Every Friday, San Diegans, tourists, and guests of theSofia Hotelhead downstairs, or to the corner of 1st & Broadway, to participate in a ritual unlike any other.
Last week, I enjoyed Absinthe-Minded Friday atCurrant, with a good friend. Our perfect evening began with an amazing meal and top-notch service that impressed me from the minute we sat down.
Our waitress greeted us and poured bottled water into our glasses as soon as we were seated. Not once through the entire meal did they let our water glasses empty. This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves when I go out, having to hunt down or flag down our waiter for more water. They took such good care of us through the entire evening, that the two of us were able to focus on our meal (and each other) without having to worry about a thing.
The large water that was brought over to us was a little intimidating...but the waitress assured us that she'dtake care of the entire process and we just only needed to sit back and watch. She then brought small sugar cubes to rest above the glass and just below the water drip on each side of the table (one for each of us). She lit the sugar cubes on fire and when they melted, we poured a small amount of water on top to dissolve the remaining sugar into the glass.
Then she came and poured the absinthe into the glass and removed the large water basin so I could see my partner's face (and look into his gorgeous eyes) once again. The absinthe was strong. Much stronger than I was expecting and the black licorice flavor lingered in my mouth well beyond the wonderful meal that we had.
We shared the seascallops which were described to accompany "sweet corn risotto croquettes, lemon beurre blanc, avocado relish." Yum. They melted in my mouth and left me both satisfied and looking forward to the entree.
My date ordered the Roasted Beer Can Chicken, which I sampled and which I was very impressed with. It sat upon porcini and baby leeks, gravy and mashed potatoes. It was delicious. I ordered the Lamb Bolognese with hand-cut pappardelle pasta and shaved grana padano cheese. It too was amazing, although the long noodles (and lots of them) was a little too much for me to deal with. I ate quite a bit but when she took my plate away it looked as though I had barely touched my food.
We did leave feeling completely satisfied and wishing we had saved room for dessert. The entire staff treat us well, stopping by our table often but without rushing us or making it feel like an interruption to our dinner.
The General Manager, Chris Cooke, came out to introduce himself and let us know to ask for him if we needed anything. Our experience there was a positive one, one that I won't forget for a long time to come. Of course, having a wonderful person to have spent it with doesn't hurt.