TRIO Grill’s Summer Menu Has Triple the Flavor

TRIO Grill’s Summer Menu Has Triple the Flavor

Hungry Lobbyist readers may recall our April trek to Merrifield, VA to sample TRIO Grill’s spring menu. We’re at it again this summer with another sampling of their summer plates. Per usual, this NoVa gem did not disappoint.

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On a quiet Monday evening (which is half-priced wine night, by the way), I – along with my food P.I.C Nathan – excitedly made our way to TRIO. After receiving such great service and impressive flavors at a reasonable price in the spring, we were eager to return to one of our favorite spots. After sitting a few moments and sipping on refreshing summer cocktails – always a Kentucky Mule for Nate, but I enjoyed the cucumber melon sangria – we were greeted with a host of plates packed with summer flavor.

Again, topping the list was one of our first tastes and what we’ve dubbed as a specialty of Chef Kelly Morrison – her soup (pictured above). We savored every last drop of the creamed corn topped with avocado, jalapeno crema and chili oil. Soon piles of plates followed suit and all the while we had trouble deciding a favorite. When hitting TRIO, make sure to start with one of these delicious dishes.

Refreshing summer melon skewers with compressed watermelon, cantaloupe, feta, kalamata olives, chili oil and mint syrup sprinkled with crispy prosciutto.
Refreshing summer melon skewers with compressed watermelon, cantaloupe, feta, kalamata olives, chili oil and mint syrup sprinkled with crispy prosciutto.
Crispy Berkshire pork belly served atop fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese and bacon gastrique.
Crispy Berkshire pork belly served atop fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese and bacon gastrique.
Satisfyingly crunchy Chesapeake fried oysters served with North Carolina style BBQ sauce and creamy napa cabbage coleslaw.
Satisfyingly crunchy Chesapeake fried oysters served with North Carolina style BBQ sauce and creamy napa cabbage coleslaw.
The best house-made burrata I've had all summer. Served with char-grilled Carolina peach panzanella, shaved red onions, basil pesto and Grand Marnier candied almonds
The best house-made burrata I’ve had all summer. Served with char-grilled Carolina peach panzanella, shaved red onions, basil pesto and Grand Marnier candied almonds
Cornmeal crusted Maryland rockfish with bacon creamed corn, sautéed baby kale, baby heirloom tomatoes and Old Bay oil. Although we enjoyed this small taster, the rockfish is normally offered as a full-size entree.
Cornmeal crusted Maryland rockfish with bacon creamed corn, sautéed baby kale, baby, heirloom tomatoes and Old Bay oil. Although we enjoyed this small taster, the rockfish is normally offered as a full-size entree.

When the parade of summer small plates ended, we moved on to our entrees. Nate, who thoroughly enjoyed his colossal short rib during our last visit, opted for this dish again. It’s a bit more manageable now, as it’s smaller and no longer served on the bone. It also has a summery sweetness thanks to some peach BBQ sauce.

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Smoked short rib served with grilled peach BBQ sauce, bacon braised collard greens, creamy corn bread purée and tangy apple-celery slaw.

I kept it on the lighter side with the summer harvest salad and loved the tomato tapenade.

Summer harvest salad with roasted baby patty pan squash, baby zucchini, sweet corn shoots, marinated hominy, watercress and sun dried tomato tapenade topped with roasted garlic and basil vinaigrette.
Summer harvest salad with roasted baby patty pan squash, baby zucchini, sweet corn shoots, marinated hominy, watercress and sun dried tomato tapenade topped with roasted garlic and basil vinaigrette.

By the end of all of this seriously delicious food, we barely had room for dessert. Chef Kelly kindly prepared tasters for us, but they were miniature versions of the desserts we had our last visit (with the exception of a newly added strawberry shortcake). I stand firm with my love of the orange and almond trifle with layers of pastry cream, candied almonds, orange segments and Grand Marnier.

Trifle shot from my April visit to TRIO.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – TRIO really is worth the drive. Being located on the side of Lee Highway may deter diners, but is really is lovely inside. The staff is incredibly attentive and the flavors are delicious, yet approachable. Chef Kelly does an excellent job of taking familiar ingredients and presenting them in an upscale way, all while keeping the prices of entrees under $40. I highly encourage eaters wanting more bang for their buck to head to TRIO Grill for triple the flavor, but not triple the price.

To learn more about TRIO Grill, head to their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them onTwitter and Instagram.

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