Sense Modern Restaurant Athens Greece
How do you elevate a traditional cuisine to true gastronomy? This is the question Chef Charalambopoulos tries to answer at Sense Restaurant. With exquisite views of the Acropolis perched on the summit, the view alone is a good enough reason to visit. However, Sense is so much more than just the view. Chef Charalambopoulos’ take on traditional Greek cuisine doesn’t simply draw you into the heart of civilization’s cradle but injects thousands of years of tradition. If that wasn’t enough, the Chef has a way of adding a kick of energy and freshness that reminds us that there’s nothing out-of-date about Greek food. Lastly, for those on the hunt for gluten-free food in Athens, Sense has quite the accommodating menu.
The range of gluten-free food and vegetarian options offered was impressive, especially for a cuisine well known for its heavy lamb dishes and bread. I opted for the Summer Bostani Garden to kick things off. It’s a dish that certainly enhances the concept of a salad. The pickled grapes were an explosion of sweet and sour flavour that paired well with the heavier navy beans. A simple and refreshing start to the meal, although a little pricy given what was on the plate.
It was a balmy night sitting under the stars and I was put off by the idea of eating meat in such heat. As a result, I stuck with the vegetarian main but also opted for the olive oil ice cream. I was curious, okay?! I wasn’t disappointed with the flavour! The spice of a good oil could be felt at the back of my throat but I wasn’t overwhelmed by the fattiness of the ice cream.
What’s more, it paired exceptionally well with the potatoes and caramelized onions, adding an element of sweetness to an otherwise very savoury dish. Delicious as it was, I was left feeling like I could eat another plate. No surprises then that I decided to finish with the only gluten-free food item under the dessert menu; the Halvah with tahini. Fair to say, it took the biscuit (pun intended). The quince jelly was divine and cut through the richness of the chocolate and pistachio, utterly delicious. Although, as with all the dishes, I could have easily eaten two!
Chef Charalambopoulos certainly understands flavour. Every detail of the food felt well thought out and perfectly balanced on the plate. It certainly fits the definition of fine dining… The wine pairings were also exceptional as a result of an impressive knowledge from the waiting staff on all aspects of the menu. The only annoyance I have is with how small the portions are. I left feeling like I wanted more which isn’t great when the bill stands in the hundreds of euros bracket. Food aside, the atmosphere was lovely and I felt very welcome by the staff. It is a special place and well worth visiting if you’re looking to splash out on a fancy dinner for yourself and your loved ones during your stay in Athens. If you’re a celiac like me and you’re looking for gluten-free food in Athens, you should check this place out if it’s within your budget.