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Fiola, Penn Quarter in the old Le Paradou Space - The Return of 2006 James Beard Mid-Atlantic Best Chef Fabio Trabocchi

Modern Italian James Beard Award Cocktails Wines Pasta Fine Dining Desserts Penn Quarter

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#251 Rhone1998

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:56 AM

The sea urchin spaghetti and the lasagna are not on the online menu, which looks to be the spring menu -- I am sad!
...
(1) is the lobster ravioli available in half portions? (so I can have something else, maybe the salad with amazing goat cheese in half portion, mentioned above, and room for dessert )


Not sure it's the same pasta dish, but when we were there a few weeks ago, my wife was served a pasta with a large shrimp, and was told that it was sometimes done with sea urchin "when available". Presumably it wasn't that night (or isn't in the Spring?).

The lobster ravioli is available in the half portion!

--
Dan


#252 Genevieve

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:43 AM

The lobster ravioli is available in the half portion!


Wonderful! Hmm, I may have to get the single soft-shell crab and then the lobster ravioli . . .

#253 kturkey88

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:55 PM

The lobster ravioli is available in the half portion!


If I remember correctly though - you only get 3 raviolis in the full portion. FWIW.

---

Edited to say maybe it's 3-4 ravs in the full. When I asked if it was offered in a half, and told how many come in the full-sized portion, I was convinced to go with the full. Was glad I did - it was very tasty, and I had to give up at least 1 to the hubby.

leave the gun, take the cannolis.


#254 Genevieve

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:25 PM

Oh, good to know. Thank you! I should get the full portion, and a little of whatever my husband gets for an app. Saving room for the bomboloni!

#255 DonRocks

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 04:45 PM

Drinks by Jeff were excellent and he needs to put that scotch drink he made on the menu or at least remind us how it was made.

Dinner at the bar and I decided to select the 4 savory* course tasting menu ($115). Unfortunately the dinner menu is not online so I am writing from memory.

Start was a good dish of Orange Marlin (Nairagi) crudi. The next course was the much mentioned bucatini which I thought was very good. The mix of all the seafood components was excellent and I would order this again. I requested to have the rabbit dish for the entree portion (this is where the lack of a menu gets me) as I liked the description and I was not disappointed. The final savory course was a trio of sorbets, which I would normally never order, but were very flavorful. Overall an enjoyable and expensive meal.

*When you read 4 savory courses on the menu do you expect a final course being sorbet? Am I the only one that thinks it should read 3 courses + dessert?


There has been no bigger Fiola cheerleader than I have been, but I agree with Mike that when I see, "4 Savory Courses 115" that I would expect four savory courses, plus at least one amuse, dessert, and mignardises - that is a lot of money: I had the Nairagi a la carte and I think it was $22, so that would leave you at $93 for two savory courses plus sorbet? I think someone made a simple mistake.

I think Fiola is one of the tip-top most expensive restaurants in the area right now, which is why I don't understand it being Todd's first recommendation for a restaurant under $50 a person. For a special occasion (like dr.com's 7th anniversary happy hour :wub: )? Yes, for sure, but Fiola is pretty much of a budget buster - I can *easily* see spending $200 a person here.

This is certainly not a criticism of Fiola (which remains bold in the Dining Guide and is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in the area), and if you're careful, you don't have to take out a second mortgage to come here (note, for example, the $24 "Maria's Light Menu" 3-course lunch special). But I would advise all prospective diners that this is a very expensive restaurant that is getting even more expensive as time goes by. For me, it is a luxury and a splurge.

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#256 Pat

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:18 PM

I think Fiola is one of the tip-top most expensive restaurants in the area right now, which is why I don't understand it being Todd's first recommendation for a restaurant under $50 a person. For a special occasion (like dr.com's 7th anniversary happy hour :wub: )? Yes, for sure, but Fiola is pretty much of a budget buster - I can *easily* see spending $200 a person here.


I also thought that was really odd, and when someone called him on it, he insisted that it wasn't that expensive because someone could get a pasta dish and that pasta is in the 20s. Who is going to go to Fiola and just get a serving of pasta? A pasta plus a starter/salad and tip would take someone to $50 without even getting a glass of wine.

#257 Rhone1998

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:17 PM

If I remember correctly though - you only get 3 raviolis in the full portion. FWIW.
---
Edited to say maybe it's 3-4 ravs in the full. When I asked if it was offered in a half, and told how many come in the full-sized portion, I was convinced to go with the full. Was glad I did - it was very tasty, and I had to give up at least 1 to the hubby.


hmmm, I don't think so. I don't remember exactly but it felt like about 3-4 in the half portion I got. Plus a nice sized piece of lobster meat. It wasn't a huge amount, but it wasn't skimpy either. Are you sure you didn't accidentally order the half portion?

--
Dan


#258 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:57 PM

hmmm, I don't think so. I don't remember exactly but it felt like about 3-4 in the half portion I got. Plus a nice sized piece of lobster meat. It wasn't a huge amount, but it wasn't skimpy either. Are you sure you didn't accidentally order the half portion?


A full portion is two raviolis and some lobster meat in addition.

#259 Barbara

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:01 AM

There has been no bigger Fiola cheerleader than I have been, but I agree with Mike that when I see, "4 Savory Courses 115" that I would expect four savory courses, plus at least one amuse, dessert, and mignardises - that is a lot of money: I had the Nairagi a la carte and I think it was $22, so that would leave you at $93 for two savory courses plus sorbet? I think someone made a simple mistake.

I think Fiola is one of the tip-top most expensive restaurants in the area right now, which is why I don't understand it being Todd's first recommendation for a restaurant under $50 a person. For a special occasion (like dr.com's 7th anniversary happy hour :wub: )? Yes, for sure, but Fiola is pretty much of a budget buster - I can *easily* see spending $200 a person here.

This is certainly not a criticism of Fiola (which remains bold in the Dining Guide and is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in the area), and if you're careful, you don't have to take out a second mortgage to come here (note, for example, the $24 "Maria's Light Menu" 3-course lunch special). But I would advise all prospective diners that this is a very expensive restaurant that is getting even more expensive as time goes by. For me, it is a luxury and a splurge.


