100 Austin Burgers: Trio at the Four Seasons

Trio at the Four Seasons
98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin (map), 512-685-8300, www.triorestaurantaustin.com
Breakfast: 6:30-11am Mon-Fri; 7-11am Sat; 7-9:30am Sun
Brunch: 10am-2pm Sun  Lunch: 11am-5pm Mon-Sat
Dinner: 5-10pm Sun-Thu; 5-11pm Fri-Sat
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 08.31.16
When I started this 100 Burgers series, I scouted the Trio menu for a burger, looking for any excuse to visit the posh steakhouse on the lake level of the Four Seasons. There’s a Prime Burger on the lunch menu, but I wanted the dinner experience and the crisp hotel service that comes with it. I found it when Trio started Boug•ē Burgers & Bottles on Wednesdays from 5 to 10 p.m., an event that brings together three dolled-up versions of its daytime burger with two wine tastings for $32. If that sounds a little rich, consider that the wine value hovers around $15, making a $17 Four Seasons burger with fries seem like a reasonable place to start.
 The Bourg-ogne: If being a critic means finding the frayed thread in every tapestry, then I’ll pull a thread now: After one bite, I could no longer eat this burger with my hands. But really, so what? Is it because the steakhouse grind of good beef was too juicy, or that the sweet and meaty short rib jam still ran with the fat of its mother cut? Small price to pay. The toasted bakery bun soaked up what it could and shared the rest with the plate. And by “the rest,” I mean tangy gruyere cheese, the licorice whip of tarragon aioli and the resilient bite of roasted field mushrooms. The only real thread of complaint? The Bourg-ogne’s only available one day a week. ($32 with fries and two 3-ounce wine pairings. Other burger choices: Banh mi style with pork belly and au poivre style with peppercorns and bordelaise.)
 On the side: Trio calls them “parmesan frites.” But they’re really a tiny fryer basket of perfectly crisp, drive-through style fries with the right amount of salt and a taste of something fancier that doesn’t crash the blue-collar party.
 Wash it down: Trio sommelier Rania Zayyat pairs the Boug•ē Burger special with two 3-ounce pours of wine that change every Wednesday. The week of this report, it was sparkling wine, which reminded me of a scene in “City Slickers,” where the two Ben & Jerry-esque characters are talking about which ice cream goes with what food. Billy Crystal grinds the exercise to a halt by suggesting franks and beans. The big guy comes back with, “Scoop of chocolate, scoop of vanilla. Don’t waste my time.”
That’s a long of way of saying that sparkling wine goes with everything, so what can I learn from pairing chocolate and vanilla with a hamburger? Just enough, as it turns out. Zayyat turned it into a wrestling match, with the Californian (Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs) versus the Spaniard (Raventos “L’hereu’ Brut Reserva). Both cut through the lush layers of gruyere and short rib jam. But the creamy, bready Californian let the sharper corners of tarragon and onions poke through, and the Spaniard’s slow fizz and bright acid highlighted the mushrooms and beef. The winner? Whoever’s holding the glass. (The Schramsberg is usually $85 a bottle; the Raventos is $13 a glass, $52 a bottle.)
 More wine and burger advice: Looking for red grapes with your red meat? Let Zayyat suggest Casa Ferreirinha “Vinha Grande” Touriga Nacional from Portugal ($14/glass, $56 a bottle) or Domaine de Mourchon Côtes du Rhône Villages from France ($54 a bottle).
100 Austin Burgers
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)