Merroir: A Tasting Room

"What's your idea of a perfect date?"

If I'm asking you this question and if you know me at all, you'd respond with...

Even though Miss Congeniality pulls in a rather low 6.1 rating on, I still maintain it's one of my favorite most quotable movies out there, along with Mean Girls and Napoleon Dynamite.

So in honor of today's famous date, April 25th, I'm sharing a fabulous date spot: Merroir Tasting Room in charming Topping, Virginia.

Note: I'm using "date" loosely here, as can go here on a date with anyone. Your boy/girlfriend, mother, grandmother, cousin, gal pal, sister, brother...anyone you love spending time with, romantically or not. Just make sure you get down (or up) to this upscale yet casual riverfront seafood restaurant in the spring, summer, or fall and experience this adorable place in all it's glory.

Merrior is a gourmet tasting room overlooking the Rappahannock River where it meets the Chesapeake Bay. With awesome views of the Locklies Marina and the river, the outdoor gravel patio is an idyllic, relaxing setting for enjoying super fresh oysters. There's also a small indoor area with a bar and and deck with a few additional tables.

The prices aren't low, but aren't painfully high (although, I didn't pick up the bill, sooo this is just a guesstimation). Since it's some of the freshest seafood around, I have no doubt you'll enjoy what you pay for. There aren't any fried hush puppies, soggy Old Bay french fries, or endless Iceberg lettuce bowls here. Everything comes out in small portions, priced reasonably from $12-$18, so it was best served tapas style and shared with others. There's a great selection of craft beers, wine, and hard cider. They even have prosecco on tap! It's a lovely place to go for a special occasion (like your mom's 50th birthday) or just to get out of town for a little while.

In addition to oysters, clams, and the like, here are a few other notable dishes from our visit:

Stuffin Muffin: an electrified version of Thanksgiving stuffing, formed into a patty with oysters, onions, bacon, and white gravy. Ayyyy. Recipe here.

Angels on horseback: warm roasted oysters topped with salty country ham and herbed butter. I could have eaten 500.

Grilled Romaine Salad: Wait, why is a salad notable? Because lettuce ... heated on a grill ... cool Caesar dressing, obviously. I read that this menu item was briefly taken off but brought back by popular demand.

Crabcake: Jumbo. Lump. Laden. And hard to beat.

I'm a firm believer that the type of service you experience at a place can affect your entire outlook on the experience. So I'm making a note that the folks here are very nice and aim to please by making an effort to explain dishes, provide recommendations, provide chilled guests with warm blankets (it was March) and allow our party to move to the heated deck when the sun sank behind the trees.

Big deal: the owners of this restaurant, who are constantly being featured in local press, were recently featured in The New York Times dining section in an interesting story about how they're trying bring the oyster trade back to the Chesapeake Bay. In my humble opinion, they're succeeding. Find out for yourself!

Merroir Tasting Room
784 Locklies Creek Road | Topping, Virginia | 23169
Open Year Round
Mon - Thu: 11:30 am - 8:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Sun: 11:30 am - 8:00 pm


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