This is exactly why we didn't stay for any food after the DR.com HH. Everything on the menu seemed to be just too expensive for a casual night out to have a drink (or three) and see some folk we hadn't seen in awhile (and meet somebody new). Instead, we went to Corduroy for the $30 bar menu and I had a perfectly wonderful meal, 3-course meal. Can't beat that.

#260 Rhone1998

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:20 AM

A full portion is two raviolis and some lobster meat in addition.


Interesting. It could be that the confusion about half vs full portion was mine, but what I received was definitely more than 2 ravioli (though perhaps smaller than the ones you had last year). And the piece of lobster in my dish was smaller than the one in your picture. Maybe they've just changed their portion size over time.

--
Dan


#261 darkstar965

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:29 AM

This is exactly why we didn't stay for any food after the DR.com HH. Everything on the menu seemed to be just too expensive for a casual night out to have a drink (or three) and see some folk we hadn't seen in awhile (and meet somebody new). Instead, we went to Corduroy for the $30 bar menu and I had a perfectly wonderful meal, 3-course meal. Can't beat that.


We had a somewhat similar reaction on Xmas Eve last year but didn't focus much on it because the food was truly outstanding. That said, it is a bit of a splurge place for us too (though you can get closer to $100 than $200 per person without wine--I know, I know--why bother, right? ;) ). Lunches and the bar are easier on wallets and just as good for what they do. Most of us say we don't mind paying a premium when something is truly outstanding. The problem with that price-agnostic, value-based perspective is that there are too many places charging crazy high prices without backing it up on plates. IMO, Fiola so far has very much backed it up whether an uber-expensive dinner or a reasonably priced bar lunch.

#262 mdt

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:16 PM

Dinner at the bar and I decided to select the 4 savory* course tasting menu ($115)...

The final (4th) savory course was a trio of sorbets...

IMO, Fiola so far has very much backed it up whether an uber-expensive dinner or a reasonably priced bar lunch.


While a very good meal, I don't agree.

#263 darkstar965

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:24 PM

While a very good meal, I don't agree.


Touche!* Though, in my own defense I'll point you to the latest TS Fiola writeup in which he opined:

...Fiola has matured into a smooth-running dining room offering affordable luxury and masterly attention to the fine points.


Then again, hurting my own case would be two frank admissions:

- more seriously, mdt, sounds like you partook of a reasonably questionable menu I have not experienced at Fiola. Can confirm their special Xmas Eve lineup was both costly and grand. Similar appraisals on dishes like the lobster ravioli we've all loved, the veal chop that Joe brought to our attention and the oyster Rocks profiled provide additional evidence. All about as expensive as it gets in this town on a veal chop-to-veal chop or oyster-to-oyster basis. But all better than any comparable.

- Referring back to the TS quote above, I've always attributed the term "affordable luxury" to Howard Schultz (whom I believe coined it in this context). A $4 latte versus a $115 4-course tasting menu if you will.

* with apologies for the missing accent mark. Clearly Invision's fault or not making symbol insertion more intuitive.

#264 alan7147

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:45 PM

Thanks Fiola for displaying such utter incompetence in losing my reservation for tomorrow night that I am now screwed for my anniversary. Also big props to management for never returning my call to further discuss the situation. I will sure to run back here in the future.

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#265 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:48 PM

Wow that really sucks. In this past week's Washingtonian chat, a chatter asked for recs for $50 per person and Todd recommended Fiola. Another chatter said "whachoo talkin' 'bout Willis? And Todd wrote:

You’re right in saying that 50 bucks won’t go far if you’re looking only at a couple of top-end entrees, but most pastas are in the 20s.


Cacio & Pepe Spaghetti + Sheep’s “Cacio” Cheese + Peppercorn = Roman Style 24
Tortellini of Modena “Cotechino” Sausage + Mollie Green Asparagus + Pecorino Romano 28
Smoked Gnocchi + Scallops + Maya Prawns + Brodetto 32
Pappardelle + Classic Ragu Bolognese + Royal Trumpet Mushrooms + Piemontese Castelmagno 32
Bucatini + Scottish Langoustines + Sea Urchins + Tomato + Red Chilies 36
Ravioli + Fiola Maine Lobster Ravioli 36


No longer true. When did prices creep up to these levels? The portion sizes aren't big at all. My wife and I can easily each devour two portions of full size pasta and knock back a few apps too. The veal chop is now $48 - wasn't that veal chop $44 just a few weeks ago (according to Joe H, it was). They just jacked the price up 10%!

#266 DonRocks

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:09 PM

No longer true. When did prices creep up to these levels? The portion sizes aren't big at all. My wife and I can easily each devour two portions of full size pasta and knock back a few apps too. The veal chop is now $48 - wan'ts that veal chop $44 just a few weeks ago (according to Joe H, it was). They just jacked the price up 10%!


Please let's not forget the hospitality that Fiola showed us last Friday - they could not have been any more wonderful, and the food is as good as ever.

In my previous post, I tried to finesse my observation that prices have crept up, but since people are now pointing it out, we may as well face it head-on: that $19 lunch is now $24; the oysters that raised my eyebrows at $4.40 are now $5. Fiola is currently an extremely expensive restaurant.

Given the bizarre state of the economy, and also the uncertainty caused by Le Paradou, Fiola wisely opened at the low end of the price spectrum, and is now reacting, justifiably, to basic economic laws of supply and demand.

It's amazing just how far ahead of the curve this website has been about Fiola since day one.

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#267 darkstar965

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:36 PM

Just a not-so-quick observation that the above few posts are just one reason why it's so valuable and useful when owners and operators participate in discussions on this board. I know I've posted that before and, at least once, been slammed as naiive for doing so (i.e., sarcasm around this website not being a priority for a busy chef/owner) but the reality is that this website is different, better, more substantive and, I think, valuable for chefs/owners/restaurant pros and regular joe and jane diners alike.

This Fiola thread is a great example of a discussion that would be much enhanced if one of the owners could make a brief post or two every few months or whatever possible.

There have been a few inexplicable service lapses with alan7147's messed up anniversary reservation just being the latest example. I think memory serves that several pages back another had posted about getting no response to a request for info about organizing a group dinner even when he went there in person. That stuff's hard to understand. Any restaurant can make mistakes. It's whether and how they redress them that most matters. The opportunity of course, is to bend over backward rectifying if a bona fide mistake was made. Some communication helps.

