I hesitate to post this review because I really want to keep TRIO my very own little secret. But based on the crowd, I think it's too late: TRIO is the best Happy Hour in town. Bar none. The best food, wine and overall value. So say the "Tres Amigos" who hit up the bar Wednesday night. But before I get into the fabulous details, you've got to know what the three of us ordered:
Tuna Tartare,Avocado,Soy Lime Vinaigrette
Blistered Padron Peppers with Sea Salt
Truffle Fries, Rosemary, Meyer Lemon Aioli
Baked Gulf Oysters, Shrimp, Bacon, Shoestring Potato
Smoked Shrimp Croquettes
Three glasses of Red Wine
One Glass of White Wine
For $61--before tip. Incredible. And incredibly decadent and yummy. So the Tuna Tartare was a little bit of a standard, but lovely, fresh and served on a bed of ice. The Blistered Padron Peppers were addictive. And deceptive. 'Cause you never knew whether you were biting into a "mild" Padron-or a "hot" Padron. (Hint: if the pepper has any yellow coloring-it's super hot). The Truffle Fries have a reputation in Austin already-hot, perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft inside, not greasy and served in a silver cone. They are so good you just HAVE to eat them. It's almost a crime to leave one in the cone. The Baked Gulf Oysters were hot, fresh and a mouthful with the shoestring potatoes on top--but my amigos had no problem finishing off the plate. And the Smoked Shrimp Croquettes? Yikes, they were good. Upscale fried shrimp balls that I'm sure cost me 500 calories. Worth every one too.
I paired my food with a nice Albarino-and one of the amigos went for a California Cab. Our waiter was typical Four Seasons--very attentive and gracious.
Get there early and stay late: TRIO's happy hour lasts until 8 p.m. Just in time to head back upstairs to the Lobby Lounge for a nightcap and a little live piano. Which we did. Thanks Alan!