Four Seasons Austin's Signature Grouper

Austin’s Four Seasons Hotel shares its signature fish dish

In the same way that cities and towns have local specialties to try, hotels develop signature items that guests shouldn’t miss — whether it’s a popular room-service dish they’ve perfected, a cocktail named after the hotel’s longtime bartender, or a seasonal specialty that repeat guests always look forward to. These are the things that they love to serve, and that you’ll really consider going back for.

What’s in the Grouper: Simply named Grouper, the signature dish at TRIO is topped with a green mole gently mixed with a salad of pea shoots and radish. The green mole combines parsley, cilantro, Mexican mint marigold, basil, green onion, yellow onion, garlic, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, honey, tomatillos, steamed and seeded serrano chiles, and water. The pea shoot salad consists of fresh baby pea shoots, thinly sliced radishes, and avocado.

Inspiration for the Grouper: "The inspiration behind the dish was a few things, first one being a Big Fish tale," said chef Grant Macdonald. "One of our fishermen in the Gulf caught us a 102-pound grouper. It was a beautiful, and huge, fish, that took almost a hour to break down. We were left with 150 portions of some of the best grouper we had ever seen. The only problem was how to move that much fish quickly enough to catch its peak freshness. We originally ran this dish as a special to highlight that special fish." 

"Grouper has a firm texture, like that of Monkfish and we thought that if we brightened up the flavors, the fresh herbal punch of a green mole would complement the fish beautifully. We took out the meat stock from the traditional recipe, and boosted the fresh herb component, separating out the prep to keep a bright green color. We also added some native Texan herbs, most notably Mexican Mint Marigold (aka Texas Tarragon) which, with its anise/licorice flavor really highlights the grouper well," said Macdonald. "The happy ending was that we sold out of that Grouper in two services. With success like that, it had to go on the menu!"