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Jun 15, 2007 07:40 PM

Trinity - Downtown Greek

The space is very nice… it has a very open feeling. The walls are bright white, there are blue pools and fountains in the middle of the room, a high ceiling, and lots of arches. And there’s a big case with iced fresh fish that you can select for grilling… kind of like Milos.

There are lots of servers and bussers. There’s a lady who comes initially and tries to sell you on the most expensive stuff: a 1.5 pound fish for one person? I’m not Michael Moore.

But the waitress was a gem. She was very friendly in explaining the menu, and she pointed out that it’s really a mezze place. People order a series of appetizers and share them, kind of like tapas. Now she was talking my language. She asked what I liked and then said she’d take care of me. I’d have a feast.

First out was a wooden box with some bread and olives. This was standard for all the tables.

Then came the parade of food.

The tapenade trilogy gives you three pretty good sized bowls of any dips you choose. She chose the eggplant and pine nut dip, the red pepper and feta dip and the garlic and potato dip. I liked them all, and didn’t really have a favorite. I would have been bored with only one dip. The three-plate is the way to go.

Then came the horyatiki salad. It was a delicious Greek salad with extremely fresh-tasting and perfectly ripe tomatoes. I could have eaten a whole plate of the tomatoes. But this salad also had olives, sliced cucumber, green bell peppers, onion and a big slice of Feta cheese on top. It was dressed with an oil dressing with oregano.

The lamb and feta raviolis were the winner of the evening. The lamb was extremely tender and flavorful, the raviolis were made from fresh pasta, and were also very tender. There wasn’t much feta, but that was okay. There was plenty of feta in the other dishes. I really liked this dish.

The grilled octopus was my second favorite dish. You get two whole legs, each about a foot long, on skewers. The waitress said it was their most popular dish, and I understand why. It’s marinated and then grilled. So there’s a nice char to it. And the meat is very sweet and not rubbery at all.

The disappointment was the shrimp. At $30 for an order, it was off to a bad start from the get go. You get 4 large shrimp, which were grilled and had a butter sauce over the top. This was a fair amount of shrimp, but for $30, I could have ordered a whole entrée (although there’s no way I could eat an entrée after all the other stuff).

The whole thing was $88 before tax and tip ($100 with tax). They serve bottled water from Greece, which is cold, fresh and free.

I couldn’t finish all the food, and I think ordering just a couple more appetizers would be plenty for two people. And I wouldn’t get the shrimp again. So I’d figure on an average cost of about $50 to $60 per person if you share dishes.

This is a good date place because you get lots of variety, and you can share. I got there early, so I didn’t need a reservation, but as I left at about 8:30, there was a little “discussion” going on at the front door because a man was told there were no tables for him and his lady friend except a little one in the corner. So I’d strongly suggest a reservation.

Oh, and a funny little anecdote. About half way through my meal, a couple sat down next to me, and I swear the lady was wearing gasoline perfume. I caught a whiff, and thought it might be a car outside. But as the front door is up and over a large staircase, I was a little suspect of this hypothesis. Then I smelled it again and thought “hmm, I wonder if there’s a parking garage upstairs.” Finally, the lady got up to go to the restroom and WHOA. I think this chick was flammable. Good thing we were seated a little distance from the grill. I hope she didn’t order the flaming cheese dish after I left.

Trinity Café
1445 Drummond
(514) 787-4648

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  1. My 18 & 19 year old sons and their friends are all talking about this resto. Is it a popular place for the 20 somethings?

    2 Replies
    1. re: rooibus

      Well, it's a see and be seen place. You see there the crowd you will see at Buena Notte, Globe, Med, Rosalie, etc, etc. So it is popular with youngsters with budget! ;-)

      1. re: rooibus

        I didn't see any 20-somethings there except the servers. Everyone in there while I dined was late 30's to 60's.

        I think 20 somethings would like it, there just weren't any in there while I was there.

      2. I will say this... the ambiance is very cool, white and Mediterranean. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that's all this restaurant has going for itself.

        I had the misfortune of dining there with a large group of people (9). As soon as we were all there, the waitress proceeded to convince us to trust her... to let her serve us what she thought was best. We were not very receptive to this idea because we were not interested in being hit with a massive bill for the table. We wanted to pick and choose our own items.

        She told us that it would be much cheaper for us to let her pick and choose for us.... Totally untrue because one of the people I dined with was convinced to do just that several weeks prior.... He wasn't about to repeat the same mistake twice. When she realized she couldn't convince us, she sent over another waiter, who attempted to do the same... We were not very impressed at this point.

        I have dined in groups at many Montreal restaurants and have never been pushed this way before. They finally agreed to bring the menus back and basically threw them at us.

