Dine drink dance
Trio serves up the perfect mixture for a fun evening out
There’s something unique to Trio, the combination restaurant/bar/dance club nestled in the middle of Winton Place, a bustling shopping plaza and business office park located off Winton Road South in Henrietta. Opened by Chris DiGuardi and Bill Levy on June 6, 2017, in a space previously occupied by traditional diners, Trio has made its mark on the area restaurant scene by employing a different approach for its patrons.
There are three distinct elements that DiGuardi and Levy hope resonate with their customers. Rather than focusing on creating only delicious culinary creations or customized craft cocktails, Trio blends a fine-dining experience with the high-octane energy of a nightclub, music booming out onto the dance floor courtesy of a DJ. Hence the business’s slogan, “Dine drink dance.”
Sure, there are savory steaks and mouth-watering burgers to feast on, but at Trio, the ambiance, atmosphere, and customer service matter just as much as the food selections.
During the warmer months an inviting outdoor patio—complete with fire tables and lawn games—entices patrons to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of beer or wine over good conversation. Three large, portable, overhead fire heaters extend the season.
It’s all part of the pair’s vision for Trio: a throwback establishment where people can gather with friends in a comfortable, fun, casual but classy atmosphere over great food and beverages.
Executive chef Josh Hurlburt prides himself on presenting patrons with a fresh menu that changes with the seasons. Hurlburt works exclusively with local purveyors to produce his dishes, and he is a big believer in capitalizing on the bountiful ingredients produced by farmers in and around the Rochester and Finger Lakes region.
“We try to source locally and work responsibly and sustainably, and we do what we can from scratch,” Hurlburt says. “We’re a scratch kitchen, and if we can make it, we do, and if we can’t, we find the best people who can. We knew we didn’t have the capacity to make our bread, so we partnered with Amazing Grains [Fairport]. Food is truly about community and helping each other out. As a chef, it’s easy to produce great dishes when you have the best ingredients to work with.”
Hurlburt identifies a pair of dishes as Trio’s staples. One is shrimp and grits, featuring plump tiger shrimp with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, heirloom cherry tomatoes, organic yellow corn grits, and cheddar cheese from New York, for $13. This dish, Hurlburt’s favorite on the menu, is a tribute to his mother, Laurie, who regularly served it on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
While Hurlburt expected the shrimp and grits to quickly become a fan favorite, he was more surprised when his Korean cauliflower dish blossomed into “the unexpected superstar of our menu.” Inspired by Asian cuisine and featuring a tempura-style batter and a tempting sauce of gochujang (red chili paste), dark soy sauce, and honey, the dish, $12, has become a smash hit. It is topped with a crunchy cabbage salad and a combination garnish of toasted sesame seeds and scallion rings.
“To be honest, at first it was on the chopping block during our first menu creation,” Hurlburt says. “Now, it is by far a staple and it is well-loved by our customers. This dish couldn’t be removed from the menu even if I wanted to.”
Among the rest of his creations, Hurlburt pointed out three more selections from the small plates and shares section that demonstrate Trio’s commitment to creating tasty homegrown dishes.
• Atlantic Scallops ($14): “This dish is all about the local products in New York, except for the scallops. We use New York sweet corn that we ferment for five days, a technique used in the Appalachian areas of the country as a preservation technique. We add in pickled local onions, country ham from local pasture-raised pigs, smoked honey from Kettle Ridge Farm in Victor, and local pea tendrils.
• Miso Citrus Ribs ($13): “This has become one of our more popular dishes. We make a homemade, Asian-inspired barbecue sauce with a mustard and white miso base. The shaved carrot and celery leaves balance out the intense sauce and fattiness of the ribs. This is a great way to get your fingers dirty and be so happy!”
• Fried Brussels Sprouts ($11): “This is also a showcase of New York state products. Brussels sprouts with crispy speck [smoked prosciutto], Wohlschlegel Farms [in Naples] maple syrup aioli, and a house-made Harvard beet vinaigrette. This dish is the epitome of autumn cooking and highlights our seasonality.”
Trio offers daily food and happy hour specials and hosts private parties. For more information, call 272-1551 or visit trioddd.com.
John Boccacino, a Seneca Falls resident, works for Syracuse University as the communications coordinator in the office of alumni engagement. A 2003 SU graduate, he loves telling compelling stories.