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