My daughter really wanted some foie gras for her birthday dinner so I set her to work, scouring the internet to find where in Toronto they did it best at a price that wouldn’t bankrupt me.
After extensive research, she suggested Trevor. Even though the reviews were a bit iffy, I agreed to give it a whirl because a lot of the bad comments were about the service and those complaints were, in my opinion, completely outweighed by the fact that the menu included macaroni and asiago cheese with seared foie gras ($21). Having read about it, I knew I was going to have to eat it — and probably all the other intriguing foie gras offerings as well. Those include:
- foie gras lettuce wraps with foie gras & smoked duck $19
- salt cured foie gras club sandwich with dill pickle chips $19
- seared foie gras with buttermilk pancakes, smoked pork belly & spiced apple $19
- truffled goat cheese poutine with seared foie gras $23
- add seared foie gras to an entrée $15
We decided to make the foie gras dishes our main courses so we could also have appetizers and dessert and not end the meal feeling totally stuffed.
In keeping with this plan, to start we split the seared scallops with smoked duck & split pea purée ($18) and the roasted beet salad with fried halloumi, cashew butter & crispy shallots ($15).
We each got a plump delicious scallop complimented nicely by the purée, but the smoked duck went missing in action as far as my taste buds could tell.
As for the beet salad, I have mixed feelings. I don’t really understand why beets are so popular on high-end menus and only chose this one because the other salad choice was arugula and, lately, every time, I’ve ordered an arugula salad it’s been a great mass of greens with way too little of the other ingredients and left me irritated that I paid so much for so little. But I digress. Given all that, as beet salads go, this one was excellent with red and golden beets, salty, crispy cheese and cashews so fresh they made you vow to forgo run-of-the-mill nuts forever. We put the bread with surprisingly salty butter to good use cleaning the plates.
And then, we were ready for the pièce de résistance.
My daughter had chosen the foie gras poutine while I, of course, picked the macaroni with foie gras. Both her dish and portion of foie gras were far larger than mine, which was fine because it was her birthday dinner and she’s a growing girl, but had circumstances been different, I might have been peeved that her foie gras slab was almost 50% bigger. Although I had been asked if I wanted the larger “lounge portion” and declined, I’m assuming — given the price points and logistics — that my skimpier piece of foie gras was just a fluke and that normally what increases in size is the pasta part of the portion not the foie gras.
If you love foie gras and even if you don’t particularly care for poutine, you still have to try foie gras poutine somewhere that does it well so that you can understand why the gourmet poutine trend, that all began at Pied de Cochon in Montreal, has taken the foodie world by storm. First off, if it’s done right and Trevor’s did it right, there is absolutely no traditional poutine sogginess. You just get a bunch of a fantastic flavours and ingredients, which are combined together into a whole that is so much greater than the sum of the parts.
The mac and cheese with foie gras is a bit of a different story. Fabulous one plus fabulous one adds up to nothing more that fabulous two. Not that fabulous two is anything to complain about. It just means that, unlike with the poutine, where it makes sense to combine all the ingredients into one mouthful, with the mac and cheese, it’s better just to have a bite of foie gras and then a bite of the pasta.
Being well brought up, my daughter eats her vegetables and even likes them so we had a side of roasted brussel sprouts with sweet onions and speck aka bacon. It’s hard to go wrong here and Trevor’s didn’t.
Had it been my birthday, I would have chosen caramel apple crumble for two with chantilly cream and rum raisin purée for dessert, but it wasn’t so instead, we both opted for the chocolate rice pudding, burnt marshmallow, smoked caramel and graham cracker gelato. The pudding is deep fried and they give you around twice as much as you really need. While I have a sweet tooth that allows me to finish mammoth desserts, not everyone would be able to given that this one, while good, wasn’t outstanding.
I haven’t mentioned wine until now because all I had was a glass of Cava. Given what we ate, it seemed like the choice that would work best with my meal.
And what of the service so disparaged in the reviews? When we first sat down, it took them forever to take and bring our drink orders. I was worried since it was early and the restaurant was almost empty, but after that things picked up and service was unfailingly polite and, if anything, on the speedy side.
Would I go back? Yes, definitely. I’d like to try out both the seating in the lounge area and the foie gras club sandwich with dill pickle chips.
Trevor Kitchen and Bar
38 Wellington Street East
Toronto, Ontario, M5E 1C7