Lunch Pick

LUNCH PICK: Absinthe’s superb three-course lunch

By ANNE DESBRISAY

Ottawa-Absinthe

Classic crème brulée, part of Absinthe’s three-course meal (Photo: Anne DesBrisay)

Une Petite Soupe (a broccoli “velouté”) was course one of Absinthe’s three course lunch special. A classic crème brulée in mini ramequin came last, and in between, a main course of Taco de Poulet Tikka with Kachumber.

To suggest that, from time to time, Patrick Garland and his team of cracker jack French bistro cookers pitter patter over to give some Indian-Mexican fusion thing a go seems fair. (I ate the proof.) And it was delicious in a disjointed sort of way.

Good, adult soup — which is to say soup with a pleasing lemony bitterness about it, and a sharp and salty roundedness from Parmesan cheese. Then came the tacos: these were superb, the soft shells warm, made in house, smeared with a mint and cilantro chutney and topped with very moist grilled chicken drenched in a spicy cardamom-strong curry, cooled with a yogurt raita.

Ottawa-Absinthe

Chicken tacos at Absinthe, smeared with mint and cilantro chutney (Photo: Anne DesBrisay)

There was crunch — as there must be in a good taco — in the Kachumber salad, of cucumber, tomato and onion that topped the construct. The side of mixed greens was tossed in a mustard-creamy dressing that featured fresh thyme leaves and lots of lemon zest and brought me to Paris with its forceful flavours. A really good plate of food.

What else to follow a tikka taco but vanilla bean crème brulée? The real stuff, four spoonfuls-worth, well-executed. I could have four more.

Three-course lunch special, $20

Absinthe, 1208 Wellington St. W., 613-761-1138, absinthecafe.ca

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