon entering, I see a variety of people, ranging from business men who got off work to friends who just want to chill at the bar to persons who dine alone with books. The restaurant was somewhat dim, so I don't know how reading goes, but I found reading my menu difficult at some point.

The service was okay. The server came around once in awhile to check on my friends and I.

Absinthe of course, serves Absinthe, the alcohol. They serve it in form of shot as well as in cocktail. Right away my friends and I stared at the unique drink menu. The combination of liquor in the cocktails are very unusual, I never really seen before. I ended up ordering the Galapagos (pictures above) because I love Darwin! Anyhow, the galapagos is made of "Pisco, Kaffir lime leaf muddled in pepper syrup, lemon-lime juice and a splash of grapefruit juice. Shaken & served up with sunken brandied cherries." I do see finely grounded peppered floating on my drink. It tasted interesting...not the best I had but the most interesting tasting. I also took sips of my friends' drinks...very interesting as well. One with absinthe in it...very liquorice.

Onto the food!!!

French Onion Soup Gratinee

Wow, this is like the best French onion soup I ever had. I could smell it from afar. The soup was very rich and flavorful yet very brothy and light. Hmmm, cheese!

Smoked Salmon with Fennel and Picked Onion, Chive Creme Fraiche and Crostini

The smoked salmon itself was very simple, and nothing too special. Although when you add the sliced cucumber and some fennel on top of the smoked salmon and bread...gosh, it was so good! I think it's because the lightness of cucumber totally mellowed out the overwhelming smoked salmon flavor a bit...good combo! 

House-Made Hot Dog with Guinness Mustard, Chili Ketchup, Sauerkraut and Yogurt-Dill Potato Chips

This was on the 7x7 Big Eat List, and was the main reason why my friends and I went to Absinthe. The hot dog was very soft, the meat was not packed super tight. The casing was very easy to bite apart. The hot dog tasted good by itself, but it was even better with some Guinness mustard, some ketchup, and sauerkraut.

Escargots in Shell with Garlic-Herb Butter and Crusty Bread

I only had escargot once before this one in some other restaurant, and I didn't remember much from it. So I expected this to be chewy like those Asian water snails. Boy was I wrong! The escargot was soaked in garlic butter so it was very, very tasty and aromatic. On top of that, it was chewy at it. To my disbelieve, it was like soft and gooey, like a spread. My friend told me to eat it with the bread, like spread on bread. So good!

Sausage and Cornbread-Stuffed Mary's Chicken with Apple-parsnip puree, Brussels Sprouts, and Cranberry Gastrique

Sausage? Cornbread? I'm down! This chicken sounded very interesting, so I ordered it. I love the apple parsnip puree, it was like a creamy apple sauce. I usually eat brussels sprouts, but this brussels sprouts were very bitter, I didn't like it. The chicken was a bit rough and the stuffing weren't that flavorful.

Oyster Shooter - Chef's Choice Oyster and Spicy Bloody Mary Sauce

I have no idea what oysters the chef chose, but it was might good, considering I don't like oysters!

I poured my oyster into the Bloody alcohol in it! But yes, the Bloody Mary was very good, it was spicy like it said, and I like it. I don't like tomato juice; and I remember having Bloody Mary once before somewhere else, and I hate it so much I never ordered it again, but Absinthe's was good...maybe because it's a shooter and not a whole cocktail. Ha!

By the end of the night, my friends and I were stuffed. We didn't save room for dessert. Maybe next time, because I sure will go back to least for their soups and hot dogs!

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