L'un des Sens
Have any Chowhounders been here?
L'Un des Sens, 108 Laurier Ave., W. 514-439-4330
I know links to mainstream media reviews were posted here back in December, but have any Chowhounders actually tried it out?
Having gone to L'un des Sens this weekend I can provide an opinion (sorry for being 2 months late).
I have had this restaurant on my radar since the Gazette's year end review but was unconvinced after visiting their website and viewing their menu. But finally I went and must say I was extremely disappointed. The dining room is very modern and sleek but the washrooms are a mess, worse than you'd find in a fast food restaurant. The staff was very nice and knew the menu but were slow to fill water and did not retrieve our jackets when we left. The restaurant was pretty busy at that point but we had to reach into the closet ourselves to extract them.
The food was also very disappointing. We selected the 6 course degustation for 60$ and received:
1. Asparagus tasting (was good although the goat cheese panacotta was too firm to be a panacotta)
2. Lima bean with brocoli and truffle oil (lima beans were nowhere near cooked)
3. Scallop with a shrimp croquet in a beurre blanc (scallop was a bit overdone, presentation was also not on point - the shrimp croquet was laid flat in the sauce so it was soggy. If it had been placed on its side or on the scallop to minimize contact with the sauce it would have stayed crunchy)
4. Salmon in a lobster veloute (salmon was a bit overdone, and there was very undercooked corn in the veloute)
5. Meatloaf with choucroute and foie gras (the only dish that was ok, but this was a literal interpretation of meatloaf. In a fine dining restaurant they could have been more imaginative I think)
6. Dessert was a cookie with lemon meringue (good flavours but again, nothing special)
To sum it up, I was very disappointed. I eat pretty regularly at fine restaurants not just in this city and I will almost always choose the chef's tasting when possible. My belief is that the chef knows his ingredients best and should be able to provide the best plates AND progression. I did not get this here. The corn in the lobster veloute was clearly not ripe and should not have been served for example. And the progression, well I just didn't feel like I was being led somewhere. I would almost suggest that this particular meal was designed to limit the cost. I am pretty hard on this restaurant in this review but on a street with some very fine restaurants they really have to move it up a notch. I realize that that their tasting menu is less expensive than some others but that is no excuse since I feel that with a bit more imagination and some correction to their cooking technique this meal could have been a winner. Raza for example did not use luxury ingredients when I was last there and their tasting menu is only slightly more expensive but the technique and imagination far surpassed the kitchen at L'un des Sens.
I went there last week with a friend. I had coupons from Citylinked (got the 33$ meal for 15$). We both enjoyed our meal, but wondered whether we would pay the regular price for it - we are poor starving students after all!
1. Lentil soup with wild rice and tofu
- there were cherry tomatoes which seemed out of place
+ the flavour was great
+ it came with bread with two dips (olive/balsamic and smoked humus, which I loved and my friend hated)
2. Asparagus tasting
+++ in love!
It's true that the pana cotta of ewe's cheese did not have the right texture to be a pana cotta, but who cares? it was delicious
3. Pudding chomeur
+ it was decadently delicious and looked quite pretty
- by the end of the jar, I felt it was too much sugar, they could have made the portion smaller
++ she absolutely loved it, they were cooked perfectly. This would have been the highlight of her meal if it wasn't for the deer
- she said the shrimp croquette was not necessary, the scallops could have stood on their own
2. Fois gras French toast with parsnip puree flavoured with gingerbread spices
- she found it too heavy and lacking in fois gras flavour
- she didn't like the vegetables (boiled carrots?) that came with it, or the parsnip puree (she doesn't like cinnamon, so that doesn't help)
+ I tasted the parsnip puree and loved it - I will try to duplicate at home
3. Deer over wild mushrooms
+++ the highlight of her meal. Cooked pretty rare, she said they were cooked perfectly
We both liked the food, but found the portions to be small. That is part of the concept, but we wondered whether we would pay full price for it.
Our waitress was fantastic and very helpful in describing the dishes. The sommelier was also quite helpful. The only complaint we have about the service is that we waited when we entered, no waitress came forth for a while.