Foodblogger Event: Four Seasons Holiday Preview

Four Seasons invited me out to their holiday preview and man did they pull out the stops. They had a station for the food, drinks, spa and even tweet/blogging station. The designer for the event did a wonderful job. I'm lucky that my photo setup could still take pictures in the holiday lighting but with the decoration and flowers it made the event feel really special. Lots of pictures and things to say but I'll try to sum up everything.

So the theme was to showcase Four Season's Holiday offerings from spa services to bar drinks and food from Trio. To the left were the drinks and their labels, they were kind enough to give out recipe cards for the drink recipes. If you see one you wanna try write me in the comments I'll get it to you. My personal favorite was the Yule-Thyme martini, it featured thyme infused vodka which gives you this cool refreshing taste. Then they add a splash of Oban (scotch) and garnish of smoked shitake mushroom which finishes the drink with a nice smoky flavor. In fact, it was so good I headed up stairs after the event with Maggie and Ginny of MaggiesAustin to drink the full sized versions of what we sampled. That might have to be my happy hour spot for the holidays.

As you can see Trio is featuring a prix fixe menu of some really wonderful items. I didn't get to try everything, but I'll give you color commentary on some of the highlights.

Four Seasons brought out every level of staff to great us, pictured is Tom Seguesta (the general manager) and Todd Duplechan (head chef of Trio). Everyone was so welcoming and made the event extremely inviting. They really wanted to make the point that they are try to regionalize the experience and not make it a heuty teuty generic feeling four seasons. In fact their sommlier was not present because he was busy blending the wines for the hotel/vineyard exclusive blend (and by hotel I mean only Austin).

Above we have the brussels sprouts and the winter squash salad. I'm not quite sure what the cheese was (it's listed as farm cheese) I mistook it for goat cheese but the flavor was not tangy or salty enough to be that. I happened to like the texture from the salad, the roasted squash was sweet and had a nice texture. The brussels sprouts were cooked very well and someone even commented that they usually hated brussels sprouts and these were quite tasty. I think the sweet potatoes were a good complement in sweetness to the sprouts. Excellent side additions.

How do you pick a favorite from these three. I didn't get a picutre of the souffle but all of it was wonderful. The salmon was perfectly cooked the lingonberry sauce added a nice bit of acidity. The rib eye was melted in your mouth and the red wine sauce was subtle and let you enjoy the flavor of the meat without getting in the way. No clear winner here, I wished I had a chance to sample the pheasant (got roped into a conversation and missed out). I wasn't sure what kind of pasta it was served over, I did get a taste of that, it was spaetzle like but wasn't enough to let me decide on the full flavor so that one has a question mark until I can do some more investigation.

Dessert was beautiful, I'll confess I didn't get a chance to sample it and I doubt my shots did it justice. However, I got it on good authority from Laura and Mariah from DiningInAustinBlog that the baked alaska was the winner and really hit the spot." The light dessert really complemented the tasting we had. The gingerbread cake was good, but not after all that stuff we just ate". There you have it folks Chocolate peppermint baked alaska is the thing to try.

Finally you have my tasting plate or as I call it, "everything I could manage to fit on the plate so that I can try everything but still not get any sauces mixed together". The souffle was quite tasty and that was without the seafood sauce which everyone else tells me was very good. The pop over was light and fluffy. And of course the star of the show in my mind was the Pork belly. The piece I had was not too fatty, it was crispy and delicious, the cranberry lent a nice sweetness to help offset the richness of the pork. Why is it that pork belly always wins? I mean always, every single time it is the favorite. Oh well why question such un-answerable facts of the universe one should just enjoy it for what it is, pork belly goodness .

A big big thank you to the staff at the Four Seasons Austin, it was a wonderful time, althought I didn't avail myself of the free hand massage (which I'm sure was delightful) everything else was fantastic. It was also great seeing my blogger friends.


Jodi said…
Great post, Jack. Thanks for sharing. My fave dish of the evening was the tenderloin with that delicious sauce. Also, the squash salad. Are you sure that wasn't goat cheese? Maybe it was feta?

BTW - the GM of the Four Seasons is Tom Segesta.

Great to see you!
Ironjack said…
The cheese wasn't salty or sharp enough to be the goat cheese I've tasted in the past. Definitely not enough salt for feta. Maybe a queso blanco?

Thanks for the corrections! I'm so bad with names.

Good seeing you as well looking for the tasty tour in a couple of weeks!
The pork belly rocked, indeed! It was nice to meet you the other night!
Ironjack said…
Nice meeting you! Thanks for stopping by.

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