Chef Adam Keough, Absinthe Brasserie & Bar and Arlequin Cafe
“When you go out to dinner, you're enjoying each others' company. It's not about the restaurant. The restaurant is here to enhance your night...”

Pizza nachos. That might sound strange, but that's the first dish Executive Chef Adam Keough ever created, as a nine year old, growing up in North Boston (he moved to South Boston soon after). The concoction, created for friends at a slumber party, was an instant hit. Keough was hooked on cooking.

Keough has sinced moved on to much more refined dishes and techniques, but it's clear that he was brought up without much appreciation for pretention and he brings this approachability to Absinthe Brasserie & Bar and its neighboring casual eatery, Arlequin Cafe.

Absinthe has become a well known San Francisco staple — a romantic and glittery Parisian-inspired restaurant with art deco style decor that serves delicately crafted cocktails and rich, mouth watering meals. The restaurant sits almost unassumingly on a busy, central corner in Hayes Valley, one of the city's most coveted neighborhoods. The neighborhood bustles around Absinthe and it's no wonder — the establishment, opened by Bill Russell-Shapiro, was one of the first businesses to forge this now thriving community in the late 1990s.

While Shapiro was building up the Absinthe Group and the restaurant's following, Keough was learning from the legendary Chef Michael Mina, at one of Mina's restaurants in Orange County. Keough had had a stint in San Francisco before spending time in Southern California — listen to the episode and discover what enticed him to return to the city by the bay.

Nearby City Hall feeds newlyweds into Absinthe for a celebratory meal. Newlyweds head into Absinthe for a wedding dinner Parisian cafe style chairs line the front of both Arlequin Cafe and Absinthe Brasserie & Bar The Absinthe logo reflects in the marbly bistro seats at the front windows The busy Absinthe kitchen serves the upscale Brasserie, as well as the casual Arlequin Cafe next door Summer tomatoes, freshly grilled, cool on a baking sheet Chef Adam at the famed Absinthe burger station Beautiful bottles line the bright windows of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar Murals of joyful diners decorate the Absinthe dining area
The gorgeous mirrored mosaic column harkens to France's art deco era The mirrored column in the enrance of Absinthe reflects the glistening bar bottles
Chef Adam poses with the Absinthe fairy in Absinthe's private dining room Specialty drinks are served nightly at Absinthe's upscale bar Chef Adam works with the bar manager to coordinate the season's freshest ingredients The windows welcome passersby into Absinthe Warm walls and turn-of-the-century lithograph prints adorn the walls of the Brasserie Next door to Absinthe sits Arlequin Cafe and wine shop Arlequin Cafe is always bustling with pastry lovers, tech meeting goers, and friends meeting for a cappuccino
The chocolate pretzel croissant has become a favorite at Arlequin The Arlequin meatball sandwich is perfect for enjoying on the cafe's garden patio
Sitting at the busy corner of Hayes and Gough, Absinthe never has trouble keeping busy

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