A La Carte
Fiola Mare isn't simply "bringing back the waterfront to Georgetowners," as Maria Trabocchi says. It's finally offering us the place we've dreamed of for authentic Mediteranean seafood. world-class views and now, cuisine to match. Bravo Fabio!
Open since mid-February, the restaurant with wall-to-wall windows on the Potomac, was, until recently, office space. Nestled between Nick's Riverside Grill and the edge of Waterfront Park, from wherever you sit, you're invited to select freshly caught fish and seafood prepared as you choose.
This waterfront dining destination includes two bars, one accessible to the restaurant’s several semi-private dining areas and outdoor veranda, named after Fabio and Maria's daughter Aliche. The servers debone your selection tableside, unless you choose to tackle it yourself.
As with any Trabocchi establishment, (Fabio's third, following Fiola in Penn Quarter and Casa Luca downtown, named for their son), there are signature dishes you must try. Start with the Fiola Maine Lobster Ravioli. Be sure to sample the Acquerello Risotto, a mix of squid ink, calamari, sea beans, cod tripe and "Kokotxas" Venetian style.
A test for any Italian restaurant worth it's sea salt, the Frutti di Mare, and theirs does not disappont: east & west coast oysters, Middleneck Clams, Penn Cove Mussels, Maine Lobster, Catalina Sea Urchins, head-on prawns, Peektyoe Crab, tuna tartare, and Razor Clams.
A lovely Bianco Sicilia (Sicilian Chardonnay) which the sun and old oak barrels has softened, was the perfect complement to the stunning array of exotic sea creatures.
The menu changes daily, but a permanent fixture is the 'Maria Menu,' Meditteranean healthy, low sodium and low calorie, but high on flavor and texture.
Save room for dolci. The spumoni (pistachio and olive oil gelato, Amarena Cherries and green strawberries) was the best we've ever tasted.
There are also hand-made Venezuelan gems of chocolate truffles coated with real silver and gold.
Like its owners, Fiola Mare is casually elegant, and, as Maria says, "We want the place to feel like home but remain classically elegant," so yes, there is a dress code.
Fiola Mare is located at 30350 K Street. Tel: 202.628.0065
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It was four years ago at a Kennedy Center culinary event where I first discovered Thibaut-Janisson's Blanc de Chardonnay from Monticello, Virginia. Tuesday evening, the President served the bubbly for a second state dinner, this time for French President Hollande.
At RdV Vineyards the vines are French, the wine-maker Dutch and the grapes grow in Delaplane. Also pretty darn impressive.
Vive la Virginia!