Fiola Mare: Pearl on the Potomac

Photo by Judith Beermann
Frutti di Mare
Frutti di Mare

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

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!

Market Counter (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Market Counter

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.

Bianca Sicilia (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Bianca Sicilia

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.

Fiola Maine Lobster Ravioli (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fiola Maine Lobster Ravioli

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.

Fiola Mare Oysters & Caviar (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fiola Mare Oysters & Caviar

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.

Spumoni (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Spumoni

Chocolate bonbons: orange & Cointreau, Passionfruit, Earl Grey & cardamom, coffee & cardamom (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Chocolate bonbons: orange & Cointreau, Passionfruit, Earl Grey & cardamom, coffee & cardamom

Maria and Fabio Trabocchi (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Maria and Fabio Trabocchi

Fiola Mare is located at 30350 K Street. Tel: 202.628.0065

Semi-private dining room (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Semi-private dining room

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)