The District of Columbia is only 68 square miles, and despite the small size, leaving it is surprisingly tough. For some the Potomac acts as a barrier, as if crossing into Virginia will keep one from re-entering Washington ever again. But as the weather warms up, helping to kindle the spirit of spring adventure, it’s time to break that barrier. It’s time to venture out to Northern Virginia this weekend.
Where shall you go? Head out to Merrifield, in Falls Church, home to TRIO Grill.
A 25-minute drive from the heart of D.C., and a 15-minute walk from the Dunn Lorring-Merrifield stop on the Orange Line, TRIO is worth the trek. This modern American restaurant offers high-quality steaks and seafood in a sleek space along Lee Highway. Like its sister restaurant, Circa, TRIO aims to blend sophistication with a friendly neighborhood atmosphere.
“Our goal is for diners to never leave hungry,” said General Manager David Schoen, who emphasized that TRIO strikes the balance between creative cuisine and filling entreés. As a Kentucky girl with a hearty Southern appetite, I couldn’t agree more and was eager to taste their spring menu.
TRIO’s newest offerings present fresh, seasonal ingredients in a way that’s exciting, yet approachable. Chef Kelly Morrison explained her appreciation for simplicity and looks for new ways to prepare plates patrons know and love. With each course served by TRIO’s knowledgeable and friendly staff, this became more and more apparent. One thing is for sure – I did not leave hungry, because each course was delicious.
Here are just a few reasons why Merrifield is your next dining destination:
Sip a Drink
The refreshing Porch Swing cocktail mixes old overholt rye whiskey with Aperol, thyme, white peach sweet tea and lemon.
Start Your Meal
The collard green soup combines smoked pork hock stock with onions, celery, garlic and shredded smoked pork hocks, all topped with a house-made pork rind.
Confit buffalo chicken drumettes are glazed with a spicy house-made honey buffalo sauce and served on a platter of smoked blue cheese dressing. I’m a blue cheese enthusiast and this dressing was phenomenal.
Spring pea and pancetta croquettes are served with ramp pesto, truffle aioli and micro celery. The ramp pesto gave a salty kick to the fresh flavor from the peas.
Seared diver scallops over a spring pea and ramp risotto in carrot broth. This isn’t on the menu, but another delicious scallop option is offered as an entrée.
Savor These Dishes
Smoked 24-ounce bone-in short rib with white truffle grits, ramp pesto, sautéed wild mushrooms and wilted spinach. The meat is slow-cooked approximately 16 hours, practically falls off the bone and was so delicious that my dining companion, Nathan, ate every bite – a feat that had never been accomplished at TRIO.
Jumbo shrimp and grits with herb marinated shrimp, white stone-ground grits, crispy house-made pork rinds and Tabasco butter. This is one of the top shrimp and grits entrées I’ve ever eaten and is the reason I’m already planning my return to TRIO. The Tabasco butter elevated the dish’s creamy texture and smoky flavor, while the pork rinds added a satisfactory crunch (and acted as a tasty vessel to scoop grits).
Key lime pie with toasted coconut crust, mojito reduction, blackberry coulis and meringue brûlée.
Lemon and poppyseed cake with Meyer lemon curd, blueberry compote, vanilla ice cream and graham cracker streusel.
Orange and almond trifle with pastry cream, candied almonds, orange segments and Grand Marnier. While all of the desserts we sampled were quite good, this was a standout. The candied almonds added a scrumptious, salty crunch to the pastry cream, while the orange segments were bright and refreshing.
What may be the best part is TRIO’s gorgeous covered patio, where these plates and much more can be enjoyed this season. Ultimately, the food is great, the service impressively attentive and the trip is well worth it. Make your reservation for dinner in Merrifield this weekend and you won’t be disappointed.