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“Todd and I just went here last Saturday. We didn't have reservations but they accommodated us very nicely. The...”
Review of Cafe Absinthe

Cafe Absinthe
Ranked #1,751 of 9,602 Restaurants in Chicago
Price range: $30 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Northwest Side
Cross street: Damen
Transit: Damen stop - Blue Line North Ave Bus\Damen Bus Taxis Available
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Todd and I just went here last Saturday. We didn't have reservations but they accommodated us very nicely. The...”
Reviewed January 28, 2008

Todd and I just went here last Saturday. We didn't have reservations but they accommodated us very nicely. The service was a little sporadic but the food was excellent. The menu offered one of the best cheese plates I have ever had. I would go back for that alone and sit at the bar with a glass of wine. The wine list was shorter than I would have hoped on its Bourdeaux offerings but we managed to find an interesting Zinfindel, though the waitress said it was from Oregon and the list stated it was from the Russian River Valley - clearly Sonoma. When the wine arrived it was a California. All in all a great evening.

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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    10
    5
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good if not a bit too trendy in its menu selections.”
Reviewed December 11, 2007

Good if not a bit too trendy in its menu selections.

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Thank pileckis
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“great place”
Reviewed July 21, 2007

This place has a real city feel.You have to enter from the alley to get in and its in an old brick loft space. Great food. Best memory? Brie and rasberries baked into an amazing bread. 10 minutes tops cab ride from Michigan Ave.

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2 Thank chloeandjay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“Best Restaurant in Chicago?”
Reviewed January 4, 2005

Even though it's Zagat rated and has been around long enough to not " be a secret ", this Bucktown treasure is worth it's weight in dining gold and I am hard-pressed to recommend another restaurant in Chicago over it. I lived in Wicker Park for some time and would routinely walk to Cafe Absinthe for dinner. I no longer liver in Wicker Park but I still routinely make the drive into the city to dine at Absinthe. I've dined at all the " well known " establishments in Chicago(Charlie Trotters, Tru, Trio, Frontera Grill, etc.) and have found the food and the dining experience at each nice but never worth the price of admission. At Cafe Absinthe, you don't get a lot of the fuss and formality you find at some of the better known fine-dining establishments in Chicago. For example, the servers don't were suits and don't fuss all over you to such a degree that you can't ever relax. Cafe Absinthe is a true local restaurant as you're not likely to see any tourists nor many patrons who live outside of the Bucktown-Wicker Park-East Village area dining there. The menu is seasonal and, according to the staff, changes weekly. I've dined at Absinthe frequently enough to notice the changes but what does not change is the appearance of some kind of a foie gras dish on the menu. With the exception of The Gundel in Budapest, Hungary, I've yet to encounter better foie gras and have yet to find it's equal elsewhere here in Chicago. If I had to throw-out just one word about the food at Absinthe it would be " consistent ". It goes without saying that the food preparation, presentation, and core ingredients are all top notch but what keeps me coming back again and again is the consistency. No matter what I order(ostrich, lamb, duck, soup, salad,etc.) it's always great. Always. The wine list is a bit small but it's eclectic, deep, and covers a broad enough range to suit pretty much any palate. If anything, Cafe Absinthe is about the neighborhood. That area of Chicago is bustling, loud, high-energy, and diverse. I would say the menu at Absinthe, as well as the atmosphere, reflects it's surroundings better than most (places) in Chicago; members of Urge Overkill were seated at the table next to us at one visit. It should also go without saying that you never have to worry about it being too quiet or too bright in Absinthe. When you visit, ask for James or Jonathon to be your server. They are a key element to what makes Cafe Absinthe such a pleasurable dining experience. Simply one of the best restaurants in Chicago and I can't recommend it enough.

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