On the price hikes, it's exceedingly difficult to say whether reasonable or unreasonable without knowing Fiola's cost structure. Every business has the right to set prices at any level it likes. The public then decides whether a place's assumed profitability is "reasonable" or "egregious." Personally, I've deeply appreciated some chef owners like Dean who've educated this community about restaurant economics. It helps many to better understand before firing too many arrows.

I've never had a service problem at Fiola but of course believe and take seriously the stories of those that have. I love the food there and haven't ever felt ripped off in any way but I also haven't had some of the same fixed course tasting menus like mdt reported on (which does sound (too) expensive for what it was).

My point here is just to say there are some key things we don't know about Fiola. Overall, the good about Fiola would seem to greatly outweigh the bad. But the concerns are still valid and significant. And it'd help a lot if they'd join the discussion even if just a little bit given how busy they are. To not do so can sometimes send an unintended message. Other chefs on this board are super busy but manage to participate some with the demographics and psychographics of this website pretty clearly making it worth anyone's while IMHO.

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that, as a result of this site, I've both learned a lot and deepened my already deep respect for all those that work in this business and the challenges they overcome every day and about which most of the dining public has no idea. It has helped me to more substantively and deeply respect the industry while also discriminating and spending more intelligently. I thank Don most of all for that but also very much all the owners and pros who make this community unlike anything else out there.

#268 DanielK

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:56 PM

I'm with mdt on this one. We had a very delicious dinner at the bar the night of the DR.com party, and Jeff was an absolutely fabulous bartender, but my dining partner and I split the 5-course menu, added 2 apps (we were satisfied, but not full, so it's not the volume you'd normally order here), each had 2 cocktails and the bill was over $100/pp before tax and tip. Food was fabulous, but that's at the high end of the high-end price range in DC, and it wasn't *that* good.

Also, completely unrelated, those bar stools are about the most uncomfortable ones I've ever sat in.

#269 Keithstg

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 07:02 AM

The veal chop is now $48 - wasn't that veal chop $44 just a few weeks ago (according to Joe H, it was). They just jacked the price up 10%!


For what it's worth, the veal chop at Le Paradou was $48 - $50 for nearly the duration of that restaurant's existence. While I enjoyed it, the portion at Fiola is at least 1/3 larger than what Yannick served. I think that Fiola's veal chop presents a (modest) fine dining value at it's current price.

#270 qwertyy

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:59 PM

I ate here a couple of months ago--didn't post because it was really a zero-sum dinner that didn't inspire prose*--but I just picked up a roll from the bread guy at the Reagan Building farmers' market** that propelled me back to the Fiola bread service. Those rolls are freaking incredible. Hot and flaky and salty and buttery. It is one of few places where I think you absolutely should load up on bread. And bless the server for noting my near-constant raving to my dinner companion and wrapping up two for me to go, gratis. Neither survived the night.

*Chestnut cappuccino soup: phenomenal, but $18 for a teacup of it? Wow!
Lasagna: delicious, but outrageously salty. And I like salt. (I know folks always say that, but I mean it; I am HAPPY to have low blood pressure, that's how much I like salt.)

**Similar style of roll, but a mere shadow of the quality.

#271 wisehands

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:02 AM

Went to Fiola last night, so here's my take on it. We splurged on the 5 course tasting menu (we declared it a special occasion!). We started with the "susci" scallops with red pepper coulis, pantelleria capers, and Sicilian black olive salt. The scallops were of very high quality, but didn't have quite the "wow" factor of the other courses. Esca in NY is still at the top for crudo.

Second course was lobster ravioli. This was one of the best versions of this I've had. Usually I avoid lobster ravioli because the lobster is usually ground too finely and doesn't have much flavor, but Fiola's was an exception. Here the lobster was flavorful and toothsome without being dense and overdone. The piece of lobster tail that came with it was extra tender. We wavered over whether the sauce complemented or overpowered the lobster flavor, but we ended up with none left on our plates.

Third was Halibut with vidalia onions compote, porcini crema combined with a Barbera sauce. This was crazy good. Crazy in the sense that there were so many strong, pronounced flavors, but good because it all worked somehow. This dish was also very filling, so it must have had a lot of fats in it.

For the fourth course we had one seafood brodetto, which included a langoustine (an authentic one), some shrimp, halibut, cod, and cockles; and one Branzino with Malpeque oysters, leeks, and Lemon–Prosecco zabaglione. The brodetto had an intense, concentrated seafood flavor, as if it had been reduced from the essences of a ton of seafood. The only dud in the bowl was a mushy shrimp. The Branzino, in contrast to the powerhouse brodetto, was light, delicate, and delicious.

The dessert course was a trio of sorbetti of grapefruit, lemon-ginger, and passion fruit on a bed of dense spnge cake. While three spheres of sorbetto might seem prosaic, these were artfully made, with the elements of flavor, acidity, sweetness, and smooth ice well balanced.

And yes, the rolls are great.

The wine list was nice, with several good wines at fairly affordable prices.

The service didn't seem quite at the level of the food. While one server was personable and knowledgeable, the rest of the staff we encountered ..... not so much, even a bit brusque. The noise level seemed pretty high, even though the room was not full (the opening of the patio, which seemed to be full or nearly so, might have something to do with that). Also didn't appreciate being incorrectly reported to Open Table as a no show.

Having noticed Fiola's prices being discussed in several posts above, I'd say pricewise Fiola is comparable to a place like Restaurant Eve (e.g., the 5 course tasting menu is $5 higher at Fiola). At this price level, I think service and ambiance is where Fiola gets edged out.

#272 mdt

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:35 PM

Went to Fiola last night, so here's my take on it. We splurged on the 5 course tasting menu (we declared it a special occasion!). We started with the "susci" scallops with red pepper coulis, pantelleria capers, and Sicilian black olive salt. The scallops were of very high quality, but didn't have quite the "wow" factor of the other courses. Esca in NY is still at the top for crudo.

