I have a serious addiction to French Onion soup. Not just any will make the cut. The broth has to be slow cooked over hours with beef drippings, and red wine, and melt-in-your-mouth strips of onions that soak up all the flavor so it becomes a cardinal sin to leave any behind straggling in the bowl. The crouton floating happily at the top has to be thick enough to survive the cooking process but not as dense as a brick. The cheese has to be high quality swiss, preferrably Gruyere, and melt steadily so when spoon meets soup, it becomes one joined symphony for cheesey-beefy-oniony-magic for your tastebuds to behold.
As somewhat of a culinary snob when it comes to French Onion soup, it’s almost impossible to amaze me anymore. I’ve had some many that were just subpar that wowing me takes effort. Today, I met my match. Absinthe, you have won the battle. French Onion domination is yours.
Absinthe, a french-inspired bistro found in Hayes Valley, just neighboring downtown San Francisco, is known for it’s cocktails. They even wrote a somewhat revered book about it.
So, with French Onion soup already on my mind, I ordered a perfectly paired Absinthe Lemonade to go with it: which consists of equal parts lemonade, ginger beer, and cranberry juice. (There is surprisingly no alcohol in it.) AMAZING! So simple and the flavors pair so well together, I will clearly have to make this again this summer.
To round out my lunch, I had a wedge of their Cloth-Wrapped Firm White Cheddar with their expertly paired Apple and Golden Raisin Chutney along with their mixed greens salad.
My boyfriend chose a more heartier router and ordered their deliciously dippable roast beef sandwich and Caesar salad.
If you’re willing to venture off of the famously beaten paths of downtown and the Mission district for some delicious food, I highly suggest giving Absinthe a try. The decor and delightful service make it a must.
Thanks and happy eats,