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Parking off Hinton
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News & Birthdays
Long-serving Ottawa restaurants fêted for staying power
Patrick Garland has built a strong reputation at Absinthe, on Wellington Street West, by creating a busy bistro with good, timeless cooking. It’s been a Hintonburg hotspot for the past 15 years.
“It’s elbows on the table, wear Wellingtons if you want to. Eat too much, drink too much, laugh out loud, enjoy yourself,” says Garland, who also happens to really like what he does for a living. “It’s a restaurant of the people, for the people.”
Business Journal, 2018
Where to Eat: The 2017 Best Ottawa Restaurants List
" [...] just in case you thought the kitchen was exclusively about old-school bistro cooking, consider the quail on a summer menu: the breasts treated to the flavours of bulgogi, the little legs Korean-fried —all bits nestled on a fiery slaw of green apples and kimchi. A clementine gel was a balm for the heat, while a shower of edible flowers and licorice mint prettied up the brown bird."
"You may stagger out, but you’ll be humming Piaf."
Capital Cuisine - A Dine-Around Ottawa's Thriving Food Scene
At lunchtime in the flourishing Wellington West neighbourhood, bright and cheery Absinthe Café buzzes with energy. A member of Savour Ottawa, signaling its commitment to locally grown and raised foods, Absinthe is the product of chef/owner Patrick Garland’s passion. Lunchtime soars with butternut squash soup perfumed with chai spice and animated by bits of sweet apple, and salad niçoise decked out with moist salmon, sliced hardboiled egg, chunks of soft potato and bite-sized pieces of crisp green beans.
Meetings + Incentive Travel Magazine January + February 2017 (p.30)
Absinthe Cafe - Stop by this Wellington West hot spot for French-inspired cuisine and a taste of its namesake drink.
On Monday nights, there's a special fondue menu; go with friends and order cheese and meat varieties to share, then finish with the Valrhona chocolate fondue for dessert.
Canadian Living Magazine (497K)
So Fond of Fondue
It was while completing his apprenticeship at a Swiss restaurant that Garland encountered traditional cheese fondue (and apparently insulted the chef when he told him it looked nothing like the fondue of his childhood).
So a few years ago, when Garland was looking to do something a little different to intrigue diners at his Hintonburg restaurant on Monday nights, normally a slow night in the industry, he went back to his formative kitchen experiences and began offering fondue, with Fondue Neuchâteloise (cheese fondue), Fondue Bourguignonne (meat fondue), and chocolate fondue.
10 easy ways to share food and drink with the less fortunate this season
For the last five years, Absinthe Café (1208 Wellington St. W.) has offered the Cornerstone Burger. It’s not only a juicy whopper involving smoked bacon, a secret sauce and with bacon-and-mushroom poutine on the side, $1 from each plate goes to Cornerstone Housing for homeless women. Over the years, that’s added up to more than $12,000.
Leading Ottawa chefs to stage pop-ups in Great Canadian Theatre Company's lobby
The Great Canadian Theatre Company is teaming up with six of Ottawa’s top chefs to stage once-a-month pop-up dinners in its lobby before the performances of its 42nd season.
"It was a memorable evening, and a good value for the price. Highly recommended!"
DESBRISAY DINES: Twenty Fourteen on a Fork
"And here’s a shout out to Ottawa chef Patrick Garland of Absinthe, who will compete at the Canadian Culinary Championships next month and who delivered the best creme brûlée of the year, a wee pot of the cool custard with crackling caramel veneer at the end of a lovely April
What some notable Ottawa folks have to say about their secret to happiness
Patrick Garland of Absinthe Cafe is always crazy busy at work, but loves to ‘sneak out like a bandit and go down to the Parkdale Food Centre in my neighbourhood.’
Chef Pat Garland wins 2014 Ottawa Gold Medal Plates
Chef Patrick Garland of Absinthe Cafe won Ottawa’s 2014 Gold Medal Plates competition Monday night. He will represent Ottawa next year at the Canadian Culinary Championships.