Second course was lobster ravioli. This was one of the best versions of this I've had. Usually I avoid lobster ravioli because the lobster is usually ground too finely and doesn't have much flavor, but Fiola's was an exception. Here the lobster was flavorful and toothsome without being dense and overdone. The piece of lobster tail that came with it was extra tender. We wavered over whether the sauce complemented or overpowered the lobster flavor, but we ended up with none left on our plates.

Third was Halibut with vidalia onions compote, porcini crema combined with a Barbera sauce. This was crazy good. Crazy in the sense that there were so many strong, pronounced flavors, but good because it all worked somehow. This dish was also very filling, so it must have had a lot of fats in it.

For the fourth course we had one seafood brodetto, which included a langoustine (an authentic one), some shrimp, halibut, cod, and cockles; and one Branzino with Malpeque oysters, leeks, and Lemon–Prosecco zabaglione. The brodetto had an intense, concentrated seafood flavor, as if it had been reduced from the essences of a ton of seafood. The only dud in the bowl was a mushy shrimp. The Branzino, in contrast to the powerhouse brodetto, was light, delicate, and delicious.

The dessert course was a trio of sorbetti of grapefruit, lemon-ginger, and passion fruit on a bed of dense spnge cake. While three spheres of sorbetto might seem prosaic, these were artfully made, with the elements of flavor, acidity, sweetness, and smooth ice well balanced.

And yes, the rolls are great.

The wine list was nice, with several good wines at fairly affordable prices.

The service didn't seem quite at the level of the food. While one server was personable and knowledgeable, the rest of the staff we encountered ..... not so much, even a bit brusque. The noise level seemed pretty high, even though the room was not full (the opening of the patio, which seemed to be full or nearly so, might have something to do with that). Also didn't appreciate being incorrectly reported to Open Table as a no show.

Having noticed Fiola's prices being discussed in several posts above, I'd say pricewise Fiola is comparable to a place like Restaurant Eve (e.g., the 5 course tasting menu is $5 higher at Fiola). At this price level, I think service and ambiance is where Fiola gets edged out.


Sounds like a good meal. Did you specify fish only or was that was they decided to serve? My pricing comments above, were noting that the place is one of the most expensive in the area.

#273 wisehands

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:50 AM

Sounds like a good meal. Did you specify fish only or was that was they decided to serve? My pricing comments above, were noting that the place is one of the most expensive in the area.


The tasting menu included one meat course that evening, for which we substituted the brodetto & the branzino. That was the only change we made. It was a good meal, . . . but regarding the prices, if Fiola wants to play at that level with restaurants like Palena, Eve, CityZen, etc., IMHO management needs to step up its game, especially in service/hospitality and ambiance.

#274 DonRocks

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:03 AM

The tasting menu included one meat course that evening, for which we substituted the brodetto & the branzino. That was the only change we made. It was a good meal, . . . but regarding the prices, if Fiola wants to play at that level with restaurants like Palena, Eve, CityZen, etc., IMHO management needs to step up its game, especially in service/hospitality and ambiance.


Do you really think the ambience is all that bad? I rather like it. Obviously, I've never gotten bad service there - my personal experience requires me to take you at your word. But as a whole, I think Fiola *is* playing at the level of those restaurants you named, and has the real estate to support their prices, well, at least for now - they really are expensive BUT it's important to note that there are good, solid bottles of wine on the list for under $40, and you can count on picking them blindfolded, too. That's a huge, huge thing that can cut the cost of an upscale meal by a lot.

Fabio (he'll be miffed to hear me say this) was known for being eight courses deep into a tasting menu at Maestro, and still working on fish. By no means is that a swipe; it's a quirky and almost lovable observation. He's a very, very good chef at making fish eat like heavier meat, and I say that as a compliment and a stylistic observation.

I've been in an overly gushy mood lately, but I want to say that, damn, I'm glad Fabio is back in town. Price issues aside, don't you think it's wonderful to have such a restaurant right in the heart of Penn Quarter? Even if I can't afford to eat there as much as I'd like, just its existence is comfortable and reminiscent to me. Thanks for coming home, Fabio.

Cheers,
Rocks

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#275 wisehands

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:47 AM

Do you really think the ambience is all that bad? I rather like it. Obviously, I've never gotten bad service there - my personal experience requires me to take you at your word. But as a whole, I think Fiola *is* playing at the level of those restaurants you named, and has the real estate to support their prices, well, at least for now - they really are expensive BUT it's important to note that there are good, solid bottles of wine on the list for under $40, and you can count on picking them blindfolded, too. That's a huge, huge thing that can cut the cost of an upscale meal by a lot.

Fabio (he'll be miffed to hear me say this) was known for being eight courses deep into a tasting menu at Maestro, and still working on fish. By no means is that a swipe; it's a quirky and almost lovable observation. He's a very, very good chef at making fish eat like heavier meat, and I say that as a compliment and a stylistic observation. .....Price issues aside, don't you think it's wonderful to have such a restaurant right in the heart of Penn Quarter? Even if I can't afford to eat there as much as I'd like, just its existence is comfortable and reminiscent to me. Thanks for coming home, Fabio.

Cheers,
Rocks


My main issue with the ambiance was the noise level was surprisingly high and the energy of the place seemed a bit frenetic. When I've been to other places at that price level, such as Eve, Palena, etc. ... even the old Maestro, I just felt more relaxed being there. I wouldn't say the service was bad, but the staff seemed hurried and on autopilot -- at least that's how it seemed to me on that evening, with the notable exception of one server who interacted with us more and was knowledgeable about the food and wine. I appreciated his hospitality.

The food is on that level. I agree with what you said about his fish. The halibut with vidalia onions compote, porcini crema combined with a Barbera sauce we had certainly fits that description. If he wants to make 8 fish courses or even more that would be fine with me.

Also agree about the wine. We had a nice bottle of Greco di Tufo for $55.

I do think it's great to have restaurants like Fiola here. Hey, a place that serves brachetto d'acqui wine with dessert is all right with me. I just think it could be even better.

#276 Joe H

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:26 AM

I wouldn't say the service was bad, but the staff seemed hurried and on autopilot -- at least that's how it seemed to me on that evening, with the notable exception of one server who interacted with us more and was knowledgeable about the food and wine. I appreciated his hospitality.


