Absinthe Brasserie soft opened recently, showcasing the sometimes-green, anise-forward, herbal-infused spirit with a long, convoluted history but very little hallucinogenic power. The bar holds its grand opening May 28 to 30. Specials for Memorial Day weekend include $4 draft beers, a free appetizer with the purchase of of absinthe for two or more, and free beignets with the purchase of an entree.
The owner, New Orleans native Cécy Graf, has taken over the former home of Lost Pelican. She's serving more than a dozen varieties of absinthe on their own, in flights with categories like "edgy" or "produced in France," and in traditional form with ice water dripping onto sugar cubes held above the liquor. This style, with a special fountain, is great for sharing between two or even four friends. There's a list of classic cocktails as well, from the familiar — Sazerac, with rye whiskey, absinthe, and bitters — to the uncommon — Linstead, with scotch, pineapple, and absinthe. Naturally, non-absinthe lovers will find drinks to fit their tastes, too.
40 guests can sit inside, and sidewalk tables can accommodate another ten-plus. The kitchen's squarely centered around southern comfort fare, featuring hush puppies and fried green tomatoes, gumbo and fried seafood po' boys, and weekend brunch with the likes of biscuits and gravy or chicken-fried steak and eggs. Oh, and did you get the memo about the beignets?
2400 1st Ave, (206) 441-5312, website. Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight. Happy Hour daily 4 to 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close.