Friday, December 16, 2016

Fiola Mare

Fiola Mare specializes in the freshest, most pristine seafood prepared in a Mediterranean style with subtle influences from Japan and France.  Elegant simplicity is seen in each dish through delicate and subtle additions of color, flavor and texture. Fiola Mare, located along the Georgetown Waterfront, is a place to enjoy the highest quality seafood and wines paired with the finest hospitality and service in the city.  Closest Metro is Foggy Bottom.

Keith and I dined here for an early Christmas celebration.  We arrived a bit early and simply waited at the bar for our table to open up.  The dining room was packed with many attentive servers all around that not a beat was missed.  The wine list is quite extensive, but there are 5 sommeliers in house too answer any questions.  I decided on a bottle of 2014 Tasca d'Almerita, Tascante Buonora, Carricante, from Terre Siciliane.  This Italian white wine was crisp with lots of minerality and acid that really paired well with all the seafood we were to enjoy.

For starters, we shared a half dozen of fresh Oysters on the Half Shell.  We had 3 Pink Moon from New Brunswick, Canada that were briny and clean, along with 3 Barnstable from Cape Cod, Massachusetts that were a little bit sweeter.  Served with a champagne mignonette and a smoky passion fruit mignonette, these oysters were super fresh.  We could have eaten a dozen more, but decided to save room for other delicious items.

Also from the raw bar, we ordered a beautiful plate called Under the Sea, which featured madai, live sea scallop, red king prawn, and Japanese sea urchin with a parmigiano custard, sea beans, seaweed and a delicate pumpkin dashi.  The pumpkin was very subtle allowing the miso notes to come out and balance the natural sweetness of the fresh seafood.  This was the most Japanese inspired dish of the night, but lived up to its name.

For a warm appetizer, we shared the Grilled Spanish Octopus.  Served atop artichoke purée, meyer lemon jam, and black olive oil, this octopus was incredibly tender and full of flavor.  A few shavings of winter black truffles added to the elegance of this dish, which was my favorite of the night.

Next, we each ordered a pasta dish as our main course.  Keith chose the Gragnano Spaghetti Chitarra that showcased the Amalfi Coast cuisine with littleneck clams, San Marzano tomato sauce and a hint of spice from Controne chilies. Though it sounds simple, the flavors were complex and quite satisfying.

I settled on a half portion of a house favorite - Lobster Ravioli.  Two delicate pasta pillows were served with a small half tail of lobster meat in a sinful buttery wine sauce with ginger and chives.   The sauce was very rich, but I was not shamed to ask for more bread so that I could dip and soak up as much of the remaining sauce as possible.  It was divine and the white wine we chose helped cut through some of the richness.

Lastly, for dessert we enjoyed the Bomboloni - ricotta donuts served with gingerbread gelato and a maple toffee sauce.  The donuts were nice and hot and just melted in your mouth.  We paired this with a dessert wine of Colosi, Zibibbo, Passito di Pantelleria.  The wine was not overly sweet and would also be great with a cheese course.

We were also treated to a small Panna Cotta and some chestnut macarons with our bill.  Overall, service was on point and very elegant, but was borderline stuffy. Initially, the robotic-ness was a little off putting, and ultimately we felt there was a lack of soul in the hospitality. The prices are quite high and the location is a bit out of the way.  Plus dining indoors at night does not allow one to experience the romantic waterfront views.  Nevertheless, we had a lovely meal and the quality of food shined.

Total Rating: 4.18
Food: 5, Price: 2, Service: 5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 3.5

Fiola Mare Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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