Taste, Feel, Listen, Smell, See – Engaging All 5 Senses at Sen5es With Mushroom Linguine & A Citrus Tart

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Was I ever ecstatic when Groupon offered a $25 deal for $50 worth of food at Sen5es restaurant and bakery!  This deal was offered months ago and I pounced on it as soon as I saw it and waited for the right time to use it.  I’ve been to Sen5es once with my lovely friend Sally and I loooved the food and atmosphere there when I went over a year ago.  Sen5es, located on the ground floor of the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel at Wellington and Blue Jays Way, is posh and the kind of place I reserve for special occasions.  As much as I love the lushness of it (and the food), there is just no justifying going there more than once a year on my kind of budget (read: grad student).  When Groupon offered the deal though, there was no way I could pass it up without regretting it later. 

I feel so, so lucky to be able to explore the city, eat different things, and manage my own money when it comes to treats and eats.  My money isn’t unlimited though, and I need to choose my wants with careful thought; I can’t have everything I want when I want it.  So when it comes to luxurious things at a deal, I don’t turn the other cheek.  I thought, “it’s a place I really like, I can take my sweetie out with me and enjoy a nice meal we wouldn’t normally go for, and it’s at half the cost!  Duh, Debra!”  Twas not a difficult decision to make in the least.

Sen5es offers bakery breakfasts, lunch, and dinner, as well as weekend brunch.  I have yet to try the brunch (I want to though), and have done lunch the one time I’ve been.  To be honest, I’m very satisfied with the lunch menu options and I think I would always enjoy the lunch aspect of it the most just because I like being out and about during the day.  Every place has its own kind of feel, its own atmosphere.  Sen5es, as its name alludes to, has a fresh, luxurious simplicity to it that engages all your senses.  Sitting on my cushiony velvet seat with the warm sunlight streaming in through the side windows through light curtains, I admired the pretty calla lily in front on my table and the clean and bright spaciousness around me.  I already knew before coming that I would order a lunch main and a dessert from the bakery.  Think tarts, cakes, and mousses in chocolate, raspberry, lemon, vanilla, mango, and other delightful flavours.  I was bouncing in my seat even before I got the menu.  I was super excited to see a new lunch menu when I went this time around and I eagerly perused the yummy lunch options before me, thinking, “Ooo, new stuff!  Oh crap, this is going to take me forever to decide!”

And sometimes there’s that perfect thing on the menu just for you that calls out and says, “pick me and eat me!”  My mouth is watering just thinking back because it’s like they knew I was coming and slapped that dish on the menu so I wouldn’t miss it: creamy linguine pasta with grilled asparagus, shaved parmesan cheese, cherry and grape tomatoes, and portobello, oyster, and shittake mushrooms.  OH.MY.GOD.  x a million!!  Okay, I have to calm down *breathes*  Okay, I’m good.  I love linguine like it’s going out of style.  It’s my ultimate favourite type of pasta and I could eat it every day in so many different ways.  I love it with pesto, cream sauce, seafood, anything.  And served with two of my favourite vegetables, asparagus and mushrooms, grilled and charred?  AND THREE KINDS OF THEM?!  And I don’t need to reiterate how dearly I adore cheese.  This dish and I were meant to be.

It was delicious.  I had a heaping helping of linguine that was perfectly creamy in its sauce, and I can’t even tell you enough how amazing all the ingredients complemented and balanced each other.  The parmesan complemented the creaminess of the linguine and gave it that nice bit of cheesy saltiness, the tomatoes offered a bit of juicy sweetness, and the mushrooms were ginormous and so full of meaty flavour and were perfectly grilled.  Not only did the mushrooms taste so good, they were also perfectly charred.  I was literally smelling every bite as I was eating, the smokiness wafting in my little nose.  The charred taste, texture, and smell blended together and it was just all sorts of yummy as I “mmm”ed my way through my dish.

After stuffing myself happy, I skipped over to the bakery part of the restaurant with my sweetie, and we both chose a dessert: chocolate for him, citrus for me!  I chose a delicious citrus tart made with lemon poppyseed biscotti as the outer tart shell, and plenty of creamy, fruity lemon filling and powdered sugar with a giant slice of candied orange to top it off.  This dessert was fantastic and so light and fresh and fruity.  I attemped to eat the tart with a fork and after a few bites I said, “forget this” and using the fork for assistance, lifted the tart up with my hands and took big lemony orange bites of powdered sugar, lemon filling, and biscotti.   There was so much texture and flavour going on with the soft fruit filling, and the crunch from the cookie biscotti and candied orange.  Sour, sweet, punchy, and tart.  It was delightful.  And yes, that the’s tart you see in my blog header 😀

I loved my food, I loved the atmosphere, and our waitress was a sweetheart.  Sen5es may be a part of the lap of luxury I may never be able to enjoy on a regular basis, but I’m so grateful I got to take advantage of a fantastic deal and put it to use on a beautiful sunny day out (albeit a bit cold, but hey, you can’t have everything) with a boy I love very much.  I can’t tell you when I’m going back, but I can’t wait for the next time I do and if we’re all lucky, maybe Groupon will humour us and offer another great deal.  Until then, I’ll be drooling over pictures.  YUM.

*****

Sen5es is located at the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel at 318 and 328 Wellington Street, at the northwest corner of Wellington and Blue Jays Way.  The bakery and lunch area are separated from the dinner and lounge area, but are both accessible on the ground floor.  Sen5es is a lovely place, but do note that it is a higher end eatery, so expect to pay around $20-$25 for lunch, and anywhere from $25-$50 for dinner.  A bar menu is also available with lesser expensive dishes, and desserts from the bakery are available a la carte for around $7.