Trio Grill, Contemporary American in NOVA

I don’t often venture into the Virginia suburbs for anything other than ethnic food. But when I found out Circa was opening a restaurant in Falls Church, VA, I just had to check it out. And I’m glad I did.

Trio Grill is a modern American restaurant with a wide open dining room, great service, and some very good food.

First, I appreciate any place that can serve hot, not stale bread, and room temperature butter. This always sets the tone for a good meal. I mean, if a place can’t get this right…

The cocktail list is creative and includes many hand-crafted options. Luckily Uber will pick you up.

To start, the tuna tartare which is Bigeye (or Bluefin) tuna, soy, ginger, cucumber, sesame oil, crispy wontons, on a bed of avocado. This was light, crisp and refreshing. Very good indeed.

The arancini, hand-rolled risotto balls,with  spicy sausage, aged provolone and fontina, with a basil aioli were good. The inside could have been hotter, and the mix of the traditional marinara and basil aioli (which was more like a pesto), confused the palate. I would have preferred them offering two options rather than combining them.

Whenever I see Burrata on the menu, especially if it says housemade, I order it. Housemade mozzarella and fresh ricotta, with arugula, olives, roasted red peppers was on the menu. Ours actually had watercress on it. The burrata was rich and creamy and very enjoyable. The olives provided a salty component which was well thought out.

For entrees, the braised beef short ribs which were red wine braised served over creamy polenta, with foraged mushrooms and rustic ciabatta was delicious and filling. The rich and deep red wine sauce was fantastic and was sopped up with the bread provided.

For a side, we ordered the fried brussel sprouts with apple vinaigrette. They seemed roasted rather than flash fried and the apple vinaigrette provided a nice sweetness. The dish could have benefited from some citrus, maybe lemon zest, to cut the rich flavors.

Last, the branzino which was a pan seared fillet folded over on it’s side, jumbo lump crab stuffed served over a celery root purée, and braised greens with crispy bacon lardons. This dish, unfortunately, needed some work. The crispy skin on the branzino became soggy with all of the other components and lost the delicate flavor that one typically appreciates with this fish. There was far too much celery root puree, the bacon lardons were sadly soggy, and the entire dish was over salted. Personally, I’d plate a small portion of greens, place the fillet with the skin up ontop of the greens, add a small amount of lump crab ontop of the fish in the center, then make a ring around the plate with the celery puree. But hey, I’m not a chef.

Overall the decor was great, the service was over the top outstanding, and the food was good while some dishes really excelled.

Don’t take my word for it, head to NOVA and check out Trio Grill for yourself. We’re certainly going back for seconds.

Trio Grill: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Trio Grill on Urbanspoon

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