This was one of the restaurants recommended by our hotel; we chose it based on the their description of it being good for fish and quite traditional and on Trip Advisor reports which made it sound interesting as well as rather good.
l'Absinthe is fairly small and intimate, emphasised by the dark red colour scheme. Our only minor criticism would be that the tables were tiny with not really enough room for plates and glasses at times, and slightly too close together so that getting in & out was a bit tricky.
But whilst the venue had an old bistro feel about it the food was far from old-fashioned. Exciting combinations of flavours and sleek modern presentation made this a very good meal indeed.
We began with a complimentary and suprisingly delicate amuse-bouche of parmesan mousse with chorizo.
My delicious starter of marinated mackerel fillets on a puff pastry base with almond cream, candied lemon and a beetroot mousse was eclipsed by a 'stunning' dish of smoked salmon with dried watermelon, wasabi and mozarella ice cream, salmon mousse, fresh herbs (dill and basil) and a dill and balsamic dressing, which was described as 'probably the best starter I've ever eaten!'.
Of the main courses, a tranche of turbot with red pepper sauce and a brocolli and almond gratin was excellent, whilst a brik 'boat' with mixed fish, prawns and baby veg was well-flavoured but a little dry - a tangy, creamy sauce would have made it perfect.
An excellent bottle of 2010 Menetou Salon complimented the fish nicely.
Desserts were a Millefeuille 'Absinthe' with macerated red berries and chantilly cream, and a mixed platter of puddings, including chocolate fondant, creme brulee, and a wonderfully light pistacchio sponge with raspberries, served with a tea or coffee of my choice.
Service throughout was excellent, from the telephone reservation (my French is awful on the phone), to the warm welcome, prompt service and knowledgeable explanation of different dishes. Some minor mistakes were quickly corrected with good humour.
According to a sign on the door the restaurant is under new management. If our experience was typical they are very much on the right track.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.