While I had never been to Chef Trabocchi’s original restaurant, Maestro, I have always heard great things about his food and reputation, and I was very excited to try Fiola, which has been receiving rave reviews since opening last year. In fact, Fiola ranked #4 in Washingtonian's 100 Very Best Restaurants 2013. For my birthday this year, Keith prepared in advanced and chose Fiola for us to celebrate and have dinner.
|Photo via Fiola website|
I was thinking of ordering a pasta dish as my main course, but Keith suggested we split a pasta as another appetizer instead. We chose the Hand-Rolled Garganelli “Matriciana Style” with housemade Guanciale, roasted tomatoes, and Pecorino di Fossa cheese. The tubular pasta had a perfect bite to it and the sauce was layered with flavors from the salty pork, rich cheese, and a hint of red pepper spice. This dish was also split for us, yet still seemed like a generous portion. I really enjoyed this pasta dish and am glad we decided to share it.
For our main courses, both Keith and I chose a fresh fish. I settled on the Spanish Branzino with mushrooms, Fava beans, and a sweet sauce I couldn't quite decipher. The fish was lightly grilled, minimally seasoned, and topped with crawfish, which added a different sweetness to the mix. The fish fillet was a nice portion size, and overall the dish was very clean with umami essence from the mushrooms and beans. Keith chose the Potato Wrapped Wild Cod stuffed with whipped Baccalà, Umbrian cicerchia, and served with razor clam gratin and charred spring onion. The fish was well cooked and the Baccalà added a lot of flavor as did the razor clams. All the ingredients in each of the fish courses were very complex and allowed for multiple layers of textures and tastes that could have benefited from a little restraint.
The plating and presentation of dishes were a little more traditional and comforting than I expected, but was still innovative with the combination of ingredients used. Service was very attentive, almost pampering. To end, we were treated to a glass of dessert wine - Maculan Torcolato, which means "twisted" as this sweet wine is made from grapes that are hung in twisted cheese cloth. All in all, we had a great meal and rolled out of Fiola fat and happy from all the Italian food and wine.
Total Rating: 4.38
Food: 4.5, Price: 4, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5
What I ate:
Burrata of Buffalo Mozzarella
Sardine Escabeche, Baby Artichokes, Basil Pesto, Bread Tuile
Housemade Guanciale, Roasted Tomatoes, Pecorino di Fossa Cheese, “Matriciana Style”
mushrooms, Fava beans, crawfish
♥Vanilla Panna Cotta♥
mangoes, passion fruit sorbetto
Plus Keith ate:
Potato Wrapped Wild Cod
Whipped Baccalà, Umbrian Cicerchia, Razor Clam Gratin, Charred Spring Onion
Sardinian Ricotta Doughnuts, Espresso Gelato