TRIO Grill is one of my new favorite date night spots in Northern Virginia. TRIO (by the team behind the Circa restaurants) has recently been gaining popularity as a happy hour spot in Merrifield for its awesome (cigar) patio and signature handcrafted cocktails.
Starting last week, they’re upping the game even further with a Raw Bar Happy Hour. Monday-Friday 4-7 PM, check out TRIO for the following:
· Clams | $5/half dozen | $10/dozen
· Oysters | $9/half dozen | $18/dozen
· Tuna Tartare $10
· Daily Ceviche | $8
· Shrimp | $6/3 pcs |$10/5 pcs
Drink specials: $4 draft beers, $5 well drinks, $6 featured wines by the glass, $7 seasonal cocktails.
With so much rain on Saturday afternoon, it was a perfect day to spend reading and enjoying this picture perfect cup of coffee at one of my favorite coffee shops (and it has a wine bar!) in Northern Virignia -- Northside Social in Clarendon. Be sure to try the homemade chocolate espresso biscotti!
Before hosting Margarita Monday, I took a quick trip to Pentagon Row for the media preview of the new Bonefish Grill opening in Arlington. It was one of the nicest little events I've been to! I am very lucky as I get to meet a lot of people, PR agencies, and brands... but this time, it felt more intimate and "special" than the usual "come try me".
I was greeted with a cucumber margarita with a salt and pepper rim at the door and passed appetizers - including their notorious Bang Bang Shrimp. Then, I took a quick tour of the restaurant with one of their VP's from Orlando before we all sat down for a plated, five course tasting. Take a peek below at the deliciousness that was in front of me... YUM!
Pictured: Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad; Steak Tataki (served with the most amazing wasabi-like mustard sauce); sea bass with mango chutney, salmon with crab dynamite, and seared ahi tuna; Espresso Martini (MUST HAVE).
Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, featuring a variety of mix and match entrée salads as well as soup and salad lunch combinations starting at $6.90. Additional new lunch menu items, including the Lily’s Chicken Wrap with goat cheese and artichoke pesto, will appear alongside Bonefish Grill’s tried and true favorites like the “American Style” Kobe Beef Burger and the Bang Bang Shrimp® Tacos.
Dinner is served seven days a week: Monday through Thursday from 4 – 10:30 p.m., Friday from 4 – 11:30 p.m., Saturday from 3 – 11:30 p.m., and 3 – 10 p.m. on Sunday
Brunch will be offered Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., when diners can choose one of the restaurant’s signature eggs benedicts, like the Surf and Turf Eggs Benedict or Traditional Eggs Benedict, and other brunch items like the “American Style” Kobe Beef and Egg Burger, the Cajun Shrimp Omelet, Garden Fresh Omelet or the Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal. For health-conscious guests, all omelets can be prepared with egg white substitute upon request.
In Arlington, guests will conveniently be able to make reservations through Bonefish Grill’s new online reservation system. With a few simple clicks, you'll be able to book online at www.bonefishgrill.com/Arlington or by calling (703) 412-2837. Reservations are recommended but not required, and walk-in guests are always welcome.
Last week, I hosted a Blogger Night Out at one of my favorite hidden gems in Northern Virginia: Sterling Restaurant Supply. It used to be the Fortessa Outlet - and while they still carry Fortessa products, they have amazing deals on items for your home kitchen as well. I actually met Laura from Sterling Restaurant Supply at the PGA Family Day that I hosted a few months ago -- and when she told me about her store, I knew I had to check it out.
Laura set up a beautiful array of appetizers, adult beverages, and desserts to enjoy while we shopped, chatted, and tweeted/instagramed our night. One of my favorite pieces the store carries are these one-handed food and drink plates (pictured below). For only $4/plate, how can you go wrong?
They carry great, inexpensive items that are perfect for hostess gifts - how about a wooden cutting board and cheese knife for less than $20? I walked out of there with an 8quart stainless steel stock pot... just in case I plan on making chicken noodle soup for the entire block.
If you'd like to stop by, you can find more information and directions at www.sterlingrestaurantsupply.com. Mention Real Housewives of Northern Virginia and you'll get 10% off your purchase!
