Luminato review: At The Illusionist’s Table serves up wonders

AT THE ILLUSIONISTS TABLE conceived and performed by Scott Silven (Luminato). At the Austin Room, Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace)..

AT THE ILLUSIONISTS TABLE conceived and performed by Scott Silven (Luminato). At the Austin Room, Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace). Runs to June 24. $225 (includes three-course dinner and whisky tastings). Rating: NNNN

Storytelling, fine food, whisky tastings and some jaw-dropping magic are on the menu of At The Illusionists Table, Scott Silvens one-of-a-kind immersive experience, on til the end of Luminato.

Silven, a long-haired twentysomething Scotsman with a gentle burr and an intense gaze (hes practised hypnotism), presides over a three-course dinner for 24 at an elegant, evocatively lit room hidden away on the third floor of Casa Loma.

Between courses (and whisky tastings) Silven tells stories involving a grandfathers pocket watch, roaming the Scottish countryside and putting a message in a whisky bottle.

These lead to a series of tricks, which start out relatively simple involving a deck of cards and numbers and gradually become more complex and elaborate. Ever the showman, Silven delivers the piece de resistance just as dessert is served, and the two are delightfully intermingled.

Everyone at the table is involved in that final trick, and some are chosen for earlier illusions as Silven, blending into the shadows in his dark suit, walks around choosing participants by… what? Vibrations? Energy?

I took part in one drawing exercise, and Silvens powers whether reading my mind or, perhaps more accurately, suggesting something to me were 100 percent accurate. I dont know why I drew what I drew, or called it what I did (a word I seldom use), but it was identical to the image in a sealed envelope.

In fact, Silven never fumbled throughout the two-hours-plus dinner even when he appeared to, it was usually to raise the dramatic stakes.

The meal, by Casa Lomas BlueBlood Steakhouse, complemented the show nicely.

But what was most memorable were the connections forged with fellow diners and the awe we felt as we realized, between sips and bites, that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy.

Absolutely stunning.

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