A typical night at Fiola Mare might find “Dallas” star Patrick Duffy sitting a table away from you and enough caviar on just your appetizer to throw a block party in Kalorama — it’s Party Central, in other words. Chef Fabio Trabocchi made it cool to dine in Georgetown again when he introduced to the waterfront this sweeping $5 million ode to the Adriatic.
Short of a monument, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better public view; polished service makes even the busier dishes taste better. Trabocchi will tell you pasta and fish are his favorite things to cook. Proof of his affection surfaces in bucatini lavished with super-sweet prawns and creamy sea urchin, and local rockfish gilded with sliced porcinis, foie gras and red wine sauce. Grand gestures are part of the chef’s DNA. Even “simply grilled” squid impresses us when a copper pan of wild calamari glides to the table with fresh rosemary, lemon curls and flower petals, along with elegant burners to keep the tender sea creature warm. Indecisive sweet tooths should spring for the tarta San Marcos, a delicate sponge cake sandwiched with raspberry creme and topped off with creme brulee.
Truly, nothing at this yacht of a restaurant overlooking the Potomac is ordinary. The bar-only lobster roll features toasted brioche, the after-dinner bon bons show up in a sleek, glass-topped box, and the faucets in the restrooms double as hand-dryers.