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Wormwood brings cozy French cuisine to North Park

The patio at Wormwood in North Park.
The patio at Wormwood in North Park.
(Jennifer Ianni)

Wormwood , one of North Park’s newest restaurants, combines the charm of the French countryside with a worldly cuisine and bar menu that celebrates absinthe, an often misunderstood spirit that was popular with French bohemians in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The anise-based liquor became known as a mythical spirit with hallucinatory properties that was enjoyed by artists and writers like Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Oscar Wilde, among others. In fact, absinthe was banned in the United States in 1912, but in 2007, variations of the spirit were allowed.

Today, the team behind Tahona Bar, the Old Town Mexican restaurant known for its use of mezcal, opened Wormwood in December of 2021. It inhabits the space formerly occupied by Jaynes Gastropub, a beloved neighborhood eatery that shuttered in March of 2020. Some of the charms of Jaynes still remain, including the outdoor patio dining area that transports diners to a different world and makes them forget that they’re actually still in North Park.

Pro tip: Dine at golden hour, right when they open for dinner service at 5 p.m., for fantastic lighting and ambiance.

The whole wheat agnolotti dish made with chestnut puree, chanterelle mushrooms, hazelnuts, sage and truffles.
The whole wheat agnolotti dish made with chestnut puree, chanterelle mushrooms, hazelnuts, sage and truffles.
(Jennifer Ianni)

Menu standouts include the burrata appetizer, which comes with smoked broccolini, spiced walnuts, caldillo and pickled onion petals. To fully enjoy the burrata, our waiter suggested an order of their “pain a l’ancienne,” or sourdough bread with a side of whipped seaweed butter. Other highlights included the “confit de canard,” or the smoked duck confit, made with Parisian gnocchi, banana vinegar beurre blanc, parsnips and peanuts, and the whole wheat agnolotti made with chestnut puree, chanterelle mushrooms, hazelnuts, sage and truffles.

Wash it all down with the Le Frappe, a cocktail made with absinthe, anisette, elderflower, creme de menthe, lime and soda; the Le Volcan, made with RDV Tequila Blanco, absinthe, watermelon, pomegranate, lime, fennel and pink peppercorn lava salt or the A La 30th, made with rye whiskey, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, LoFi Sweet Vermouth, benedictine, absinthe, orange bitters and fennel-dusted cherries.

Wormwood is located at 4677 30th Street in North Park. Visit wormwoodsd.com for more information.


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