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“Terrific Experience”
Review of Cafe Absinthe

Cafe Absinthe
Ranked #1,687 of 9,548 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
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
381 reviews
308 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Terrific Experience”
Reviewed June 25, 2014

Lovely dinner out at this charming restaurant with an entrance located in an alley - really underscores the clandestine theme of the place as in the history of Absinthe.
Our server was wonderful & made great suggestions!
I had the seared foie gras appetizer which was very good. Hubby had cheese plate with only goat cheeses, very accommodating of them.
At the server's suggestion, I got the Australian Lamb Rack - super tender, juicy, expertly cooked. Hubby had the salmon & enjoyed that as well. They also had Halibut on the menu which looked delicious as well. Dessert was some palate cleansing, refreshing sorbet.
Great Date Night...

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Justsaygrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Level Contributor
320 reviews
266 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Consistently first rate”
Reviewed June 8, 2014

Wicker Park, the area where this restaurant is located, is known to be a popular gathering spot for young professionals and hipsters. Lively night spots offering music, beer etc dot the landscape.

This restaurant which is next door to one of the lively bars (and apparently co-owned) is a delightful oasis offering serious French inspired dishes at relatively modest prices. It shuns the usual steak and frites bistro offerings to offer really well prepared sea food and meat dishes. On a recent visit my halibut was accompanied by an excellent sauce which didn't hide the delicious fish taste but added flavor. My wife ordered lamb chops which were also delicious.

The bread basket is a nice combination of a good traditional baguette and some grain breads, perfect for a taste with a cocktail and helpful for soaking up the sauces left after the entree. For desert on this occasion I ordered the soft chocolate cake with a scoop of ice cream. I avoid this desert in most restaurants because many places produce an overly sweet concoction of poor quality. Absinthe's version of this classic desert is excellent.

The atmosphere is charming, neither too casual nor fussy. Service is friendly casual as one expects in Wicker Park. The wine list is small but well chosen and the wines by the glass are good pours.

We have been here on different nights and with different sized parties for probably 10 years now and have never been disappointed.

While the restaurant is prominent on the street, it has to be entered either by its main entrance on the alley or through the adjacent bar. Have an excellent meal here and, weather permitting, enjoy a stroll in Wicker Park afterwards.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank joesChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great dining, great service, great ambiance, great evening out”
Reviewed March 29, 2014

We knew the entrance was off the alley and reminded us of going to small restaurants in Barcelona and Paris so just wrap yourself around Damen to the alley north of North Avenue and you will easily find the little green fairy and the arrow pointing to the entrance. The setting is very bistro/Parisian feel, great ambience, low lighting a great first date spot. Food was excellent - would recommend the crab cake, the beet salad was excellent and the salmon, beef tenderloin were all superb. My husband tried the French Onion soup that was also very rich tasting. The chocolate lava cake came with a raspberry/lychee sauce that had hints of rosewater. A great dining experience at the hub of Wicker Park and Bucktown.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank capracornio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nahe Wien
Level Contributor
62 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Best steak ever!”
Reviewed January 5, 2014 via mobile

We had an absolutely delcious meal at Cafe Absinth. The oysters were excellent, the smoked salmon was equally good, but the best was the tenderloin steak!

It seemed to melt on the tongue, so soft it was, it cutted like butter. Definitely the best steak we ever had.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Roobert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Hidden gem so glad we found!”
Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

On the constant search for new to try in Chicago. Found this on open table so gave it a try prior to a show. Started with a nice bottle of wine, French onion soup, and halibut for the main course. Nicely done! My wife had the salad an risotto, and she was very pleased with both! First time here and very pleased! Surprised not a lot of people dining on a Saturday night.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank hannahwood1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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