Tavern by Trevor
The Tavern by Trevor is the latest project from Trevor Wilkinson, of Trevor Kitchen & Bar , and Mike "Yuker" Yaworski, of neighbouring Spadina bar Wide Open . The duo had noticed slow business at the perpetually-dead Seazons Restaurant and Lounge and approached the owner to take over the address.
Now revamped, the kitchen has been overhauled, and the informal 50-seat dining room is embellished with Ralph Steadman-esque murals sprayed across the walls. Cozy booths can accommodate parties of four, while large groups can spread out at an oversized square table up front.
The menu offered for lunch and dinner is divided into bar foods, salads, sandwiches and mains - its niche is familiar comfort foods and pub standards done with top-notch ingredients and the finesse of an accomplished chef.
There's lots to like, starting with a spicy shrimp and fried pickerel po' boy ($12), a scrupulously-crafted sandwich with creamy cold shrimp salad and fried nuggets of battered fish loaded onto a white bun.
The menu shows a soft spot for simple, honest classics. Their steak frites ($19) features an 8 oz, dry-aged sirloin seared on the outside and boasting a cool pink centre, topped with a knob of mustard butter and served with sweet pickled onions and a bowl of deep-gold, twice-fried fries.
Lighter entrees include the bigeye tuna salad ($17), a play on a classic nicoise upgraded with seared tuna and a beet-pickled quail egg laid over a vibrant mix of peppery baby kale, black olives, artichokes, green beans, fennel, radish and cubes of golden roasted potatoes.
For vegetarians, there's a chili-like bowl of sweet potato and black bean potage ($13) flavoured with cumin and cilantro. A house baked cheddar jalapeño corn muffin comes on the side.
From the two desserts on offer, I try the apple tart tartin ($9) a thin round of puff pastry loaded with caramelized apples and maple cheddar crumbled over top. A swoosh of port creme fraiche adds a creamy but tart flavour.
Weekend brunch, served from 11am to 3pm, strays from the standard bacon-and-egg offerings with selections like bacon and pork belly poutine ($11), black truffle egg-white frittatas ($15) and a pan-fried corn beef hash ($12) bound with buttery mashed potatoes and topped with a sunny-side-up egg.
The bar offers a dozen wines by the bottle ($35-$65) or glass ($8-$12), while the beer list is slightly more extensive, listing Amsterdam on tap ($7-$8) plus select locally brewed bottles ($6) and tall cans ($8). The cocktail list sticks to classics made with premium spirits and fresh fruits, all priced at a steady $11, taxes in.
The Tavern by Trevor is open daily from 11am until late. A boulevard patio is due to open sometime this spring.
Photos by Jesse Milns