“When we talked about it, discussed it, we had a clear winner by several percentage points which is quite a big margin for Gold Medal Plates. It was a gorgeous dish, some classical things on the plate. There was a lot of imagination.” Head judge James Chatto
Pat Garland of Absinthe Cafe wins 10th Gold Medal Plates chef competition in Ottawa
Victory last night against nine competitors entitles Garland to compete in grand finale in Kelowna in February
Full story at RonEade.com
Our chefs present Ottawa cuisine — in Niagara
Food and wine aficionados celebrate Ottawa Valley theme dinner Saturday at Canadian Food & Wine Institute
Full Story at RonEade.com
Absinthe Restaurant (Review)
Lola and Riley's Culinary Quest
Lola and Riley's Culinary Quest
Why Local restaurants tend their own gardens
Absinthe's Ghetto Garden gets press.
“It’s interesting what you can grow at the back of a parking lot,” says Shawn Marsh, the sous chef at Absinthe. “People are very impressed that we can grow our own herbs and vegetables.”
Contemporary Food and a Great Atmosphere at Absinthe
What to expect from a restaurant named Absinthe? Well, five varieties of this spirit, of course (“Yes, it’s legal, and yes, it does have the real ingredients,” says general manager Thomas McVeigh). You’ll also find seasonal menus and contemporary Canadian soul food to fill your belly, such as the much-loved steak frites and the “Benevolent Burgers” ($1 from which goes to charity). Round out the experience with an extensive wine list, creative cocktails, and a relaxed ambience that lets you laugh loudly with your friends.
Top Garde Manger at Absinthe Cafe
When Chef Patrick Garland of Absinthe Cafe (1208 Wellington Street W.) could not decide which candidate he could objectively choose to fill his open garde manger position, he called in other chefs to help him decide: chefs Arup Jana of Allium Restaurant (87 Holland Avenue), Patricia Larkin of Black Cat Bistro (428 Preston Street), and Mark Currie formerly and again of Mariposa Farm (6468 Highway 17).
Top Garde Manger at Absinthe Cafe
Ottawa chefs do battle in Food Bank cook-off
chef/owner Patrick Garland of Absinthe Café Resto Bar squares off against chef de cuisine Kyle Christofferson of Brookstreet hotel in today’s culinary challenge at Loblaws College Square. Each had to use five secret canned ingredients in a superlative dish to illustrate the need for basic essentials distributed by the Ottawa Food Bank.
Ottawa Citizen Article
Absinthe mentioned in Chatelaine
Try some of the signature drinks at Absinthe. The café stocks a variety of absinthes (including the only genuine one made in Canada, Taboo from Vernon, B.C.) and serves up 13 different cocktails made with the notorious spirit. A little Death in the Afternoon, anyone?
Travel Destination: Ottawa
Consistently excellent food & service - the best in Ottawa!
Absinthe is our favourite restaurant in Ottawa and would rate equally high against Montreal (i.e. food mecca!) establishments. While the menu varies seasonally the house specialties are always available, adding to the difficulties of choosing between the new offerings and old favourites. The wine list is well chosen and includes imports not at LCBO that are not over-priced.
Service is attentive with an imaginative sampler thrown in to start off the evening where even on busy nights you are never rushed. Reservation times and requested table locations are well respected; street parking is generally not a problem; so expect a hassle-free, pleasant dining experience at Absinthe!
Excellent in all Respects
My daughter and son-in-law recently had their wedding reception at Absinthe. So this may not be the regular kind of review, but they did such a fine job with 75 people that I would like to recognize the good work.
We had the full place to ourselves, with a cocktail reception and sit down meal with a selection of a few appetizers and mains. The sliders and other canapés at the reception were excellent and the sliders in particular got great reviews. The tomato/chevrochon salad and the chilled velouté soup were also excellent. The beef filet main and salmon main were cooked just right.......hard to do especially to nail the beef at medium rare for about 60 people. Hats off to the chef and staff!! Dessert was a chocolate fondant and crème brulée, just the right size.
Tom and the staff did a fabulous job of the service, it flowed just right and the small details were looked after eg.wine top-ups etc. Attentive but not intrusive.
I know it may seem I am basking in the glow of a wedding, but I have been to weddings where the food and service was just passable; Absinthe really aced this evening, well done!!
WEEKLY LUNCH PICK: Absinthe’s three-course lunch special
The deal: I applaud the folks at this plucky West Wellington bistro for giving us a new reason to check out Absinthe at midday: a three-course lunch special for under $20..
