The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2016 Fall Dining Guide.

A seafood tower served al fresco at Fiola Mare. (Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post)

Fiola Mare


If Fabio Trabocchi ever wants to ditch the kitchen, he should consider fashion. There’s nothing in his restaurant empire that isn’t beautiful. Look around his sweeping seafood statement on the Georgetown waterfront. How many dining rooms take you on a first-class cruise? The food is just what you expect: supremely fresh ingredients, sometimes staged as if they were jewels in a case or flowers in a vase. “Under the Sea” brings together pristine sea urchin, madai sashimi, red king prawns and crisp sea beans in a pool of clear tomato water. Not everything is fussed over; if you want Dover sole or Spanish turbot, the kitchen is game to serve you just that — whole, grilled and neatly filleted at the table by someone who could pass for a model. Pastas are prime. My current fascination drapes cloud-soft gnocchi with monkfish ragu and chopped razor clams, a seduction finished with a kiss of buttery wine sauce. Just as rich is the people-watching. Glance up from your plate, and you might catch POTUS, FLOTUS or both joining the pageant.

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3 stars

Fiola Mare: 3050 K St. NW. 202-628-0065. .

Prices: Mains $28-$50.

Sound check: 76 decibels / Must speak with raised voice.


The following review appeared in The Washington Post’s 2015 Fall Dining Guide.

Fiola Mare

The most sumptuous two-fer in town is food by Fabio Trabocchi and a view of the Potomac River. The sweeping interior could pass for a super-yacht populated with cute young things, men watched over by men with earpieces and, invariably, a TV star or famous byline. The menu, mostly Italian and focused on fish, is every bit as seductive as the scenery. I once came for brunch, ordered the over-the-top seafood tower, and almost stayed for dinner. Salmon crudo on a lick of horseradish cream appears to have been laid out by a jeweler (caviar helps), and creamy bucatini alla carbonara is about as good as pasta gets (love the duck egg garnish). All the while, dashing waiters keep things cruising along. Fiola Mare is where I take visitors who think Washington can’t possibly be sexy or delicious, much less both.