By Lori Bosworth
I went to Mykonos this weekend. Well, not exactly. I was actually invited to sample a tasting menu at Trinity Taverna at Lake Shore Blvd. E. just east of Coxwell Avenue, but it was almost the same. Upon entering the Greek restaurant that was previously the site of the Boardwalk Pub, one almost forgets about the chilly winter weather outside. The interior is reminiscent of an Athens taverna with whitewashed walls and chairs and multi-coloured cushioned seating. In fact the spacious room can seat 600 and would be perfect for a wedding reception.
Our charming server, Vasilius, greeted us and suggested a Greek wine, available by the glass, similar to a Cabernet Sauvignon. More full-bodied than a Sauvignon, the wine quickly took the bite out of the air. We asked Vasilius what he recommended on the menu and he quickly consulted with Executive Chef Pierre Restivo and advised us that we would get a sampling of dishes including some we might not normally try.
Of course a Greek restaurant should know how to make a good Greek salad, but this Village Salad ($18 serves 2) was the best Greek salad I’ve had due to two factors: the sesame-seed-crusted feta brick, which comes atop the salad and the black olive tapenade. Both flavours blended to add spiciness and unique flavour to the salad composed of Savoura tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions and French shallots. I might add those Savoura tomatoes have such a thin skin it’s barely noticeable.
We were then served Cretan Dumplings with roasted lamb, carmelized leeks and feta ($10) fried in a light batter. These morsels were delicious if a bit filling. The dumplings are also available with spinach, feta and pine nuts or feta and kefaloteri.
The trilogy of spreads includes Tzatziki, Tarama (made with smoked salmon) and Melitzano Salata and they can be sampled with the restaurant’s superb grilled pita, which is incredibly thin and light. My favourite was the Melitzano Salata with Medjool dates, pine nuts and truffle oil. The Tzatziki was pleasantly light as well and made with fennel instead of cucumber to make it less watery.
What a spectacular view of Lake Ontario from our window seat, a view which will be even more stunning in summer.
I did tip off Chef Restivo that I loved sea bass and he graciously complied serving us fileted sea bass with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and fresh dried oregano. The fish was delicate and light; simple and perfect. All of Trinity Taverna’s fish is flown fresh from Greece, Portugal, Senegal and Northern Africa.
Vaselius told us he would surprise us with dessert and asked us to guess what it was once we’d had a bite. We couldn’t figure it out and were told it was feta cheesecake. Cheesecake lovers, you must try this version, which is velvety smooth and surprisingly light. The carmelized fig adds a delicately sweet top note.
We had an incredibly enjoyable afternoon sheltered from the winter winds, enjoying a wonderful meal at this new star on the Beach.