Absinthe Bistro: French Food on The Drive
I have a habit of picking French bistros for my birthday dinner. This time around, I opted for Absinthe Bistro which is a smallish restaurant tucked away on the bustling Commercial Drive.
The menu here isn’t expansive but that allows them to focus on quality and the menu is always changing. They have 3 different starters, mains, and desserts to choose from. While you can order dishes individually, the best option is to go for their fixed price menu ($45 for your choice of starter, main, and dessert).
We started our meals with some drinks. I figured I had to try something with absinthe given the name of the bistro so I opted for the Absinthe Mojito ($14) which had a hint of licorice flavour from the anise. We also ordered the Passion Fruit Caipirinha ($13) made with cachaça (distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice). They also brought us some complimentary crusty bread and somewhat sweet whipped butter while we waited for our meals. It was super delish and we wound up scarfing it down. When they noticed this, they brought us out another serving (nice touch).
For our starters, we picked the Smoked Pork Hock Terrine with Chicken Liver Mousse and the Lightly Cured Tuna Tartare with Cauliflower Sauce. The cured aspect of the tuna gives it a different texture than you would normally expect from a tuna tartare. The smoked pork hock contrasted nicely with the chicken liver mousse.
The Slow Cooked Beef in Red Wine Sauce was served with a potato purée and zucchini balls. The beef was perfectly prepared and fork-tender.
When I see Sablefish on a menu, I always gravitate towards it. Also known as “black cod”, this mild-flavoured, buttery soft fish is heavenly when prepared properly. At Absinthe Bistro, it’s served simply on top of a mushroom and potato ragout with plump mussels in a vermouth cream sauce.
You can’t go to a French bistro and not order dessert. We picked the Classic French Vanilla Crème Brûlée and the Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Coconut Banana Ice Cream. The crème brûlée was served on a large yet shallow dish which maximized the surface area for the caramelized sugar. I’m pretty sure we saw actual bits of vanilla bean in the custard.
The lava cake was served warm and had a nice oozy chocolate centre when you broke it open. I’m not certain that I could tell the ice cream was coconut banana but it did go well with the richness of the lava cake. Overall, a very pleasant visit and service was on point.
1260 Commercial Drive
Posted on March 20, 2018, in French, Restaurant Review and tagged Commercial Drive, Creme Brulee, Food, French, Grandview, Lava Cake, restaurant review, Sablefish, Vancouver. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.