Restaurant Review: Trios American Bistro, Kemah, TX (Seabrook)

If I could give TRIOS AMERICAN BISTRO four 1/2 stars, I would, but I can’t quite bring myself to give five stars–yet. Why? Well, because they are new and they have room to improve.

That said, where it counts most–THE FOOD–they are spot on. The food is amazing.

Let’s start with the bad: We were part of what the restaurant now lovingly calls the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre at Trios. Boy, was it! It made for a memorable and wonderful evening as we joked and visited with other patrons and got to know the staff. By the end, we had sympathy for the staff and a funny story to share! I know some of the reviews on Yelp! are not the best–and it’s almost exclusive folks who dined on Valentine’s Day. Read the other reviews, and you’ll see that other than that day, everyone is pretty happy with Trios. They had one bad day–but boy was it a doozy! It shouldn’t, however, taint and haunt the restaurant for life!

So we had to give them a second chance, and I’m so glad we did!

The best way to test a new restaurant is let the chef do a tasting menu. This is a small-plate, 5-9 courses or so, that lets you try several chef’s dishes, usually including an appetizer, a salad and/or soup, a fish course, a main entree course and a dessert, with an intermezzo at some places. Every chef does it differently, but ask for a chef’s tasting menu if you want to sample multiple dishes from a new place/chef.

The chef’s tasting menu was amazing at Trios. We brought our own wine and paid a reasonable cork/bottle fee. We had requested the chef’s tasting menu on our reservation (Look on Open Table–they give points!), so they were prepared for us!

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Alligator gumbo

Trios served smoked alligator and andouille sausage gumbo. I seriously could have eaten a bowl of this and walked away completely satisfied. That’s how GOOD this gumbo was. I’ve found alligator can be chewy or tough if not cooked right, and this one was so perfect and tender, it melted. The spices were the perfect amount–hot, but not overwhelming. Very flavorful.

Crab cakes!

Crab cakes!

The crab cakes had SO MUCH crab in them! I don’t usually like crab cakes, but love crab. These were so good! you have to try them!

Mussels in white wine lemon garlic sauce.

Mussels in white wine lemon garlic sauce.

Next we were served mussels in a white wine lemon and garlic sauce. The aroma of garlic hits the moment they are set one the table. The mussels were tender and easily removed from the shell, not too fishy, whole and clean. The sauce was the star. Seriously–the little toast points served with it soaked the sauce right up, and I, uncouth as can be, picked up the little plate and drank the sauce.

The wilted warm spinach salad with bleu cheese and walnuts was good, but nothing spectacular: advice to Trios, consider candying the walnuts–it would be a good contrast with the bleu.

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Best Sea Bass Ever!

The fish course was the best. Literally, the BEST. SEA BASS. EVER! I’ve never had a sea bass as good as this at any restaurant. It had a light potato crust that was perfectly browned, golden and seared. The fish was moist but not wet, flaky, but not dry. It was simply perfect, and for a tasting course, it was a huge portion. It was served on a bed of couscous that was a bit bland. Maybe needs to be made with a broth? It needed something and it was a tiny bit sticky. But it didn’t matter. The fish made me forget any minor imperfections in the couscous.

Elk chop!

Elk chop!

The main entree was an elk chop. Wow. This was so good, served with a blackberry wine reduction over fried Brussels sprouts and a sweet potato whip. They were whipped so light, so fluffy, they disappeared on your tongue. This wasn’t my favorite course (did I mention, Best. Sea Bass. Ever! ?) but it was a solid dish, that was unique and interesting as well as tasty.

Dessert was a doughnut bread pudding. Every restaurant has a bread pudding version that is different, and some I love and others are questionable. Trios doughnut bread pudding is quite interesting and lovely. It’s light, with a doughnut dough, and a creme anglaise to go with it. It was like a vanilla cream doughnut, in a dish. I can’t even explain it. I am not a big sweets eater and I rarely finish desserts at a restaurant, but I ate all of this, happily! I would order it again if it were on the menu. And then freshly ground French press coffee with cream to cap it off. Perfect!

Doughnut bread pudding with creme anglaise.

Doughnut bread pudding with creme anglaise.

We had a casual evening on a week night. The restaurant had a few patrons, but was slow (which is a shame–they deserve more customers!), but it was nice to have a laid back evening. We enjoyed the company of one of the owners and got to meet the sous chef who prepared our meal–you rock, Elvin! All in all, a pleasant evening. I’m so glad we went back and experienced what Trios is capable of when they aren’t having a cursed night!

The patio is a gold mine, and I can see in the future they will be able to put that patio to great use. Already, they have live music some nights, and a fire pit that’s awesome The decor is a little…. homey. It could be better, like the chairs are simple and the tables are simple, and it’s a converted house and looks it. But it’s cute. A little kitchy, but cute. The entryway is awkward, the wheelchair ramps are steep (scary!), but it’s pretty accessible for me in my chair. The wait staff really tries hard to please, and the buss staff work their tails off. Everyone is upbeat and friendly and open to anything you ask for.

We’ll be back. We’ll probably be back often, because I was that impressed with the food and enjoy the staff.

Add Trios American Bistro to your Facebook, give them a ‘like’. And stay tuned to this blog for a chance to win a $100 completely free gift certificate to dine at Trios! You’ll be glad you did!

Love and stuff,

Michy

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8 comments to Restaurant Review: Trios American Bistro, Kemah, TX (Seabrook)

  • Buffy  says:

    Great review for a fantastic tasting menu prepared with love and skill! Trio’s has a unique menu featuring a variety of game choices, setting it apart from any other restaurant in the area. In fact, the only restaurant I know of that even comes close in terms of game variety and skilled preparation is The Fort in Morrison, CO. Trio’s might still be a diamond in the rough, but it’s definitely a gem! The opportunity to win a meal at Trio’s is really amazing!

    • Michy  says:

      Yes, I probably should have mentioned the game dishes on the review–I love that! I can’t wait to try some duck and some quail–bison, elk, venison–those are all things I’ve seen on the menu.

      And interestingly, the menu changes frequently, so there’s always something new to try!

  • ChrisM  says:

    So far, I’ve agreed with you on most of your recommendations, so it looks like I’m going to try for a shot at a free gift certificate, but even if I don’t win it, I’ll make reservations and take someone there anyway.

    Is it good for dates?

    Chris

    • Michy  says:

      Absolutely… in fact, they’re rather small and intimate, with the tables being smaller and dim candlelight–it could be a very romantic little quaint date night with awesome food. I think if you took a date there, it would impress–and the you’d get excellent service.

      Stay tuned for the contest–I hope you enter! Good luck!

  • Kaira  says:

    Between hearing and reading about your experience and seeing the food I am thrilled to be going to this place next week. It looks amazing. I love doing tasting menus. Can’t wait!

    • Michy  says:

      I love tasting menus too! They really show you all the different skills and possibilities of the chef and the restaurant, and it allows the chef to be creative and do what he loves to do most! I hope you enjoy when you go!

  • Dorsey  says:

    Yum!

  • Trios American Bistro $100 Gift Card Giveaway!  says:

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