Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sen5es Bakery & Restaurant

I couldn't face my packed lunch today, so I coerced Tanya into going to Sen5es Bakery & Restaurant at Yonge and Queen. I'm not sure how long this tiny branch has been open, but I just noticed it a couple of months ago when I was walking by. It is at 2 Queen Street East just inside the restored Bank of Montreal heritage building that was originally built in 1910. It's a tiny establishment that comprises just three luscious display cases of sandwiches, pastries, and cakes as well as seating for approximately 40. They are set up for takeout there, so it looks cafeteria-style, but they have very attentive table service as well. Our waitress catered to our every need and was incredibly friendly. Click the photo to enlarge the menu.

We both started with 'press├ęs' that are made and bottled by Sen5es, which I thought were a pretty good deal for $1.95. I had a lime one and Tanya had elderflower. They were light, refreshing, and not too sweet. I ordered the Queen Street Cobb Salad, which was delicious and very filling. It had arugula, corn, caramelized onions, avocado, boiled fingerling potatoes, perfectly hard-boiled eggs, green beans, bacon, tonnes of tea-smoked chicken, spicy yogurt dressing, and a sprinkling of yummy root chips. It was the perfect dinner salad. Tanya had the sandwich special, which I think was very similar to my salad, but with foccaccia wrapped around it. She said it was also very filling.

Even though we were both stuffed, we had to have dessert because how can you not? All desserts in the showcase were $7 and included coffee, tea, or bottled water. Tanya had the Chocolate Blackout, which was a small, round cake with layers of dark chocolate sponge and caramel. On top, it was dusted with cocoa and had small, peppercorn-looking things that turned out to be tiny biscuits. I loved it. Next time, I'm getting that. I had a Tuscany, which was a dense, hazelnutty, four-layered cake topped with chocolate ganache and berries. It was good as well, but so rich I had to take half of it with me. I prefer spongey cakes.

Even though it's at a prime location with excellent food and service, it was only about 3/4 full during peak hours. It was a lovely, peaceful place to go for lunch and imagine that you have all the time in the world.




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