Ottawa Magazine - City Bites
Where to get a great burger
Absinthe's hanger steak burger makes the cut.
Foodieprints Burger Challenge
Keep up the great work
My wife and I had a wonderful time at your restaurant last night. It was our first visit and we were impressed with the level of service and the quality of the food. My bison steak was done to perfection and the soups / sides were piping hot. Just how we like them!
Keep up the great work...we plan on visiting again and hope to bring friends and family with us in the future...
Guest feedback from Jason Boushey
Food has never been better than at Monday's ORHMA gala
The food has never been better than it was last night at the annual Ontario Restaurant Hotel Motel Association (Ottawa) gala (...). Really, a fabulous evening with some of the best cuisine from some of the city's best chefs. (...) From Absinthe, chef Patrick Garland's version of Foie Gras Thee Ways. That's a tempered bacon chocolate bon-bon stuffed with foie gras cream (a show-stopper, believe me), foie gras terrine on a cranberry-walnut crostini with quince gelee on top, and short ribs cooked 49 hours sous vide with seared foie gras on top.
Ron Eade, Omnivore's Ottawa
Patrick Garland weights in on "What Should Food Lovers Be Getting Excited About in 2011"
"Ottawa food lovers should be excited about improved service and better wine and spirit knowledge from servers at some of Ottawa's newer restaurants. You'll see more chef-owned restaurants, more integration of molecular elements and more use of current technology without being exclusively avant garde cuisine. I'm excited about the idea of a market proposed for the federal yard west of Preston Street, and food trucks with cool offerings. And, someone has to open a restaurant with family-style eating, a prix fixe menu with sensible wine pairings like BEAST restaurant in Portland, Oregon, or I may have to!"
Ottawa Citizen, 2011
Absinthe named in Ottawa Magazine's Top ten restaurant list for 2010
"For Absinthe, the personal connection to ingredients is everything. Its menu uses an elaborate system of symbols to pay homage to a small army of local farmers. At a glance, customers can see that eggs are from Bekings, tomatoes are from Rideau View, broccoli is from Rodney Knox, arugula from a guy named Spicoli (meet him, and you’ll know why) — and on it goes. (...) Chef-owner Patrick Garland favours big, bold flavours. His food yells, Life is short, eat up! (...) And then, once you’re braced for the one-two punch, Garland reminds us that life can be as sweet and delicate as the perfect profiterole."
Top Ten Restaurants, Ottawa Magazine, 2010
Best Meal in a Long Time
Absinthe is a gem! One of the best meals I've had in a while. The food is inspired and it's ethos is seasonal, local, artisanal and organic, so the menu changes daily. Had the pleasure of enjoying a wine paired tasting menu and it was phenomenal! The atmosphere is chic and modern with a cool vibe. The service was great, friendly and informative. Everyone takes pride in the food here. Most memorable: Mariposa duck breast and morels, Seared tuna and steak tartar.
Happy Hour's Guide to Absinthe
“There’s so much bulls–t on the Internet about absinthe,” says Pat Garland, owner of Ottawa restaurant Absinthe (theme self-explanatory). “I will tell you that even I can’t demystify it sometimes for myself.”
Adam McDowell, National Post, 2010
Taste of Wellington West 2010
Absinthe has established a reputation for serving delicious full-size hanger steak burgers at last year’s event (...). And, as last year, Absinthe’s kitchen made sure their burgers would not be topped with pedestrian condiments. They had on-hand baconnaise, chili, sauteed mushrooms, and caramelized onions. To wash it all down, lemon grass vanilla lemonade, my favourite beverage of the Taste of Wellington.
Foodieprints, Ottawa Tonite
Absinthe's Steak-Frites named as one 101 Tastes To Try Before You Die
“101 Tastes” extravaganza is Ottawa Magazine's list of the city’s must-try foods. All 101 must-try-before-you-die ‘tastes’ are either made in Ottawa or unique to our city.
101 Tastes, Ottawa Magazine, 2010 (660K)
New on the menu in 2010, What’s hot? What’s not? Chefs weigh in
"What’s hot: Whole animal butchery, offal and knowing the provenance of the foods we are cooking. Sustainable fish and seafood. Chef-owned restaurants. Absinthe At Home products (ice cream, ready-made meals)."
