Monday, September 30, 2013

Falling in Love with Merroir

My hubby has always been the oyster fan, generally, fried oysters. If fried oysters appear on the menu, he gets them. No chance for me to share an app or a small plate. For the most part, I give in because he enjoys these Virginia delicacies so freakin' much. He can tell whether those babies are sweet or if they remind him of the "dirty water" shellfish he grew up eating.

Raw oysters are another matter. He will eat them, but won't go out of his way. I could pretty much leave them stranded. We did have some truly kick-ass tiny pink ones when we were in Oregon that I continue to rave about and we tried some Anderson Neck cuties at Dutch and Co which were small and sweet. I was surprised at how good they were. So was hubby.

On a mellow and sunny Sunday in August we decided to drive to Topping, VA to check out Merroir. Yes, lots of folks around here have raved about them. But raw oysters? and particularly on a hot summer (or even spring day)? No way. Well, the stars aligned and we arrived. Great setting along the Rappahannock. Everyone was eating outside (including some frisky little dogs). We could have our pick of sun or shade. We chose shade. The menu was short, but featured many tempting dishes, including sliders for non-seafood eaters.

We began by ordering a Picpoul de Pinet. The crisp, slightly grapefruity white from France was a nice choice for the feast to come.

Of course we started with raw oysters. Merroir offers three varieties that they harvest. We chose the sweet Rappahannocks. I (and hubby) were impressed. I would order these again. We also shared some steamed shrimp that weren't too shabby.

We then progressed at a leisurely pace into a second course. I gravitated towards the Sunday brunch special - crabcake, fried green tomato, bacon, and fried egg sandwich. So yummy! My partner selected the tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad along with some steamed clams. We both were able to satisfy our seafood cravings while sitting back and watching the river scene. Yes, love at first bite.

As the fall gets into full gear, the river setting should just get even better.

Enjoy these photos of the food and scenery at Merroir.

The entrance to the outside dining area. Merroir also offers a few inside bar seats during in-climate weather.
Relaxing at Merroir
A couple with their pooches enjoying the sunshine.
Picpoul de Pinet
A refreshing white wine for brunch
Swallow the Leader
Swallow the Leader
Rappahannock Oysters
Sweet raw oysters. Not slimy.
Steamed Spiced Shrimp
Steamed spiced shrimp. Ask for extra napkins.
An Oysterista ready to take an order
Crabcake with  Bacon and Egg
A perfect brunch offering - fried egg, crabcake, bacon, and fried green tomato
Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Salad
A salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar
Steamed Clams
Steamed clams with lots of summer flavor
Water View
A beautiful water view

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