Fiola has two of the best waiters in the D. C. area: Fernando who was with Fabio at Maestro and Frank who came from Estadio last Fall.

#277 LauraB

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:56 PM

Fiola has two of the best waiters in the D. C. area: Fernando who was with Fabio at Maestro and Frank who came from Estadio last Fall.


Completely agree about Frank. We've been to Fiola twice and were fortunate to have Frank as our waiter both times. He made both events just stellar experiences. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable, he's also quite entertaining. He is easily our favorite waiter in DC. And Fiola's our favorite restaurant -- it's been a 5-star experience in every way on both of our visits.

#278 Pete

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:39 PM

No longer true. When did prices creep up to these levels? The portion sizes aren't big at all. My wife and I can easily each devour two portions of full size pasta and knock back a few apps too. The veal chop is now $48 - wasn't that veal chop $44 just a few weeks ago (according to Joe H, it was). They just jacked the price up 10%!


The Veal Chop is now $50 and the least expensive pasta (one offering) is $28. The tasting menu is also at least $10 higher.

My wife and I ate here Saturday night to celebrate her birthday and, given the prices, had a mixed experience. As others have noted, the restaurant is really loud. In addition, some of the 2-top tables are extremely close together.

To start, we shared a 1/2 dozen oysters and the steak tartar. The oysters were fairly mild, but were delicious and impeccably clean. There was not a bit of grit to be found and each oyster slid right out of the shell (no bits of oyster clung to the shell). There was a lot going on with the tartar, but it worked well together. On its own, the steak had a wonderful flavor, too.

For our pasta course, I had a half portion of the ravioli, which was fantastic. Each of the 2 ravioli contained a nice chunk of lobster surrounded by a very delicate pasta and served with a separate lobster claw. The lobster had a wonderful sweetness to it. This dish is definitely worth ordering again. Paula had a half-portion of the Bucatini. This may have been the first time that a pasta dish was staring at us, as it was topped with a large, head-on prawn. The sea urchin was indistinguishable; however, the sauce had a nice heat that sneaks up on you. For both pastas, the seafood was cooked nicely (i.e. not overcooked) and the sauces had an incredible silkiness to them without being heavy or greasy.

For our mains, I had the Veal Chop, while Paula had the lamb. Both dishes were overcooked (more on that below). Despite being overcooked, the veal chop still had a decent flavor, which was enriched by the wonderful Ossobuco sauce. The lamb contained both rib meat and loin, braised onions and a reduction/sauce with bacon (guanciale?). In addition, there was one piece of lamb that had an olive (or perhaps artichoke) tapenade on it.

For dessert, we had the Zuppa Inglese, which was basically a riff on berries and cream with a little sponge cake on the bottom, then blackberries, then the sabayon/cream, and topped with a lemon & basil granita. There were many different textures and temperatures going on that didn’t seem work at first but grew on us and proved to be good. We also enjoyed a chocolate dessert (can't remember specifics), which also included a salty/savory ice cream.

Service was mixed. While our waiter offered up some nice advice on a wine for my entree later in the meal, and it took awhile for our initial drink order to arrive. 5 minutes after we ordered our starters arrived. That seemed fast, but was OK, as we chalked it up to the fact that oysters and tartar don't require cooking time. 5 minutes after our starters were removed our pasta dishes arrived. We were really feeling rushed. At this point I told the waiter "the first 2 courses came out pretty fast. We are not in a hurry and would like a more leisurely meal. Can we slow things down a bit?" He said yes. Less than 1 minute after we finished our pasta the dishes were cleared and I see him holding our entrees! I asked the waiter if those were our entrees, and he said yes. I had never done this before, but I told him to take the entrees back as we were not ready for them as we had just discussed. He took them back but did not offer up an apology. We had been at the restaurant for 45 minutes total and were already being served our 3rd course. I don't know if our entrees were re-fired or just held until more time passed, but as I noted above, both of our entrees were overcooked. The rest of our meal was more leisurely and relaxed.

I still can't decide what this restaurant wants to be. While much of the food was worthy of the price tags being charged, the ambiance and service do not.

Lisa: Do we have any food that wasn't brutally slaughtered?
Homer: Well, I think the veal died of loneliness.


#279 NovaLawyer

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:56 PM

I think the veal chop was $37 when I ordered it a couple of times last winter. Man, was it TASTY. $50? Guess this means business is good at Fiola. Charge as much as the customers will pay. It's called free enterprise. I can't blame them for that. Of course I can eat elsewhere if I don't want to pay that much money, either, so the thing works both ways.

#280 jiveturk21

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:47 PM

Guess this means business is good at Fiola. Charge as much as the customers will pay. It's called free enterprise. I can't blame them for that. Of course I can eat elsewhere if I don't want to pay that much money, either, so the thing works both ways.


My sentiments exactly.

The rising prices at Fiola will likely keep me from going every six months to maybe once a year. But, when they are packed to the gills every single night, I can't blame them.

In a similar way, I think that the same can be said for many food trucks in the area. Food trucks, before they became super popular, used to be a cheap way to get relatively good food. Now you walk by and see places selling $10, $12, $15 sandwiches that, while tasty, are more expensive than similar sandwiches in sit down restaurants. But, if there is a 30 minute line for three hours for these sandwiches, what do you expect them to do!?

#281 New Foodie

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:48 PM

I had jury duty today, which allowed me to meet a friend for lunch at Fiola who works in the same building. Neither of has been before for dinner or lunch. My takeaway from today was that it was certainly very good, but I think I'd have a hard time paying the prices they are asking at dinner for some of the items. Perhaps for a special occasion and splurging on a tasting menu, but less likely just going out for pasta. We had heard about the $15 wine and pasta lunch a while back and were disappointed they no longer had the deal, but made due from the rest of the menu.

We both started with the Summer Gazpacho with corn (this was listed on Maria's Light Menu, but we were able to order it a la carte). I loved the presentation of the bowl nestled on a bed of crushed ice to keep it chilled. The gazpacho was very smooth with the corn kernels giving the only texture. I typically prefer a chunkier gazpacho (at least that's how I make it at home), but the flavor was excellent. At $13 or $14 (I can't remember precisely) it was a bit steep for soup, but it was good.

