2985 District Ave.
Fairfax, VA 22031
Looking for something a little different? Tired of steakhouses and small plates? Check out Brine.
We started with a No Juice, No Cherry, which is a rye cocktail, and a glass of Sex. Sex is a rose sparkler they have on tap if memory serves. Nice way to start the dinner.
Brine owner Travis Croxton has his fingers in more pies than Tiffany Macisaac. Seriously. He helped Derek Brown with Eat The Rich and has several other restaurants which include Merroir, Rappahanock Oyster Bar, Rocksalt, and now Brine. Think steakhouse, but with the main protein being fish.
Travis' family has been in the oyster business for decades and they have some of the tastiest oysters around. They are treated well here.
Besides the pristine oysters, there are many more composed dishes being sent out of Chef John Critchley's kitchen including Lambs and Clams, made with house-stuffed merguez sausage.
The gazpacho packs some incredible flavors.
These are the exactly what I think of when I get a craving for oysters. The brine is light and the oysters are just the right size. They're so good I had to order another dozen.
This was the bucatini with guanciale and chili threads.
The radish salad.
The yellowfin carpaccio was tremendous. Lots of flavors and textures going on.
We shared the wood-roasted whole fish. Expertly done and very tasty.
Dessert was a chocolate bavarois with peanut brittle. No slouching on the finale.
Cheryl finished up with a liquid dessert: Mommy's Snow Cone. Orange mocha syrup with rum and ancho salt. Things I'd never think to put together, but ended up being greater than the sum of the ingredients. Very creative.
If you find yourself in the Mosaic district this place is certainly worth checking out. Twice. They take the steakhouse format and elevate it with serious creativity and skill in the kitchen as well as the bar. Expertly prepared proteins served a la carte with sides that you won't find elsewhere.
If you go, say hi to Chef Critchley for me and tell him you read about it on Pleasures of the Table.