New bar at University Heights celebrates absinthe, the bohemian drink of Paris

Patio seating area at Wormwood in University Heights. Arleen Ibarra’s photo

bitter, a cocktail bar and restaurant celebrating the artists and writers’ drink in Vin de Sicille, France, and opens Thursdays in University Heights.

booze, green, anise-flavored, was a favorite of Bohemia Paris, and Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway were among its admirers. The drink was once banned in the United States due to unfounded fears of psychotic effects, and the “green fairy” still carries an air of mystery.

Wormwood will display over 30 absinthes sourced from Europe, New York, Louisiana, and other countries. Guests will be able to enjoy absinthe served in slow drip fountains with a sugar cube, in imitation of how it was served on the streets of Paris in the early 1900s.

French-influenced restaurant fare will take the form of small plates and shareable appetizers that revisit classic dishes ranging from roasted bone marrow wagyu tartare to bacon with cherry bordelaise, pearl-crusted onions and bailason.

The new restaurant is the latest innovation of Ammar Haraj, founder of the restaurant Tahuna Bar In the old town. Located at 4677 30th Street in the space formerly occupied by Jayne’s Gastropub, Wormwood brings a new drinking and dining experience to a neighborhood of popular bars and restaurants.

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