We also each got a half order of pasta and shared a few tastes. Mine isn't on the online menu but was a braised lamb tortellini with mushroom crema and rosemary (I believe $14). It was probably a little heavier than I should've ordered on a hot day when I had to go back and sit in the jury room, but the bartender had recommended it, and the half portion was a perfect size. A full portion would've been way too overwhelming! It was 6 plump tortellini, filled with lamb in a rich, very mushroomy sauce. I didn't get a ton of rosemary flavor, but it was still a nice plate of pasta.

My friend had the Amalfi Coast Scialatielli (Pasta + Spring Herbs & Vegetable = “Primavera” $12?) which was a much more seasonal dish for the weather. It was a big bowl of scialatielli (similar to bucatini I think) with nice chunks of vegetables (looked like squash, eggplant, peppers, etc) and it had a very herbaceous flavor. Very bright.

I would consider the bar again next time I am called to serve, but even with the cheaper lunch prices, $30+ for lunch (soup, half pasta, no drink, tax and tip), it definitely a splurge for lunch.
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#282 porcupine

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:16 AM

On a recent weeknight MrP and I dropped into Fiola without a reservation, thinking to eat a quick bite at the bar before a show, but we lucked into a table and had another incredible meal. A salad of endive, pear, gorgonzola and a few other things I can't quite recall was delicious, a great combination of sweet and bitter textures, and very filling. The steak tartar with guanciale, parmersan, and sunnyside up egg remains a favorite. The pear panna cotta was creative without being too precious (a long-standing nit about which I've ranted elsewhere, recently and over the years), and most importantly, it tasted good.

I've gotten even more jaded in the past year, especially after some disappointing experiences at former favorite restaurants, but Fiola has restored my faith. For my tastes, at least, it's the best restaurant in town.

Elizabeth Miller
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#283 Pool Boy

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:27 AM

We went here earlier in the year and managed to dine outside on a wonderful weather evening so I got to avoid the noisiness of the place, apparently. Really good, but expensive. Need to go back again to try again.
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#284 Genevieve

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:41 AM

What do you all recommend from the lunch menu? Heading there with a group today. (At those prices, I wouldn't have suggested it, but one person in the group did, another enthusiastically signed on, and I'm excited to try it. It's a moderately festive occasion.)

#285 WWZ

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:08 AM

After a date of drinks at Off the Record and the Round Robin bar, with a stop at the National Christmas tree in between, my boyfriend and I stopped at Fiola on Thursday 12/13 for dinner. I have to admit that despite reading all the fabulous things posted here about the food, I was intimidated by the prices. However, considering this was a date night before we head our separate ways for Christmas and we both needed a break from the rigors of moving, I thought this would be a great opportunity to try a place that I've been wanting to go to for a long time. The hostess must have misheard me when I told her that we wished to sit at the bar because she grabbed menus and started to lead us back to the dining room. After a small panic (see above mentioned worries re price) I let her know that we really just wanted seats at the bar.

Seeing Jeff at the bar was nice as I remember him well from the bar at Palena (I didn't "say hi", thinking he wouldn't remember me, but later on Ferhat stopped by and said he thought he knew me from somewhere - what a lovely surprise to find 2 former Palena staff members working here) - for cocktails I ordered the Alexandra and my boyfriend had the Deer in the Headlights (which contained venison infused whiskey) - both were way better than anything we'd had at the previous two bars. From the bar menu we ordered the Venetian Fried Calamari ($15) and the Mozzarella ($12). The calamari came in rather large pieces that were perfectly fried - accompanied by a tomato sauce that I could have eaten like soup. The Mozzarella were fried fritters - both came with fried pieces of basil. Still feeling a bit hungry and wanting to try something off the dining room menu, we decided on the Piemontese Beef Tenderloin Tartar (I think this was $18, but not sure and the online menu does not list the price). Our server Amy was fantastic and asked if we'd like to have the kitchen split the order for us - when it came in the 2 separate bowls, each had a sunny side egg on top. This tartar preparation was a bit different from the normal as it had a base of cheese/cream and was runnier than your average tartar (Amy also thoughtfully asked if we'd like spoons) - but it was delicious and incredibly rich. We were absolutely stuffed. In the end I'm really glad that we finally made it to the restaurant and discovered that despite the generally high price point, a very, very good meal can be had for a reasonable amount, considering the quality you are getting. With the familiar faces from Palena and the offer to split dishes in half, I walked away with a feeling that this was the "new" Palena, reminiscent of the pre-cafe days when I'd walk in and wait for a seat at the bar and enjoy ordering off both menus (and also splitting dishes). We look forward to going back!

#286 docsconz

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

Fiola is not inexpensive, but there are few (if any) restaurants in the country more worthy of the cost. My full report with photos is here.


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#287 darkstar965

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:12 PM

Fiola is not inexpensive, but there are few (if any) restaurants in the country more worthy of the cost. My full report with photos is here.

 
I've been fortunate to have been to Fiola several times including a few for dinner.  So much has been written about the restaurant just here on donrockwell.com before even getting to all the ink spilled elsewhere. The lobster ravioli (one of my favorite dishes of the past couple of years to be certain) has to be one of the more described and interpreted dishes in regional (national?) food writing. That ravioli is problematic if you live locally because, if you end up there for lunches on occasion as I do, it distracts from trying new and different (and also wonderful) things on offer.  I've gladly fallen into that trap a few times.

I may have known and forgotten but, with that caveat, my biggest surprise from your review was that the lobster ravioli is made with a rice flour pasta. To think that dish might (?) be gluten free is fairly astounding.
 
All said, really enjoyed your review.  And, yours has to be one of the best photos taken of said dish that I've seen.  Thank you.
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#288 DonRocks

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

Fiola is not inexpensive, but there are few (if any) restaurants in the country more worthy of the cost. My full report with photos is here.

 

Doc, *thank you* for the mentions in this post about your foray into Washington, DC. My comments in the thread say it all.

 

Cheers!

Rocks


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#289 Pool Boy

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

We've only been once. It's expensive for sure. And it is good....very good. I am not sure that it is worthy of the prices with certainty based on just the single experience though. We had the good fortune to be there when it was great weather and dined outside, which I am told was a good idea because the space inside is supposed to be incredibly noisy. One of the things that is *easy* to control in a restaurant is noise. I am not looking for a museum level of noise, but something where I do not have to significantly raise my voice to be heard by my wife, or have to turn my ear to her and look at her face at the same time to understand her would be good. Is it really as noisy as that inside there?


