98 San Jacinto Blvd.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 685-8300

Sun: 7-9:30am
Mon-Friday: 6:30am-11am
Sat: 7-11am
Sun: 10am-2pm
Mon-Sat: 11am-5pm
Sun-Thu: 5-10pm
Fri-Sat: 5-11pm




I have long been a fan of the inimitable Elmar Prambs at Trio in the Four Seasons Hotel. It had been a while so we stopped in for a tasting last week and found that things were pleasantly on course: a few new dishes and always the great care and preparation that characterize anything that comes from his kitchen.

We tried some very intriguing appetizers and salads to start. The Smoked Ribeye Tartare was beautifully presented with a mustard vinaigrette, a fried egg, and a Serrano aioli. The flavor was subtle with a lovely back bite and and spot-on texture.

Next, we tried one of the most original Chicken and Dumplings I’ve had in quite some time. The base was a consomme with tasty little cheese dumplings and a really nice chicken confit with roasted butternut squash. Last time I had something like this was a dish that David Bull did 14 years ago at the Driskill Grill. I guess great culinary minds often overlap on the same wavelength.

The Lump Crabcake used sweet potato as a base along with jalapeno cream sauce enhancing the taste and texture of the crab. All in all, Prambs at his best.

I also really enjoyed the Bacon and Egg salad. The fried egg was battered and served atop frisee along with bacon and a tart vinaigrette. Great idea and great flavors.

My wife tried the Republic Square Salad with house made farm cheese and beets along with a dressing that Willie Nelson’s sister Bobbie is so fond of that Trio named it after her. The verdict: we agree with Bobbie!

The entrees came after the usual dilemma one faces at a restaurant like Trio: so many choices, but you have to make the tough one. So I chose the 14 oz Smoked Ribeye which came highly recommended by everyone from our server to the Sommelier. I added a bacon mushroom chile fry that was the perfect complement. And then a side of crispy Brussels Sprouts that were not the usual stone hard variety that one ofdten sees. The steak was a dead solid medium rare plus and the flavor was to die for. Just a hint of smoke and lovely marbling.

I also tried the Filet Mignon my daughter Lauren ordered. Tender and juicy, and almost cut-with-a fork smooth. If you are fan of this cut, Trio’s version is text book.

The fish choice of the evening was a Red Fish and it was exquisite. The fish was sauteed to a golden hue and served with a curried butternut squash puree that was damned near deserving of a Beard award. It travelled well as wife couldn’t finish it and it warmed it up and few days later and devoured it for lunch.

We finished things off some Mexican Vanilla Bon Bons wrapped in dark chocolate. They were a great choice after the savory entrees and characteristic of how things still work so well at Trio.

Next up, a long overdue visit to their Sunday brunch. Can’t wait!

And be on the lookout for Rob’s last podcast of 2014 that will feature Elmar Prambs.


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