Don’t you just hate it when you place your order for a dinner, after agonizing for 10 minutes, and then see something even better being carried past your table to someone else? The Cellar Steakhouse and Wine Bar, at the Edgewater Hotel, finally has as a solution: They are called Tapas.  These mini-meals are miniature versions of the full meals, so you can try several at one sitting. The Cellar has even created a Tapas Bar that can be enjoyed by several people for something less formal.

That is an old idea that Whitehorse’s oldest restaurant has brought back with last year’s renovations. The space is still formal, but a salmon and cream colour scheme has lightened up the restaurant and big-screen televisions on the bar side has given the place an “Elegant Sports Bar” feel.  

There is still a quiet side for those romantic, intimate dinners in front of a fireplace, so The Cellar is still the place for those special occasions.  My LDC and I chose the bar side and still felt pampered in a luxurious setting.

The wine list was brought to us and we were impressed with the selection. It is not as extensive as you would find Outside, but many of the wines appeared to have been carefully chosen and, as I have been informed, available no where else in the Yukon.

I had done my homework already, so I had a lineup of Tapas already planned. Our server, Erin Suggitt, started by bringing Crab Cakes and a plate of filo-wrapped, oven-baked Camembert and Garlic.

The Crab Cakes were amazing. I couldn’t understand how the chef made them so moist and delicate and yet they held together.  It came with a salad and a homemade Rémoulade.

And the cheese plate came with a wine-poached pear and red wine honey for dipping — a pairing that tantalized two areas of the mouth. “I love the combination of the cheese and pear,” said my LDC. “I would serve this as dessert. ”Me? I wouldn’t serve it at all because it was presented so artistically and with such flair I would just sit back and admire it all evening. Each plate that came to our table was an individual work of art.  

The plates were sat in the middle of our table and we served ourselves. Once we had done a good job on them, Suggitt cleared away the dishes and we started fresh with Salmon with Mango Chutney and a Mediterranean Salad and California Rolls … very colourful and tasty.  

Suggitt told us she served a table of 10 women recently and each ordered a Tapas and they were all placed in the centre of the table. There was more chatting than usual as they all tried a little of everything.

My LDC and I were grateful for the chance to try so many different meals that we would normally not order as we stick to the tried and tested meals.  And it was about this time that my LDC realized our meals were coming from all over the world:  “It’s like we are going around the world without leaving the table.” We had already been to Japan, Italy, the Mediterranean and Canada’s west coast. We were now on our way to Alberta with a serving of Filet Mignon that we could cut with our forks and to New Zealand with Lamb Rack arranged around a salad.

In a restaurant like this, you have to try the desserts. Fortunately, many of the desserts are light — featured cream pies, lemon meringue pie, assorted cheese cakes and Belgian chocolates — and easier to handle after such an ambitious meal. We ordered the Peanut Butter Pie (that has spoiled me for the simple pleasure of dipping my Easter Bunny’s ears into a jar of peanut butter) and the B-52 Cake that was light and cool and creamy.

As we were leaving, we were told that Friday night is usually busy because there are regulars who come in to try the various Tapas. Yeah, we can believe it.

This review is not meant to judge quality of food or service. It only describes the experience offered by the reviewed restaurant. The owners were informed in advance of the review and the meals were provided at no cost