Openings

First Look: Fiola Mare Sails into Georgetown

By Rina Rapuano  |  February 27, 2014
Credit: Christopher Anderson

Fiola Mare, the third DC restaurant by James Beard award-winning chef Fabio Trabocchi, opened on the Georgetown waterfront Friday, applying the chef's elegant yet playful style to seafood. The dining room joins Fiola and Casa Luca in the chef's mini dining empire. 

Not surprisingly, Trabocchi says the restaurant's inspiration comes from the coastal cuisines of Italy, and many of the dishes bear his trademark decadence - like the appetizer that layers oysters and caviar with Champagne zabaglione and chives. Trabocchi devotees will recognize the Maine lobster ravioli with ginger and chives that's also served at Fiola.

Service is taken just as seriously as the cooking, with employees wearing Secret Service-like ear pieces to keep things running smoothly. And just in case you need to slip in unnoticed, there's a separate entrance at the back of the restaurant along the waterfront, which puts you near a few of the private dining rooms. A small room with a chef's table has doors that open to provide a view of the kitchen as well as a separate bar with Trabocchi's private wine cellar. 

Lunch and brunch are already on offer, with weekday meals bringing the Fiola Mare version of Fiola's Maria Menu, a healthy, three-course lunch for $24. 

Hours are 11:30 AM-2:30 PM Monday through Friday; 5:30-11 PM Monday through Saturday; brunch from 11:30 AM-2:30 PM and dinner from 5-10 PM Sunday. Reservations are recommended, and valet parking will be offered for dinner at $12 per car.

3050 K St. NW (entrance at 31st Street and the waterfront); 202-628-0065

  of  
  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    Even a dreary winter day can't dull the appeal of the view from Fiola Mare's patio, which offers sweeping views of the Potomac River from the Kennedy Center to the Key Bridge.

  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    The main bar serves only the main dining room, with another bar in the back catering to the private dining rooms and those enjoying the patio. The opening wine list features more than 200 selections from Italy, Spain, France and the US.

  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    In addition to the main dining room, there are four private dining rooms and an enclosed veranda that looks out over the water. All told, there are seats for 140.

  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    The mixologist station showcases the restaurant's collection of amari; this is where cocktails like the Sapore di Sale - made with el Jimador tequila, pompelmo syrup, Aperol, Prosecco and salt - will be shaken and stirred.

     .

  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    The back bar, which will accommodate private parties and the patio, keeps the main bar up front from getting too crowded.

  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    Among the dining options is the chance to choose your own fresh fish from the market counter, where varieties like turbot ($42 per pound), Dove sole ($44 per pound), Spanish branzino ($36 per pound) and Scottish langoustine ($13 apiece) wait on ice to be weighed and prepared. 

  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    Chef Trabocchi drizzles olive oil over a lunch dish of turbot ($25) with arugula and wild mushroom salad. Also shown is the lunchtime lobster roll ($18), a potato bun filled with Maine lobster, spicy Calabrese mayo, pickled cucumbers and basil.

  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    Nantucket bay scallops ($18) from the Tutto Crudo! section of the menu are gilded with winter black truffle and Sicilian fior di sale.

  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    A recent special of “fisherman style” housemade fettuccine with crab and anchovies ($20 at lunch; $24 at dinner) was beautifully complemented by a sweet-onion fondue, fresh herbs and Sicilian olio verde.

  • Credit: Christopher Anderson

    The housemade magnum bar ($12) is cheerful in both design and flavor - vanilla-bean white chocolate encases blood orange sorbetto, all decorated with flower petals and candied orange peel.