        I did not expect this lever of "service" from such a talked-about restaurant. We were all very disappointed, especially since we ended up ordering several bottles of wine, in addition to our meals.

        Food: We decided to also order the grilled octopus and the raviolis, just like the original poster. The grilled octopus portion for me was not as generous as it was for the original poster. I received one tentacle piece, about 15 cm long and another 2 bite-sized pieces on a skewer. The raviolis were not really raviolis. Basically, the dish was 2 square-cut pasta sheets, on top of 2 small mounds of shredded lamb.

        One of us ordered the Cornish hen, which arrived burned and charred... It was inedible.

        One of us ordered the sea bass, as was recommended to him by the waitress. The fish was cooked perfectly and was delicious... for 60$ it better have been!

        Overall, the food was ok, nothing special, and definitely not worth the price. In the end, we were left with a very bitter taste in our mouthes... not so much from the food, but rather from the rude, pretentious and pushy wait staff.

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodie_mtl

          I went there knowing that I would NOT let them decide what I was going to eat. I ordered a fish which was something like 39$ a pound. My bfd chose another main course so we are not going to share. When my fish finally arrived, it was HUGE. I told them that for a fish of one pound it is pretty big, the waiter then told me that it was a 2 pound fish! Something around 80$ a fish. They have decided that I was going to eat a 2 pound fish without asking…! When you feel pushed and bad, the food is not going to be good no matter what.

        2. I had dinner here with a client a loved it. Best appetizer was the grilled calmari and the grilled shrimp. I thought the calmari was way better than the octopus. Shrimp while expensive were awsome.

          We split a whole fish and an order of Lamb from the spit. Fish was good but over priced. Lamb was the best I have had in a long time.

          Atmoshphere was excellent as was the waiter. Have to agree with other posters that letting your server pick everything is a recipe for a huge bill. We picked our own and declined some suggestions.

          Bottom line, if you are more into great food than a great value than this is a place for you. I felt this place had the big three: atmoshphere, food and service.

          1. What a total and complete RIP OFF!!! I agree with all the posters who got the hard sell to be stuffed with a $60 - $80 grilled fish. come on!! One fish, one grill, a few capers and lemon juice for $80??? You can get fish just as good for a franction of the price with excellent service (though now m'as tu vu ambience) at Lesvos.

            I made the mistake of ordering fish at lunch, my client ordered a salad and my lunch cost me $100. Un arnaque!!! I don't care about the beautiful surroundings, after that experience I will never go back and am very happy to share my negative experience with others so they don't end up getting swindled the way I did.

            Thumbs down

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lachapelle

              I would like to bring it to the attention of all potential Trinity diners that the grill is gas, not charcoal. A charcoal grill is sacrosanct, and this is the true art of grilling. I was very unimpressed with the food- it was nothing special with exorbitant prices. The eggplant dip was bitter and oily and under-seasoned. It is clear that the eggplants were not fresh and were not properly degorged. There was nothing special about the greek salad, the fish was not as good as Ferrera and almost double the price,and all the desserts tasted the same- which was far from great, just mediocre. While the restaurant is beautiful, the food is almost a joke at the prices they are charging. I have a friend who worked there and they told me that there are "traditional" Greek women that make everything in the morning and it all goes into trays and stays all day in alto-shams (ovens that keep things at the right temperature). That means we are eating food that was prepared up to twelve hours earlier and kept warm. This is a far cry from fine dining.

            2. Wow, this sounds awful in so many ways. Thanks everyone, for posting your experiences.

              With all the great Greek restos in Mtl, I hope no one opts for this place!

              2 Replies
              1. re: kimberleyblue

                you know, I wouldn't go so far as to say it was awful. I had a very excellent meal there a while back. Some of the food was really delicious (octopus, taramosalata, roast lamb with really delicious potatoes, our fish was wonderful). Wine list was interesting if expensive. My biggest question is if it has good QPR (quality-price-ratio). They definitely do the upsell there, and if you aren't careful, you will be stuck with a huge bill. And it is a "beautiful people eat here" kind of place. And don't get me started about their imported water policy. But the food and wine had its moments. "Awful", no. Worth the cost? Depends. I'd go back again, if I was feeling flush. wait, the water policy... well, I wouldn't refuse to go back again.

                1. re: moh

                  I would agree with this assessment. The issue here is not that the food and quality of produce used are poor. Rather, the prices simply are not justified regardless of the way you want to look at it. It is maybe worthwhile to go once to experience something that is so rare in a city and province that like to level everything by the bottom but it is definitely not a place to include in your "must-do" list.