There’s something addictive about L’Absinthe: this neighbourhood bistro has lasted five years on a site that has seen others crash & burn. Exuberant owner Jean-Christophe Slowik – who worked with Marco Pierre White for 20 years – has definitely won over locals with his quirky charm, & the restaurant’s homespun feel further adds to the appeal. It’s a fine spot for dinner with friends, the menu lining up unfussy bistro staples with impressive retail-price wines (plus corkage) from the accompanying off-licence next door. With pâté de campagne or leeks vinaigrette to begin, leading on to duck confit, Toulouse sausages or steak-frites, & a tarte Tatin to finish – it’s all highly reassuring. The kitchen occasionally misses the mark, but given the venue’s spirited personality & tame pricing, most diners are willing to be forgiving.
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