It’s a wonderful feeling when you walk out of a restaurant at the end of the evening realizing that all your expectations had been exceeded. That’s precisely how we felt after dining at Absinthe Bistro last night. This unassuming eatery on Commercial shares a block with Havana and Fets, yet Absinthe doesn’t seem to have the same notoriety as its neighbours. And that’s shocking because they excel at personal service, food presentation and flavour. The husband-wife team do a fantastic job of making you feel welcome and ensuring your experience is a positive one. They have found that fantastic combination of talent and passion which shines through in the small details, which can make the difference between a good experience and a fantastic one! The open concept kitchen highlights how talented they are with so few people! Last night there were only three people working the front & back of house; one in front and two in the kitchen. Yet it looked effortless. The room is unassuming, but comfortable. Sound dynamics can be tricky for restaurants to master and the noise volume wasn’t overbearing. Being a small place their capacity is probably around 20 seats and it was close to full last night, yet we could easily carry on a conversation without issue. One of the highlights of the room is the analog Instagram and Facebook counter on the wall above the kitchen which we enjoyed playing with. As we each took turns liking them on social media, we would watch the counter tick up adding our likes one at a time. We were there with a group of 7 people which can be challenging in such a small restaurant. In fact, they had two groups last night and managed without issue. I am eager to go back and trust the experience will be consistent on my second, third and future visits. In fact, Absinthe is about to become one of my favourite restaurants, I can just tell. Written by: Alistair is a real lover of restaurants and the experience of dining out. In 2018 alone he visited more than 100 Vancouver eateries and he’s on a year-long mission of not cooking. He avoids calling himself a foodie, preferring “food slut” as he loves it all from dingy diners to world-class cuisine.