Yeah, absinthe used to be banned, but it's legal now, and Plaza-Midwood's Soul Gastrolounge offers it, with food pairings and readings of Edgar Allan Poe's work, Oct. 30. (That's the 200th anniversary of Poe's birth and, some would argue -- like me -- a waaaay better Halloween event than most). Look for absinthe oysters Rockefeller, tarragon-butter-grilled shrimp over orange fennel salad and braised fennel and sausage on grilled peasant bread, plus absinthe and absinthe cocktails. Absinthe, also called the Green Fairy, was once considered dangerous; it's an emerald-colored liqueur based on wormwood (artemisia) and alcohol. Wormwood's compound thujone, says Wired magazine (and who wouldn't trust Wired magazine on such a thing?), is what was blamed for the drink's "supposed side effects: hallucinations, artistic inspiration, degeneracy and homicidal mania." Thujone's still banned in this country, but absinthes with little enough of it can be sold (and some doubt the connection anyway), while the New York Times said this year, "Modern analysis has shown that the absinthes produced today have none of these effects." Hmm. Drinks will run $7-$11 and include the classic cocktail and items such as "Surfer on Absinthe" (with coconut rum and pineapple), while the food pairings are $6-$7.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
1500 Central Ave.; 704-348-1848.
Posted by Helen Schwab at 2:33 PM