No hallucinations, just celebrations


The Green Fairy makes an appearance at Absinthe after ten successful years

By Colleen McCaffrey


Anyone with a ringed finger to prove it knows that a 10-year anniversary calls for something stronger than a bit of bubbly. So it is quite fitting that Absinthe Brassiere and Bar celebrates theirs with the recent legalization of its namesake. Two distillers of the infamous “green fairy” are now available, Lucid and Kübler, but at more than 120 proof don’t expect it lit on fire, in spite of the myth.

In the revolving door restaurant industry of San Francisco, a decade is the Manhattan of anniversaries- not quite the history of a 25-year scotch, but certainly not for the faint of heart. With a handful of traditional menu items like the French onion soup and Sazerac cocktail rolling back to their 1998 prices, Absinthe’s sommelier, Aaron Glossman, quips, “too bad rent can’t do the same.” As an employee at the Hayes Valley hotspot I have to agree, but eating like it is comes in a close second. Vintage wines will be available in honor of the festivities, including a ’98 Chateau Gruaud Larose, Bordeaux ($34/glass.) The celebration lasts until the first of February.

Ten years are honorable and this last has been quite impressionable. Absinthe may be celebrating an anniversary but the current success of new executive chef Jamie Lauren has brought anything but nostalgia. The 2005 Chronicle Rising Star may have stepped into the shadows of a notorious bar, but her rustic blend of California and Mediterranean style dishes give clear indication that she has no intention of staying there.

398 Hayes at Gough, SF, (415) 551-1590,

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