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Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest of Trophy Room in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
Executive Chef James Strine is bringing the heat to Trophy Room through his globally inspired menu with a focus on seasonal and local ingredients. The restaurant’s high energy vibe and elevated dining options is welcome addition to the Wellington area, with its chic cocktail bar and lounge, a private dining room that can seat up to 35, and a furnished outdoor terrace.
I don’t go to Wellington too often — I’ve been to a match at the International Polo Club twice — so the food scene out there is pretty unknown to me. When I heard Chef James Strine was heading the kitchen at Trophy Room, I knew a visit was in order. A Maryland native, Chef James brings with him 20 years of culinary experience. He’s worked in some of the best kitchens in Palm Beach County, including The Breakers Resort, Café Boulud, Grato and Būccan. If you aren’t already impressed, just wait until you taste his cooking at Trophy Room.
First things first — the signature focaccia bread. No, it’s not gluten-free so I did not eat it, but from what I could tell, it is not to be missed. It’s glazed with sweet local honey and smells like absolute heaven. A glass of wine from their extensive list or a craft cocktail paired with a piece of soft, fluffy focaccia is exactly how you need to start your meal at Trophy Room.
Then, it’s onto the appetizers. The yellowfin tuna tartare is great for sharing. Chef prepared ours with mango, cucumber, dragonfruit, ginger, kimchee-sesame vinaigrette and sesame seeds, and served it with gluten-free rice crackers. It also comes with a scoop of creamy avocado, which basically makes this the perfect appetizer in my book.
We also tried the steak tartare with dijon mustard aioli, cornichons and capers and a roasted beet salad with arugula, spiced pistachios and goat cheese. These dishes were both vibrant and beautifully presented, but the best appetizer of all was the spicy cauliflower. Chef used gluten-free rice flour for the breading so it was totally Shaina-friendly — and good thing it was, because I would have been so upset to miss out on this. The crispy herbs and banana peppers added great texture and flavor to the dish, and the smooth cauliflower purée was perfection.
Pasta lovers will swoon over the wild mushroom gnocchi and the bucatini carbonara, and the brick-oven pizzas are topped with unique and crave-able combinations of ingredients that’ll have your mouth watering as you read the menu.
There is quite a diverse selection of entrées, including prime beef from the grill and fresh Florida seafood, which is why Trophy Room is a great place for groups since there’s something for everyone. If you’re gonna go for one of the steaks, you might as well go for the big boy. The 32 ounce dry-aged tomahawk is a splurge, so save it for a special occasion or if you’re dining with a big group of meat-eaters. It was a beautiful sight and probably the best steak I have ever had.
Guests who order one of the steaks get a choice of sauce and side dish, either whipped potato, vegetables or french fries. We got the fries, because…duh. If you’re a side dish lover like me, though, you also need to order the Brussels sprouts. The crispy leaves are enhanced tenfold with bacon and bourbon.
Even if you are so full that you doubt if you can fit in one more morsel, do not skip dessert. The sweets menu is large and pretty enticing, and includes things like coconut key lime pie, maple bread pudding with bourbon anglaise, dulce de leche cheesecake with espresso ice cream and the signature Trophy Sundae.
There’s a lot going on at Trophy Room now, and a lot launching within the next couple months as well. Happy hour is every day from 4-7pm with food and drink specials, and on Tuesday, happy hour also includes $1 oysters and $8 glasses of Veuve Cliquot. Wednesdays are all about wine with half-priced bottles and 20% off the reserve list. Late night entertainment and fun will begin in November, Thursday through Sunday, with local DJ Adam Lipson spinning tunes every Sunday night. In December, Trophy Room will host dinner parties on Thursday evenings and brunch with bottomless mimosas will be offered on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Trophy Room is located at 12300 South Shore Blvd. in Wellington. The restaurant is currently open Sunday through Thursday from 4-10pm and Friday and Saturday from 4-11pm.