TRIO
Address: 7565 Kenwood Rd., Kenwood
Lunch Hours: Mon-Sun, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cuisine: Fusion
Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
Reservations: Not necessary
Contact: 513/984-1905; www.triobistro.com


When Gregg Pancero opened Trio a few years back, he brought a cultured pedigree to the operation. A member of Chain Des Roteisseurs and L'Orde Mondial Gourmets Degustateurs, Pancero has managed, in the ensuing years, to earn high marks from the "Zagat Restaurant Survey" as well as his patrons.

And what patrons they are. Much of the traffic hauls in from nearby Indian Hill, recently ranked as the third richest zip code in Ohio. Indeed, one of the restaurant's claims to fame is that it's a favorite of billionaire Carl Lindner. Located off I-71 near Kenwood Towne Centre, Trio is a conveniently located business lunch destination.

Pancero's varied menu hints at many cuisines: Californian, Cajun, Greek, Asian, even Deep Southern. But it's the restaurant's fusion cuisine and exceptional fresh flavorings that win the most kudos from many a regular diner.

The sauteed crab cake ($14.95) is a popular dish, arriving with sweet corn saute, mashed potatoes and a tomatilla and chipotle remoulade sauces. The pork pot roast ($16.95), garnished with carmelized sweet onion and peppercorn demi glace, is one the servers often suggest, along with the eight-ounce filet mignon ($28.95) atop crispy onion straws. And the lemon chicken ($14.95) is pan-seared and topped with sauteed wild mushrooms and tomatoes, finished with a lemon caper beurre blanc.

The extensive pizza entrees include Thai pizza ($11.45) with a spicy peanut sesame sauce, Florentine with an apple red pepper sauce, teriyaki ($11.45), and an intriguing smoked salmon pizza ($11.45) with smoked Norwegian salmon, herbed cream cheese and smoked gouda cheese.

Even the sandwiches are a gourmet treat here. The black and bleu rib-eye sandwich ($13.95) is layered with gorgonzola spread and served on sourdough, while the chicken Caesar wrap ($12.95) is stuffed with tomato, romaine and parmesan cheese in a sun-dried tomato tortilla.
The menu features no less than 10 salads, with choices including Cobb ($12.95), Greek ($10.45), and southern fried chicken salad ($10.95). One of the restaurant's most popular items is the Santa Fe salad ($11.95): mixed greens with cilantro and lemon-marinated chicken, grilled in mesquite, accompanied by black bean salsa, tortilla strips and a jalapeno citrus dressing that's zingy without searing the tastebuds. Also a favorite is the grilled salmon salad ($14.95) with cucumber, Roma tomatoes, capers, feta, and crispy straw potatoes, topped by a citrus mélange.

Trio is known for its exceptional wine list, with more than two dozen choices available by the glass. The seating is comfortable, especially the expansive booths; dining on the enclosed patio is an elegant option, as well. The bistro's acoustics seem to work in its favor; it suffers none of the accompanying din that often comes with a crowd.

Whether you're looking for a power lunch in the suburbs or simple a refreshing chance of pace from the typical American fare, Trio is likely to warm up your taste buds.