Special thanks to Laura and the Sterling Restaurant Supply team for hosting us!
Last week, I was able to score a ticket from my friends at AT&T to attend the Washingtonian Best of 2014 sponsored by AT&T. I talked my friend Nicole, owner of Belle Mode Intimates at Fairfax Corner, to come with me so I would be flying solo. The event was held at the National Building Museum and benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
People from all over have told me that Washingtonian Best Of is THE event to attend each year -- from the food, performers, music and celebrity guests -- it's a can't miss event! The event was sold out (with tickets from $125-175/person!) and over 60 of DC's top restaurants were on site doing tastings and promotions. In the middle of the floor there was bar service with Patron adult beverages. They even had Patron Popsicles to greet you at the door before you entered the event. So delish!
We headed up to the private publisher's reception and I bumped into Dr. Robert Centeno from Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute and his lovely wife, Lisa. The entire event was in an Alice in Wonderland theme and there was even a "mad hatter" room where we got to pick up a custom made hat to wear around for the night.
Check out some of the pics below from the party -- I'll definitely be back next year! Thanks again to AT&T (@DCMobility) for sending me to the Washingtonian Best of 2014!
It's not often that "date night" is for just the two of us, but last week my parents kept B on a mini vacation in Richmond, so we had an opportunity to get out and dine at TRIO Grill.
TRIO is a new, high end chophouse created by the folks behind DC's Circa restaurants. It's located in Merrifield (near Mosaic District) and offers a "new take on steak." The atmosphere is sophisticated, but not stuffy. Live piano music plays nightly and was perfect ambience for a classy dinner while still enjoying the contemporary vibes.
We started right off with handcrafted cocktails per the recommendation from their master mixologist's list: I ordered "A Drink with Hemingway" (10 Cane rum, lime, Prosecco and Boston Bittahs) and he ordered a very fitting "Steve McQueen" (Buffalo Trace bourbon, apricot preserves, lemon, cinnamon syrup, egg white, and Fee Brothers bitters).
As for what to eat, we did a tasting of the menu and dove right in to the fresh shucked Crispy Fried Oysters with creamed spinach and spicy hollandaise sauce along with my go-to: the Tuna Tartare. Next, we ordered the Roasted Beets & Black Tuscan Kale salad. I'm not a huge fan of beets in general, but anything paired with goat cheese is sure to win me over!
When it was time for the entrees, our waiter recommended their very popular Diver Scallops which were porcini crusted and served with creamy mushroom risotto, mascarpone, and basil oil. Being the carnivore that he is, he ordered the Center Cut Filet with Yukon whipped potatoes, sautéed asparagus, and chianti jus. Both meals were beautiful in appearance, and tasted as good as they looked!
TRIO is a great place for a date night, after work drinks, or a private dining occasion -- and they have the only cigar lounge in Merrifield. They offer Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 4-7 & Sunday Brunch from 11-3.
We'll definitely be back for our next date night -- or I'm even thinking it'd be a great location for a RHNOVA Girls Night Out meetup!
Guest Post by Thao Melendez @ One of 365
I have been on a soup and Mexican food kick this month. I combined the best of both worlds this weekend and made Chicken Tortilla Soup. What I love about Tortilla Soup is that there are a variety of ways to make it. I like
mine to be a little creamy, with tomato chunks, not spicy and topped with tortilla strips, sour cream, avocado, cheese and a hint of lime. The recipe is tossed together in one pot and is easily adjustable to fit your cravings.
- 3 cups Shredded or Diced Chicken – I use boneless, skinless chicken breast (boil and shred)
- 1TBS Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes (Puree)
- 14.5oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 32oz Chicken Broth
- 1-2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 cup Half and Half
- 1/4 cup Hot Sauce (optional)
- 1/4-1/2 cup Chopped Green Chiles (I use the El Paso 7oz cans)
- Tortilla Strips – 6 (or more) tortillas, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, slice in half and then into strips, bake for 6-10 minutes at 375
Toppings: Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Avocado, Lime
1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch Oven over Medium Heat.