Ron Eade, Ottawa Citizen, 2010
Passer le flambeau
Selon Pierre Jury, critique culinaire du journal Le Droit, la relève de la région a pour nom "Patrick Garland, Michael Blackie, Marc Lépine, René Rodriguez, Caroline Ishii, Mike Moffatt,etc."
Pierre Jury, Le Droit
Food Blog Camera Ethics and Absinthe Steak Frites
"That evening, I even got to shake Chef "Pat" Garland's hand after the dinner, thanking him for a great meal."
Review by Foodieprints
Date Night: Absinthe and Bowling, 2010
"Drinks are always a perfect compliment to bowling, but if you’re doing the mid-day bowl thing, you may prefer brunch and lots of mimosas. However, if you’re dating in the evening the Absinthe Café and Restaurant is not only located right across the street, but also offers a new experience to those who have never had the chance to try the infamous green beverage."
Date Night: Absinthe and Bowling
"This is a GREAT date spot or even just a chill spot to go with some friends! The décor is minimalistic but inviting, the lighting is just right and the price is very decent!"
Review by Lexxxy
Top Three Places to go for Steak
"Chef/owner Patrick Garland turns out consistently excellent food in a wide-open super-cool room that rocks when full."
Chris Knight, Ottawa Magazine, Best restaurants, 2009
Les nouvelles tables de la région
"Les meilleures tables de la région, qui étaient à peu près tous à Hull à l'époque, se sont fait damer le pion par une poignée de jeunes chefs d'Ottawa, presque tous anglophones, qui rivalisent d'audace dans leurs restaurants - qui ont pour nom Benitz Bistro, Domus, Farbs, Beckta, Wellington Gastropub, Napo, Fraser Café, Canvas, Whalesbone, Absinthe, etc."
Pierre Jury, Le Droit, 2009
No Green Fairy, but an Excellent Meal at the Absinthe Cafe
"The steak was a work of art."
Review by Foodieprints
Ottawa Citizen Dining Guide, 2009
"Patrick Garland's food is seasonally sound, locally sourced, and big on assertive flavours."
Ottawa Citizen Dining Guide (498K)
Omnivore's Supper Club at Absinthe, 2009
"Course after course, we enjoyed Pat's delivery of traditional, basic yet deftly executed cuisine where simple time-consuming care was taken with every blessed plate"
Ron Eade, Omnivore's Ottawa, A Return to Traditional Skills
Nooschi, A Food Diary, 2009
"Pat Garland, Absinthe's executive chef and owner, is a charismatic man with a strong passion for food. Although Absinthe is labelled as a 'French Bistro', I've noticed Asian influences creeping into his dishes such as the use of yuzu, fish sauce, and Sriracha hot sauce."
Omnivore's Ottawa Supper Club at Absinthe
"A burger to make a foodie cry"
Taste of Wellington
Rod Philips, Ottawa Citizen, Worlds of Wine, 2009
"Kudos to Absinthe for getting it right!"
Life Imitates Wine Blog
Check us out as we compete in Gold Medal Plates, 2008
Gold Medal Plates on Discovery Channel
Absinthe is the winner of an Epicurrean Award, 2008
onAir Magazine Air Canada, 2008
The chic French resto-bar Absinthe Café is all about bold flavours.
Ottawa Citizen, 2008
Five great places to eat where you can still hear records
Ron Eade, Omnivore's Ottawa, 2008
Absinthe wins the Silver Spoon Award
Chris Knight's, Best Restaurants, Ottawa Magazine, 2007
Absinthe mentionned as number one of six to watch
Know Your Heifer
I caught up last week with five Ottawa chefs who struck a bargain in March with farmer Ian Walker to raise three Black Angus steers and two Black Angus cows on his organic pastures. Ian calls his program "one chef, one cow."
Ron Eade, Ottawa Citizen, 2007
Getting Wine Right in Restaurants
I went to Absinthe restaurant on Wellington Street one night and ordered a New Zealand pinot noir (Te Kairanga). It came to the table at the perfect temperature, and I suddenly realized how rare that had been.
Rod Philips, Ottawa Citizen, 2007
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