The extra virgin olive oils we tried in Jaén are worthy of drinking, so it is important that the restaurants that use them highlight their flavors instead of masking them. A slice of homemade bread with a drizzle of bright green Picual and sea salt would do it justice, or a simple salmorejo with a touch of extra virgin on top. But when a chef decides to go beyond the classic Andaluz staples and create a modern cuisine around such an incredible base product, they better do it right– or people leave wishing they’d stuck with the simple stuff.
Chef Juan Pablo Gómez of Los Sentidos in the small city of Linares, Jaén knows exactly how to use the area’s liquid gold in his alta cocina. He dazzled our palates with an irresistible tasting menu based on the best extra virgin olive oil of Jaén. By the end of the meal he had truly hit upon our senses of smell, sight, taste, feel, and even sound. It was experience I hope to repeat– have a look!
Tasting Menu at Los Sentidos
Price: Currently 36.90€ per person, before wine.
Here we have our first and second courses. On the left and top right you can see the delicious jar of marinated free range chicken with arbequina olive oil, apple and cheese. Next we tried a red tuna sashimi with a citrus and pickled garlic vinaigrette. Both were a refreshing start to the meal.
Next up was what I’d consider an elevated pub appetizer, squash blossom and eggplant tempura with goat cheese and molasses dipping sauce. It was fun, and addicting!
Partridge paté is a signature dish in Jaén, and the chef gave us his take on the classic. Probably the most beautiful presentation of the evening, we all loved the fake peach of partridge paté and beet sand.
Our next plate was also beautifully presented. It was a shrimp carpaccio and vegetable salad with pistachio on top, and, of course, a drizzle of olive oil.
Hands down the most popular dish of the night (and my second favorite after dessert), this was a potato puree with a soft poached egg, mushrooms, and oregano.
Yet another gorgeous presentation (do you see that baby carrot?) by this course we were starting to get full, but no one turned down a perfectly cooked piece of swordfish with a citrus and Picual oil vinaigrette.
Perhaps my least favorite dish, as I was already stuffed and this was very rich, here we have venison loin with ginger and a chocolate and chestnut sauce.
This was (almost) perfection on a plate. A creamy vanilla bean custard, cold vanilla ice cream, a fluffy piece of fried dough and a tube of Picual to use as you like (I used it all). The only unnecessary part was the foam on top. But when you combine all parts of this dessert you are in heaven, and realize that olive oil and vanilla are a perfect complement!
Overall, our meal was lovely, service was excellent and I would dine there again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend Los Sentidos to anyone who passes through Linares!
Our meal at Los Sentidos was a part of our #aceiteJaén blogger trip, but all opinions are my own!