Cafe Absinthe

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The sign for Cafe Absinthe, one of the earliest restaurants to arrive in now-booming Bucktown, is posted on North Avenue, but the entrance is behind the building off the alley. Inside, heavy curtains and an open kitchen give the eatery an easy elegance. The menu is comtemporary American with plenty of global influences. Though selections change seasonally and you'll often find specials, expect entrees such as roasted duck with lemon-thyme spaetzle and exotic mushrooms, and seared scallops with sauteed zucchini, green peas, tomato concasse and sweet pea emulsion.