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Mar 24, 2007 06:51 AM

Trevor Kitchen and Bar (bad review)

Some friends took me to Trevor last night for my birthday and the experience was less than great. Both my friends and I had heard great reviews about this place and were looking forward to trying it out. I'll start off with the positive points;
* The beef cheeks dish is excellent. Really tender and succulent meat, just enough fat to add flavour and moisture. Would definitely order it again.
* One of my friends had a really well cooked beef filet, but it was their second attempt (see below).

Now for the negative points from the evening;
* We had reservations, but were forced to wait for 30 minutes before being seated at our table. I can understand that sometimes it's difficult to get one party to leave, to enable you to seat the next group, but surely if other restaurants can avoid this undesirable situation, then Trevor can as well. Our only compensation for this, was a free amuse bouche, a piece of battered lobster, which was quite good. I think some complementary drinks while we stood waiting for 30 minutes would have been a better gesture.
* They forgot to serve us bread so we had to ask for it and it arrived with cold, hard butter. Is it really that difficult to provide room temperature butter? Big pet peeve of mine; this is the one item that *all* your guests will be receiving, and ultimately, judging you on.
* Two of my friends order the Alberta beef filet, one rare, one medium-rare. The medium-rare arrived properly cooked, the rare one was medium-well. We had to send it back. At this point the waitress was extremely apologetic and she actually commented that she could see we were having a horrible evening with the delayed seating, and now the improperly cooked meal. AND, she adds, "I'm going to give you a complementary dessert because of all this". This made us feel a little better, and the beef filet returned very properly cooked, rare.
* Four (of five) of us order dessert; the dark chocolate espresso cake is not recommended. It comes on top of this sickly sweet marshmallow sauce, and the consistency of the cake is more dense brownie than cake. The warm quince turnover was good, as was the blood orange sorbet.
* The service needs huge improvement. Cutlery was often tossed onto the table, with complete disregard to placement, and position. At one point, a dish was being served to a friend, and since the plate was obviously warmed/hot, the waitress was carrying it in a napkin. She actually handed the plate to my friend with the expectation that he grasp it from her hands and place it on the table himself. She made no mention of being careful because it was a hot plate. Luckily he didn't burn himself or drop the plate.
* We ask for the bill, and the waitress returns with it and she adds "I'm having a family emergency and need to leave ASAP, could we please settle this immediately?". So it appears they're willing to rush us out of there, but not the group that held us up for 30 minutes at the start. Could they not have just told us that another server was being substituted because she had to leave?
* We examine the bill and three desserts are included. We call over the waitress and inquire about this. She reports that she only meant that my dessert (ie. the birthday dessert with candle) was being comp'ed, not everyone's. After further discussion she says, in a completely rude manner, "I don't want to argue about this, let me speak with my manager". She returns to inform us that she will remove all the desserts from the bill. At this point, it is all more than uncomfortable, and we just want to get the hell out of there.

I spoke with my friend who had had a great experience here a few weeks earlier and it really is unfortunate how my night turned out.

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    1. I feel sorry for you giving such an bad experience on your birthday ! I think that waitress should be fired right away.

      Thanks for the review, looks like it is a restaurant to stay away, plus I heard that their dining room is not very comfortable with low ceiling and noisy ...

      2 Replies
      1. re: skylineR33

        Sorry you had such a bad time, I have had a couple of excellent experiences there eating at the bar myself... and BTW... I really don't think that James Chatto eats for free very often.

        1. re: Non Doctor

          I dont understand why managements dont seem to understand that its the customers that keep them in business. Comping all the desserts with out a fight would be a hellof a lot cheaper than having to pay for expensive ads in Toronto Life, to get new customers to replace the ones who read Chowhound!

      2. That's the shame about your experience, but I am not surprised. I went with a few friends shortly after Trevor opened, and, although we didn't have to wait for our reserved table, we did wait over 15 minutes after we ordered our drinks. The service was horrible then, and sounds like it hasn't been fixed.
        We all enjoyed our food, and the chef/owner came out to talk with us (being a group of attractive women) and offered us aperitifs, but it really wasn't worth it for the bad service. Trevor can cook up a storm, but he needs to fix the rest of the restaurant if he wants people to return. It's the whole experience that counts. Hope the rest of your birthday was better!

        3 Replies
        1. re: melly mel

          It was a shame because several of us were really hoping to like this restaurant since it appeared to have some good dishes at decent prices. As good as the beef cheeks were, I'll never return, and Trevor has a lot to learn from places like Rosebud where the food is great, prices are moderate, and the service is excellent.

          I actually felt a bit bad during it all because my friends felt like they had made a poor choice, but truth be told, as bad as the experience was, we were all actually laughing through it all, so the experience was unique to say the least.

          1. re: chromatin

            I was starting to wonder how representative my horrible experience there was...seems like it was a fairly true reflection- sorry you had a bad time.

            1. re: nummanumma

              I've been thinking of checking this place out for a couple of weeks now, and fortunately I stumbled across this post before I did. Thanks to all who replied from saving me from a possibly lacking evening. I'll spend my money elsewhere.

        2. i had an ok experience a couple weeks ago, nothing spectacular. it isn't too much of a stretch for me to imagine your experience though. there was something i couldn't quite put my finger on that left me with a rather 'meh' feeling about it all.

          a friend and i went for a 9:30pm dinner on a sat. night, and because it was late, we ate earlier and so weren't super hungry. so we ordered some food from the bar menu (really wanted to try the kobe burgers and the mac&cheese, both were very tasty) and salad from the regular menu. we didn't get bread (but i wondered if that was because we didn't order 'properly' from the dinner menu?) i had read reviews on here where people said trevor went around to almost every table to check, and thought that was a nice touch. but i didn't see him do it the night we were there, he seemed to know the table a couple down from us and the only time he was in the dining room he spent it sitting and talking with them. service was average. i might go back just because i am curious about the quince dessert, and if i could, i'd eat at the bar and only have the mac&cheese.

          1 Reply
          1. re: auberginegal

            The quince dessert is not worth the trip back (imho). The flavor was good, AFTER I picked the gravel-like substance out of my mouth. (It was probably nut shells but I almost broke a tooth!) And we paid for the dessert too. :)

          2. Took Dad on a Saturday night in April...we sat in the bar area and loved the atmosphere. Quiet except for a motorcycle parked inside the restaurant just at the top of the stairs, which revved LOUDLY about 3 different times during dinner, startling us and interrupting conversation. Ridiculous.
            Main courses disappointed...lamb wrapped in thick pastry (the female server incorrectly described it as phyllo when we were deciding what to order) wasn't interesting enough to finish. Nachos were excellent as usual, and kobe burgers and tuna tartare decent enough. Server forgot to bring a salad that was ordered.

            It was my second visit, and I had warned Dad not to get his hopes up, and we all decided not to return.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Food Tourist

              We too decided to check out Trevors's after hearing such rave reviews. Very disappointing. We had made the reservation for 4 on a Saturday night weeks in advance. When we showed up they had no record of us and naturally they were completely booked up. I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS!!! As we were trying to figure out where else we could go last minute on a saturday night...Trevor shows up, scratching his head and neck and turn off in a restaurant. Anyways, long and short, somehow they managed to fit us in after all and what else can I say, we ate, we left. The food was just okay, service was just okay....much preferred Bouchon. Nothing to write home about and don't understand what all the fuss is about. Too be fair the mini kobe burgers were good!