2 out of 5 stars
Martinis Better than the Dishes at Absinthe
Tonight my husband and I decided to try a new restaurant called Absinthe, which is in the Marriott in Boca Center. The decor consists of rich golds and deep purple and maroon. There is a bar area as well as indoor and outdoor seating in the courtyard. We sat outside at the iron tables with big comfortable chairs.
We started off with two of the signature martinis, and both were excellent and perfectly balanced. Mine was their signature pomegranate and cointreau concoction with mint, and my husband had the Ten Thyme Smash, with thyme, cucumber, white cranberry, tangueray and lime.
Next we had the calamari. The consistency and crunch were perfect, the calamari was very fresh. The sauces were just okay. It came with a cocktail sauce and two other mayonnaise based sauces. The menu says one sauce is a lemon caper aioli and one is a absinthe tartar, but I thought the aioli was somewhat garlicky and the other sauce was a spicy mayonnaise.
My entree was a filet mignon with a port wine reduction, truffle potatoes and some veggies. Hubby had a pan seared halibut with a saffron beurre blanc sauce over potato hash. My filet was good but not excellent. I felt it could have been more tender. The reduction was a nice addition, as well as a sort of rosemary crust to the beef. The mashed potatoes were spicy somehow, but I couldn't figure out what caused it. They had a strong flavor, which seemed to be a combination of garlic and some peppery-ness. My husband didn't like all the spice but I thought it was nice. Unfortunately the potatoes themselves had somewhat of a mealy consistency and not a smooth or whipped texture that I was hoping for. The filet came with a roasted tomato, which was a nice touch, and the presentation of both dishes was excellent.
The halibut was dry, unfortunately, which may be because it sat under a heat lamp too long. It didn't have the sheen from searing on it, so it seemed to have dried out between when it was cooked and when it landed at our table. We did notice it took quite a while for the dishes to emerge from the kitchen. The drinks helped us not mind it. My husband also did not enjoy the sauce that came on the halibut. He found it bland.
I would not return here for a meal, but would certainly come here for drinks. Not that the place was hopping with a happening crowd, but the quality of the drinks is worth the visit. The service, unfortunately, was not up to par. It took about 25 minutes from when we were served our food until we saw our waiter again. I can't say if it is always like this, some guests sitting near us were on their third visit to the restaurant, so it may have been an off night. They might do better to assign one server to handle the outside tables instead of having our server have our table and then a number of tables inside.
I am much more stingy and demanding than the average Boca guest, so I demand more from my $30 entrees. Presentation and atmosphere alone will not do it for me.
- Absinthe Restaurant
- 5150 Town Center Circle
- Boca Raton, FL 33427
- (561) 620-3754