A trio consists of three components, in this case a winning combination of Food, Wine and Service. Owners and chefs Bernard Guth and Ulf Henriksson opened up over 20 years ago. They also own nearby Vitea, although Trio is more Bernard’s baby. It has a lovely Mediterranean ambiance and covers three floors. I am partial to the second story with its stone bar and little balcony overlooking Calle Guerrero.
Bernard is responsible for the extensive wine cellar, boasting over 2,000 bottles – ask for their veteran sommelier who will steer you in the right direction while you prepare to enjoy some of the very best food in town. First a basket of wondrous breads appears and it takes every inch of my somewhat weak will power not to take a nosedive into it. But nosedive I will if I order their terrine of rich foie gras.
Appetizers veer toward the piscine, grilled oysters, Spanish mackerel ceviche, tropical shrimp salad, calamari. The Carpaccio is delectable, served in the classic manner with aged balsamic vinegar and shaved Parmesan and a popular favorite is the Lebanese salad with beets, parsley and marinated goat cheese. The soups here are particularly fine, I love to the artichoke one, and I’m not really very keen on artichokes!
Choose from a four-course prix fixe menu or regular seasonal offerings. The rack of lamb comes in two sizes depending on your appetite. It’s pink and succulent, served with ravioli, eggplant and peppers and zucchini mint sauce. Entrees are matched with perfect herbal accompaniments, chicken with rosemary, rabbit with garlic parsley, duckling with lavender and fennel confit.
Trio shines at its Italianate dishes, ricotta spinach ravioli, papadelle with shrimp, risotto with shrimp and asparagus, whole grain fettuccini and sides are often gnocchi, dumpling and the aforementioned ravioli. The pan-roasted sea bass is a crowd pleaser prepared with sauerkraut, a staple from France’s Alsace region.
I like the Spanish style shrimp, sautéed with peppers, onions and brandy with white beans. I digress but I do wish Mexico had more dishes starring the lowly bean – France has her cassoulet, Spain its fabada, Cuba its black beans, New Orleans its red beans, Costa Rica its gallo pinto, Texas its chile con carne (granted that one started off in Mexico). Here it is too often an afterthought, a sad little smear of refried beans alongside a dollop of rice. Mexico, please elevate the bean to its rightful place in the food pantheon!
For dessert, cake isn’t usually my go to but do order the black forest. Bernard hails from that beautiful German region and makes a definitive one.
Recently I asked Bernard’s opinion about a very trendy restaurant in Mexico City to which he gave the canny comment “they try too hard”. Trio does not try too hard, the food has an easy assurance, their tried and true dishes given a deft spin which insures that their patrons become repeat customers. Like me.
Trio: Calle Guerrero #264, Colonia Centro