(Stock photo, not taken by me)
3479 Yonge Street
Went with some friends to Trapper’s tonight on a Monday night for it’s Winterlicious menu. When I first walked in, I noticed the restaurant’s outdated decor. The restaurant space is quite small and gives off a very cozy feel, but it is in serious need of a renovation in my opinion if it wants to keep up with the trend of other upscale restaurants.
The service was mediocre, and our waiter came off to be a little unprofessional. We came to the restaurant at 8:30, which was a little late for this restaurant I suppose because he was rushing us with our order and said the kitchen was going to close at 9. Although the menu is quite condensed and is a prix fixe menu for Winterlicious, he should have gave us a bit more time to consider our choices. I think he got a little lazy too because we ordered regular water and he came out with 2 jugs, and placed an empty, finished jug on the table, but this was not that big of a deal.
Also, I wanted to order the carrot cake for dessert, but apparently it was sold out so I was a little disappointed.
My girlfriend ordered the fried escargot with tiger shrimp for her appetizer, which came ontop of a piece of bread baked with blue cheese. The bread tasted a little funny (sour), simply because we aren’t fans of blue cheese, so not to discourage people who love it from ordering this dish. It was a little soggy however. The escargot and tiger shrimp tasted delicious and the lobster cream sauce augmented the flavours really well. It would have been nice if the portions were a little larger though. (This is always my complaint for fine dining restaurants, I’m just fat like that)
I basically let my girlfriend choose whatever she wants first, before I make my selection so with the good stuff being taken, I was left with either a soup or a salad. I ordered the baby clams and new potato chowder. The soup was very simple, and quite tasty. It was a bit oily from what I could see on the top layer of soup, but this did not take away from the dish too much. There weren’t a lot of clams or potato, mostly just a thick soup. It was still delicious and my girlfriend and I both enjoyed it, especially with a side of the complementary bread. I love dipping my bread in soup.
For the main course, we both ordered the striploin steak with potatoes and mushrooms. This was a very simple main course, and I love myself a nice juicy steak. Although not my favourite cut of meat, the striploin was marbled quite nicely with a good even distribution of fat. It was also charcoal broiled very nicely, the grill marks gave the steak that extra kick, in terms of both texture and taste. The mushrooms were a nice touch as well, and helped in making the dish less dry considering the fact that it did not come with any au jus, reductions or thick sauces. Sometimes, this is a good thing, allowing the true flavours of the beef to show and be tasted.
Two of my friends ordered the lamb shank with mashed potato. Both of them regretted their decisions and I felt regret for them when they gave me a piece to try. The lamb was very bland, almost tasteless aside from the distinct smell that comes with lamb. The portion was much larger than the steak though, but it really is quality over quantity when it comes to eating at restaurants. I did not enjoy this dish at all and was pretty disappointed.
Another friend ordered the seared bassa fillet. I did not get a chance to try it, but she really enjoyed it, and it really did look delicious.
The last main course that was ordered was the duck confit. It came with an orange, sundried cranberry and ginger sauce. I did not get to try this, but my friend enjoyed it as well.
For dessert, I ordered the chocolate truffle cake. The desserts did not seem fresh and were most likely cut and prepared in advanced and placed in the fridge to chill. I am not sure how long the cake has been in the back, but it still tasted pretty good. I especially loved the raspberry/strawberry jam-typed sauce that came on the side, which was a nice touch to the heaviness of the chocolate from the cake. The cake was a little hard, but it tasted good.
My girlfriend ordered the mocha mousse cake, enjoyed it and would recommend it as well.
Conclusion: Aside from the outdated decor and the poor service, the food was decent and some of the dishes were really good. However, the desserts did not seem too fresh, and the lamb shank was indeed very bland and tasteless, which greatly affected my decision for the food score. The price was reasonable as with all Winterlicious menus, but I think there are many places that may be more worth it to those who are only going to visit a few places this Winterlicious.