Absolute looks like a casual spot for a simple, inexpensive meal; but looks, alas, can be deceiving. I found the prices to be surprisingly high, given the look and feel.
The restaurant is unassuming in appearance: simple décor, bright and spacious, with a very visible pastry display. The menu is also very limited: not necessarily a bad thing. I had a pureed corn soup, delicious, and mussels in white wine broth, inoffensive, but uninspired. Artisan bread was brought to the table, a very nice touch, now only infrequently seen.
I realize that restaurants depend on liquor mark-up to pay for general expenses, but I resent feeling punished for wanting to enjoy a glass of wine (or two) with a meal. Paying nine dollars for a 5 ounce glass of Ontario wine detracts significantly from my enjoyment of the dining experience.
Service was generally good. However, I had ordered mussels as my main, and the server felt it necessary to tell me that they were ready when she brought me my soup, as if I had somehow made a mistake when I ordered to the detriment of the restaurant. I was left feeling that I was somehow in the wrong, not a pleasant feeling when trying to enjoy an appetizer.
I will likely return to Absolute to try another meal, on a night that I will be satisfied with having lunch or dinner with a glass of water.
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