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#290 LauraB

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:04 PM

 Is it really as noisy as that inside there?

 

I've been to Fiola for dinner 4 times in the last year, 3 times in the dining room in a party of 4, once at a high-top table in the bar with just my husband.  My husband and I are both sensitive to noise and if a restaurant is too noisy, we're unlikely to return.  So, while we find Fiola's noise level to be 'energetic,' we don't find it to be unbearable or to interfere with our enjoyment of the experience.  In fact, Fiola is our favorite restaurant in DC. YMMV.



#291 collije

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:01 PM

I agree with LauraG.

 

Energetic is a good description imo, I've eaten plenty of times there, both in the main dining room and tons of times at the bar / lounge area (I used to work for a client right near there, so I introduced many co-workers to Fiola for lunch and happy hours). The noise isn't overwhelming to me. It's easy to have conversations there with someone next to you, especially in the dining room area (or the seated high-tops or other tables in the lounge area). The bar patrons don't tend to be loud either -- but energetic again is a good choice to describe,



#292 docsconz

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:34 PM

By no means was the noise level "reverential", but I had no problem holding a conversation with my dining companions. 



#293 docsconz

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:34 PM

 I've been fortunate to have been to Fiola several times including a few for dinner.  So much has been written about the restaurant just here on donrockwell.com before even getting to all the ink spilled elsewhere. The lobster ravioli (one of my favorite dishes of the past couple of years to be certain) has to be one of the more described and interpreted dishes in regional (national?) food writing. That ravioli is problematic if you live locally because, if you end up there for lunches on occasion as I do, it distracts from trying new and different (and also wonderful) things on offer.  I've gladly fallen into that trap a few times.

I may have known and forgotten but, with that caveat, my biggest surprise from your review was that the lobster ravioli is made with a rice flour pasta. To think that dish might (?) be gluten free is fairly astounding.
 
All said, really enjoyed your review.  And, yours has to be one of the best photos taken of said dish that I've seen.  Thank you.

 

Thank you!



#294 Pool Boy

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:04 AM

Many thanks for the noise level description. I do not mind energetic at all....I mind *LOUD*, and it sounds like I can probably head there without and real concern for it being loud. Thanks for the feedback folks!


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#295 ScotteeM

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

I have to weigh in on the sound level. First I have to say that I am a long-time fan of Fabio Trabocchi and really do love his food! But I have developed a neurological disorder which translates sudden loud noises into physical pain. Some examples are plates or steel pots banging together or sudden loud laughter.
 
We've been to Fiola about 4 or 5 times since it opened. That is much less frequently than we used to dine at Maestro.  We try to dine early on Saturday evenings (5:30 or 6:00), in part to avoid the busier, noisier times at restaurants like this. But one evening we had a much longer than expected dinner there, in the main dining room, and were still there at 7:30 and 8:00, when the restaurant was quite "energetic." I had to leave the room at least 3 times that evening to get away from the noise, which overwhelmed me and, frankly, ruined my dinner.
 
The surfaces in the dining room are hard. The tables are extremely close together, and relatively small. When the dining room is full, it is very loud. We have found that if we arrive at 5:30, have a table in the bar area, and are gone by 7:00, we can enjoy the evening. To do that on a Saturday, we have had to make special arrangements with Maria, because those times have been blocked out on Open Table and not even a phone call to make a reservation could get us a table at 5:30 or 6:00 on a Saturday evening. We're probably better off just walking in at 5:30 to be seated in the bar.
 
Because the food is so good, we keep trying.


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#296 gwaldron

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:59 AM

Real-time Veal Chop price tracker: $54 on 2-22-2013!

 

And now that we have that out of the way: I had my first Fiola experience on Saturday night. It must be once of the best meals by wife Cindy and I have eaten in a long time. (Plus, the $150 GC I received for my birthday put a nice dent in the bill.)

 

The beef tartar was rich. So rich that it made the sunny-side egg on top seem ironic, almost toning down the creaminess of the meat. Nice stuff. We also had the tuna "carpaccio" (at 3/8" thick but who's complaining) and that ran a very close second to the tartar.

 

Fiola's sommelier was fantastic. I don't remember his name but he was a personable and unpretentious guy and after asking me 2 or 3 questions he zero'd in on a wine that my wife and I really enjoyed (Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo - $56).

 

Our main courses were the veal chop (supoib) and the lobster ravioli. I am not the world's biggest lobster fan but I figured I'd make an exception and try this signature dish. It was about as good as lobster gets (for me) but I don't think I'd return to it. The veal won out for sure.

 

Dessert was simple cheese plate, just the right portion along with some coffee.

 

I saved my only complaint for last since I didn't want to start the review with it: the cocktails. It's pretty de rigueur to have some kind of artisan cocktail menu - no expection here - but the two inventions we tried were just plain no good. The "Fiola" was a $16 Sprite. Seriously. And I told the waiter so ... to which he responded by reciting the ingredients back to me (thanks, I can read. Our waiter was aloof and not very professional... I echo other sentiments in this thread on that score.) My cocktail was a "Rye in your Eye" and seemed like an attempt to do something different that ended up being a strange-tasting mess. So no love on the cocktails.

 

BUT that was the only downside. We loved the ambiance, the food, the sommelier.. a couple rough edges but we will definitely be back.

 


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#297 DaRiv18

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:12 PM

Nice review gwaldron, I need to try this veal chop sometime. The beef tartare sounds awesome too.
 

The "Fiola" was a $16 Sprite. Seriously. And I told the waiter so ... to which he responded by reciting the ingredients back to me (thanks, I can read.) . . . My cocktail was a "Rye in your Eye" and seemed like an attempt to do something different that ended up being a strange-tasting mess. So no love on the cocktails.

 

One of the best cocktails I've had was at Fiola, and it tasted exactly like a coca-cola. Jeff mixed 3 amaros together and a splash of soda. I hadn't really thought of an amaro as being anything else than a bitter digestif, so it totally opened my eyes.