2. Add onions and cook for about five minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
3. Add spices (cumin, oregano, chili powder, smoked paprika) into the pot and mix.
4. Add tomatoes cans (with juices) and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make tortilla and shred chicken.
6. Add 1-2 tsp baking soda and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
7. Add in ½ cup half and half.
8. Mix in green chilies.
9. Add salt and pepper, if needed. I usually find that it can do without.
10. Add to ½cup hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot or any will do and is optional). If you want more heat, add chopped jalapeno.
11. Add chicken to pot and mix OR add chicken to individual bowls and pour soup over.
There you have it -- easy tortilla soup that comforts your soul and makes you want to curl up on the couch.
Top with: Tortilla Strips (I apologize for my poor looking strips, I never give them enough attention), sour cream and cheese (any cheese you like… I used Cheddar here, but I have used Pepper Jack for a spicier finish, and avocado.
I have an unhealthy obsession with lime. I squeeze about half a lime over my bowl. For presentation purposes and for the sake of my guests, I throw a lime slice on top and let them squeeze it themselves :)
popchips is putting more pop in your fireworks this 4th of july by partnering with top chef contestant Dakota Weiss to add a twist to your holiday bbq. check out this fun recipe for grilled shrimp salad paired with sea salt popchips!
serves: 4 preparation: 35 minutes
ingredients for the shrimp + marinade:
- 2 lbs. shrimp (16/20) peeled and deveined
- ½ bunch parsley
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 5 each garlic cloves
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 each lemons, juiced and zested
- add all of the above items (except for the shrimp) into a food processor and puree well. Toss the shrimp in the mixture, let it sit for 10 minutes.
- grill the shrimp and lightly season with salt and black pepper
ingredients for the pickled fresno chiles:
- 1 fresno chile, sliced
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 each cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp black pepper corns
- add all of the ingredients (except for the chills) into a pot and bring it to a boil.
- let the mixture sit for 5 minutes
- strain off the seeds and pour over the chills, let them soak until the mixture is chilled
ingredients for the shrimp salad:
- ¼ cup dill, chopped
- 1 bag sea salt popchips, crushed
direction for the shrimp salad:
- add the grilled shrimp with the dill, popchips and pickled chills and mix well
- season with salt as needed
Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, award-winning ice cream from a small town in Maine, is launching its line of creamy, delicious vintage-made ice cream into greater Washington, D.C. with a summer-long Good Times Ice Cream Tour - and on Sunday night, I was lucky enough to host the kickoff party for local bloggers and social media influencers!
Gifford's arrived at Dulles Golf & Sports Park to greet 50 bloggers and their families in a colorful, state-of-the art ice cream truck, equipped with freezers and loads of award-winning ice cream. Guests met with Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, Gifford's GM and fifth generation ice cream maker, and her brother JC.
The kids lined up and enjoyed sampling the flavors and creating their own sundaes! The ice cream was DELICIOUS! I got the last dish of French Vanilla and I only needed one bite to realize that this is real, old fashioned ice cream. It was so good, I didn't want to add any of the hot fudge, whipped cream or sprinkles :) Afterwards, we all got to enjoy access to the driving range, mini golf course, batting cages, and mining for gems.
The Gifford's Ice Cream truck is scheduled to appear at more than 70 events in the Washington D.C. area giving away FREE ice cream throughout the summer. Fans of delicious, creamy ice cream are invited to follow the truck @GiffordsMaine on Twitter to find out where it will be next! If you want the truck to come to your neck of the woods, you can tweet the truck using hashtag #FreeGiffordsIceCream and your city!
Where can you find this super creamy treat? Gifford’s is now at Whole Foods Markets, Balducci’s, and Wawas in the Washington D.C. area.
Last week, Nando’s PERi-PERi opened their newest nest in the One Loudoun shopping center in Ashburn and I was invited to stop in for their housewarming party before they opened to the public.
This was not my first time at Nando's - I love their locations in Gainesville & Chinatown - but it was one of the best meals I've had there. Absolutely love their flame-grilled chicken!