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Trio Grill in Merrifield - Report and comparison to GAR

KeithW | Mar 24, 201505:00 PM

Went to Trio Grill in Merrifield (triomerrifield.com) for the first time. Before going I thought it looked similar to Great American Restaurants (GAR) such as Carlyle, Arties or Mikes American Grill, so I was wondering how it would compare since its prices are about 15-30% higher.

Started with spinach salad with bacon vinaigrette, pickled red onions, candied walnuts, and goat cheese. Flavor was OK but not varied enough, there was too little cheese and nuts compared to the amount of spinach. Also there was too much of the vinaigrette.

Braised lamb shank with white beans, garlic, and spinach was very good. Nothing new or inventive, just nicely done and good garlic and lamb flavor. I recommend it. GARs don’t have anything like it that I can recall. The cowboy ribeye was a disappointment especially at the menu price of $44. Not sure why we didn’t think it was that good: not enough seasoning? Or maybe other places add some fat/butter? Just the quality of the cut of meat itself? I don’t know, but we didn’t think it compared well to steaks at GAR or (the much better) Rays. Grilled asparagus was fine but nothing special, it was a simple preparation.

Dessert was very good. Apple upside down cake was good and the key lime pie was one of the better versions I’ve had – dense lime custard with toasted meringue rather than the more whipped-creamy versions elsewhere.

A decent selection of wines by the glass, which is an advantage over GAR which has few or no interesting wines by the glass.

Service was good during the meal but moved to great when it came to their response to our not loving the ribeye. Their adjustment to the check was very generous and we did not ask for that, all we did was honestly tell them our assessment of the ribeye. (And, I have to admit, the waiter did recommend a different steak so we’ll try that one next time.)

If there prices were lower we would definitely return. I’m willing to give it another try to see if it’s worth the higher price compared to GAR given their commitment to customer satisfaction.

Are there other similar restaurants in NOVA anyone would recommend?

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