I haven't had either of those two cocktails that you tried, but maybe the Fiola was meant to be a simple citrus highball? At the risk of sounding like your waiter, that drink has vodka, lime juice, rosemary syrup, and club soda. Kinda sounds like a rosemary-ish sprite to me. (No comment on the $16).

Can't find the recipe for the Rye in your Eye, but I imagine it had an amaro in it as well. I like Jeff Faile's cocktail list, It definitely represents Italian bitters well (can't think of anywhere else in the city that even tries), but its offerings can provide a challenging (but rewarding) taste profile IMO.


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#298 jaltman

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:42 PM

Running a little late on this, but my wife and I went to Fiola for Valentine's Day with another couple who spend a lot of time in Italy.  It was, as others have noted, not inexpensive.  But at least for the special Valentine's Day menu, it did not seem out of line.  It was a wonderful meal.  Among other dishes, we loved the Susci” of viking village scallops with smoked salmon and smoked salmon caviar.  Just wonderful.  The Spicy maine lobster with caramelized endives may have been another favorite of the night.  The Tagliolini with winter black truffle was delicious - perfectly cooked.  The Wagyu beef rib eye with rosemary zabaglione + pecorino was lovely.  Plus two desert courses - Lychee panna cotta with blood orange granita was unusual and very tasty.  That was followed by Dark chocolate ganache with vanilla szechuan pepper gelato and cocoa nib.  A fine end to a fine meal.



#299 darkstar965

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 03:51 PM

One of the best things about getting called in for jury duty at the DC courts (aside from the opportunity to serve, of course ;) :D ;) :D ) is that Fiola is just a 2-min walk. With only an hour for lunch that started 5 minutes late, Amy at the bar took wonderful care of me today.

 

Regretfully, I didn't do my part to check the veal chop price but I've gone long on it becoming DC's first 100 buck veal chop by 2016.

 

Rather than the veal....or the lobster ravioli...or one of the wonderful pastas...or a small pricey mess of those 'miracle rockwell belon oysters', I went in a different direction today with Amy's help.

 

Two things I hadn't had before, only one of which any normal person would need for a satisfying lunch.

 

First (and this was the less necessary item), I ordered the half-portion of the lobster caesar salad.  At $16, I'm sorry but this was a good sized and wonderful salad.  The full version is $24 and no doubt would be a great meal for many.  Almost a full tail's worth of meat in the half-portion, wonderfully poached and just a beautifully composed and generously sized salad with several components and a couple of edible flowers.  Artistically beautiful.  But also very much satisfying and as delicious as any salad you'll find in this city imho.  And again, fully prepared to duck any arrows fired with a smile, I think the pricing on the salad is fair and would even call it good value.

 

Second, my first time ordering Fiola's take on the pedestrian "Roasted Organic Chicken Neapolitan “Scarpariello” Style." At $20, this is totally an ample lunch for 90% of appetites.  Amy told me she's had customers compare it to the famed Palena roast chicken.  As I've had that one a few times over the years, I wouldn't make the comparison since they are pretty different approaches.   Most scarpariello sauces I've had use some combination of peppers (bell, hot, etc.) with onion, garlic, sausage, a couple of vinegars, fresh herbs, etc.  This version was hearty, savory and, with a several ounce thick chicken breast, very filling.  The sauce used plenty of bits of pancetta versus sausage and, if not familiar with scarpariello, I'll be more helpful describing this sauce as a piquant yet smooth and rich ragout crossed with a cacciatore sauce.  Most of all, delicious!  Chef is doing something with his chicken somewhat reminiscent of Chef Ruta's. The moisture and flavor throughout lead me to believe it was brined.  The skin, gorgeous, brown and crispy, came separated from the breast which may be part of the technique (drying to achieve the crispness) or may have just separated.

 

My lunch today was as wonderful an example of any visit I've made of Chef Trabocchi's ability to really elevate without superficial flourishes and make most dishes just delicious and memorable.  Again, this large dish is twenty bucks.  Add an iced tea or a less expensive glass of wine, call it a day and you can get out for less than $30 which, by the way, sits between two three-course, fixed-price lunch options always on menu at $28 and $35.

 

I know some disagree. And that's what makes this community freakin' great in my view.  But, I still firmly believe this is about as good as it gets in DC for Italian (though haven't yet tried Roberto's4, a different but also heralded concept). Fiola remains one of my top 3 or 5 restaurants in any category and has been since I first went shortly after it opened. 



#300 cucas87

cucas87

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:16 PM

A quick and belated review of my lunch last week at Fiola. A friend was flying into town for a business meeting and said she had just enough time to meet for lunch, so we headed to Fiola. The lunch menu is great. I opted for the mussels as my first course and they were delicious in a slightly spicy tomatoey broth.  The portion size was good for an appetizer, but I will point out that this is not a huge portion that could serve as a main dish -- at least not for me. In my fitness quest I have tried to stay away from carbs so I did not --but did consider-- using all of the bread to sop up all of the broth.  That was my loss because the bread was grilled and toasty and beautiful.  I also had a half order of the lobster ceaser salad. As Darkstar says, it is beautiful and delicious. The amount of lobster in the half portiion is generous and it was perfectly cooked.  But no surprise, I would have preferred more salad to go along with the lobster.

 

Srvice during the meal was terrific. However, we had a bit of a glitch when we were on our way out when my friend, who had recently broken her foot and was wearing a cast/boot on her leg, asked the hostess to call a cab for her. We explained that she was not in a rush but needed help because of her broken foot -- and that we were headed in different directions. The hostess said that it didn't make sense for the restaurant to call a cab because it generally took the cabs an hour to arrive at the restaurant and my friend could catch a cab on the street easily. We explained again that we were going in different directions (and had different time pressures).  My friend said she would be happy to have a drink at the bar while she waited, but the hostess again said it did not make sense for her to call a cab.  The hostess then walked away and so my friend, who was already tired from her trip, asked me to help her. I was in a big rush for work (I was on borrowed time against a deadline) but ran outside and hailed a cab for my friend. I don't work downtown these days and I have no idea how long it would have taken for a cab to get to the restaurant, but it was one of those moments that makes me wonder where the communication went wrong.


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