Seems fitting to kick off Breakfast In Austin's 2011 season at a venue where the masses feel prosperous. Legit or misplaced. A gratuitous display of plastic wealth at TRIO Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown, Austin, Texas. At $48 a head, you can only hope to be impressed. Damn - you better be!
Just in time for our 10am Sunday brunch reservation, G-Man & I began our Four Seasons Hotel Austin adventure. Valet your vehicle? Doors magically opened for you by handsome doormen? A chair pulled out for you table side? Gosh - it's like a gentleman caller at every turn! But then at $48 a head, should a Lady (or Man) expect anything less? Certainly not!
Upon entering TRIO, my eyes bulged and heart raced at the mouth watering smells and stunning displays of beautifully presented food. I don't mean just scrambled eggs, predictable bacon & the standard waffle set-up. The 1st station posed a variety of yogurt parfaits, either with or without granola, topped with fresh berries and sprigs of mint. Honeydew, cantaloupe & pineapple plus a varied display of freshly baked goods, like breads and danishes, enticed my desire to indulge.
As I swiveled my head to the right, I realized a plan of pacing myself would be MANDATORY. The 2nd station boasted asian pot-stickers, creamy mashed potatoes with boursin cheese, succulent veal, prime rib with au jous, perfectly rounded mini-blueberry pancakes with whip & syrup, ample pork sausages, stout bacon, a subtle eggs benedict, miraculous cheese blintzes and made to order of any size & content - omelets. OH MY GOD.
Straining to pull myself from Station 2's hearty staples, I forced a look toward the left. Station 3 nearly mastered a snap of my neck! Holy hell. Think delicacies that you might never place in a Sunday brunch. Well, TRIO at the Four Seasons has mastered appealing to the senses of travelers and food lovers abound. Alaskan crab claws, shrimp ceviche, mussels, california roll & ahi tuna with soy & wasabi to boot! Fresh vegetables (asparagus), loose leaf & pasta salads, bagels with lox & fixings and cheeses, pistachios & figs. All items beautifully displayed and seemingly fresh. Salivating!
A quick peek to a discreet corner opposite Station 3 revealed a four foot fountain churning milky chocolate with marshmallows & strawberries just waiting to be dipped. This is the kind of thing you either jump into headfirst or don't touch with a 10-foot pole. We still had 1 more station to gaze at before even being seated...
Station 4 = death...I mean, dessert table. A minimum of 8 desserts, all impeccably created, displayed and labeled. A quick glance revealed an ever capable creme brulee, a luscious pistachio layered cake to a more complex creation of lavender macarons. Tripping over my feet, I unbearably moved on to...
...Our table! Finally! Benjamin, aka "Ben" waited on us hand and foot. Coffee? Mimosa? Water? Freshly squeezed orange juice? Clean plates or silverware? Ben was spot on and friendly at every moment. The Four Seasons is known for their impeccable service and attentiveness to detail. We experienced all of that and more at TRIO.
A few recommendations? The Yogurt Parfait, Boursin Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Cheese Blintzes, Bagel & Lox, Crab Claws, Miniature Blueberry Pancakes, Fresh Fruit and of course...the Mimosas, were all huge hits! There weren't any major upsets except for the Eggs Benedict (and believe me, I cringe when I say that). A fresher and more "tender" english muffin with a generous amount of hollandaise would've made this attempt 10x better.
Should you decide to partake in Sunday Brunch at TRIO, relax, take your time and indulge! I would highly recommend the experience with a loved one, group of friends or if you're celebrating. So many times we want a quick fix or an inexpensive meal. Keep TRIO in your back pocket for that overindulgent weekend when you want to spoil yourself or someone else. The spread and experience is worth every penny!
Sunday Brunch begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 2. It's not necessarily what I'd classify as "kid" friendly, but TRIO is part of a hotel operation. Kids are able to enjoy Brunch for $20. Also - have your valet parking ticket stamped by your server and claim $3 off a $10 charge - so, $7 to utilize valet service. It was pouring out, so completely worth it! If valet isn't your thing or if the weather is right, parking meters are free in downtown Austin on weekends and a walk to the hotel is quick & enjoyable.
It's all about the feast, not the famine!
To learn more about the Sunday Brunch hosted by TRIO at the premiere Four Seasons Austin, find them on the web at: http://www.triorestaurantaustin.com/
To get a quick peek at some of the Brunch highlights, see their menu at: http://www.triorestaurantaustin.com/menus/brunch_menu/
Pros: Beautiful presentation & selection, wonderful service, bottomless champagne and mimosas included in the price per head, atmosphere
Cons: Expensive BUT you're paying for quality, atmosphere & service. Remember - drinks are included!
Suggestions: Your Eggs Benedict was the ONLY dish I didn't care for! Please make sure it's fresh - I had a brick of an english muffin that took too much muscle to cut through and the hollandaise was meager at best.
TRIO at The Four Seasons Austin ~ 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, TX 78701 ~ 512.685.8300 (Call ahead as Reservations are recommended)