We’ve been so busy with travels, recipe testing, and other work-related things that we haven’t had the time to try the new wining & dining experience at TRIO at the Four Seasons Austin – yes, we should be ashamed at our poor Austinite foodie representation! Mark Sayre, Sommelier for FS Austin is one of the masterminds behind Trio’s Happy Hour and favorable Wine List Pricing, which has rightfully garnered a lot of attention lately. Combine that with the creative dishes by Chef Todd Duplechan and you know you have a winner. We saw it for ourselves (sorry no pics this time), so you will have to take the dish descriptions below and use your imagination – enjoy.
The wine list had many possibilities for our palettes (check out the wine list at the beautiful newly launched TRIO Website). Sadly we had to limit ourselves to two: 1999 Gosset Millennium Champagne and 1993 Ampeau Pommard. Let the fun begin!
- Amuse Bouche – Torched Salmon Belly on a Rye Cracker with an Heirloom Tomato glazed in Saba Dressing (Saba was described to us as unoxidized must – juice from fresh grapes – that has been slowly cooked into a vinegar syrup) , along with Heirloom Tomato Water- out of the gate with a winner for Todd.
- Chef Todd’s version of Surf and Turf –Beef Carpaccio on Puff Pastry filled with Shrimp over Sherry Schezuan Broth (the Carpaccio was from a Beef Ribeye from Ninman Ranch) – texture and taste flavors worked well in this dish.
- Hot Fluffy Popover with optional Salted Butter on the table – this was a delight as the bread was warm and the butter was the perfect temperature and texture. So often the butter in restaurants is served too cold, which can negatively affect the texture and taste. This small detail can have huge significance, and in this case, TRIO has it down pat!
- Crispy Baby Snapper, Pan Roasted with Baby Green Fava Beans, Shiso Miso, England Sweet Peas in a Green Herb Broth (the first thing that came to our mind when we saw this dish was Chef Eric Ripert and Le Bernardin – the fish was the focus of the plate and beautifully tasty. (Interesting factoid – Chef Todd Duplechan and Chef Eric Ripert both have worked with Chef David Bouley in New York – coincidence or do you think Chef Bouley had an influence on this style?)
- Brined and Pan Fried Pork Belly Lardon, Rubbed with Spices (like the flavors of Coca Cola- interesting spice thoughts), Served with a Red Wine Plum Sauce, and Topped with Pickled Veggies
- Roasted Texas Quail, with Shredded Apple and Asparagus, Green Mole, and Applewood Smoked Bacon
- Wild South Texas Bison, Seared & then Poached in Ginger & Chile infused Olive Oil, Topped with Blue Cheese from Brazos Valley in Waco, on a Bed of Ramp Pesto and Sprinkled with Morel Mushrooms, along with a Poached Red Wine & Brown Butter Sauce – this bison was soooo tender and the creamy blue cheese was a perfect topping – ramp pesto added color and taste and who wouldn’t love fabulous morels?
As usual, we didn’t think we had room for any more food, but the desserts arrived and we magically uncovered that dessert compartment in our stomachs:
- Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse with Chicory Ice Cream, Candied Hazelnuts (from Alba, Italy)
- Coconut Lemon Curd with Candied Lemon and Toasted Coconut Curd Ice Cream
The champagne and wine paired beautifully with this meal, and the attention from a service perspective was spot on! Thanks to Mark Sayre, Chef Todd Duplechan, and the wonderful staff at TRIO Four Seasons – we know why the restaurant was crowded with happy diners on a Wednesday night, no less!
Photo above courtesy of Four Seasons