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Fiola, Penn Quarter in the old Le Paradou Space - Now with Several Locations Worldwide

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Has anyone had the Trenne ?

There's a picture above. The octopus was very tender. The only other octopus pasta that matched if not surpassed it was the octopus bone marrow pasta at Marea in NYC. On the other hand, it made me realize that octopus just don't taste all that great. It was the last pasta we chose and if I went again, I would definitely get the lobster ravioli, lasagna, and sea urchin spaghetti over the octopus pasta.

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There's a picture above. The octopus was very tender. The only other octopus pasta that matched if not surpassed it was the octopus bone marrow pasta at Marea in NYC. On the other hand, it made me realize that octopus just don't taste all that great. It was the last pasta we chose and if I went again, I would definitely get the lobster ravioli, lasagna, and sea urchin spaghetti over the octopus pasta.

Good advice, but the sea urchin has been described as oily, fabulous, and invisible. And I really like octopus.

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Interesting that no one else has commented on "Il Branzino" which I thought was among his best dishes. My guess is that as the turbot on hay was perhaps his signature fish presentation at Maestro this will be his signature fish dish at Fiola.

Several comments: Maestro was $159 prix fixe when it closed. I noted above the prices of the various courses at Fiola; simply, this is a different restaurant with a different "style" if you will. Mark's post early in this thread is a very insightful one: this is a restaurant conceived as very approachable, one that someone could visit quite often. Yes it could be a special occasion restaurant (as Maestro) but really this has more in common with frequent visits and $75-100 per person all in. The very fairly priced wine list is part of this. A blow out dinner similar to Maestro can be done here and we were fortunate to do this in his first week. (He personally served the Il Branzino by the way. It is special.) A number of his best dishes from Maestro and New York's Fiamma are here including the lobster ravioli and the lasagna. Add a half dozen or more others to this along with at least two fantastic new desserts and the potential is there for a three to four hour memory. Still, Fiola is not really about that. Rather, it's exploring an imaginative and creative menu that has a number of tastes well worth experiencing in a less formal ambience.

Having said all this my guess is that in a month or so there will be three to four weeks wait for a reservation on a Friday or Saturday.

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Yes, I just found it. Did you like it enough to order again?

In a heartbeat! I think Trabacchio's handling of octopus is amazing. I have no idea how he's getting the meat to be so tender since the octopus he's using are not baby-sized.

My husband ordered a half-portion of the entree octopus preparation as his appetizer and I ordered the rigatoni/octopus pasta so we gave the kitchen a real test of their octopus skills. Both were sublime!

I'll make one observation: The spaghetti with crab has come under fire for being too oily. There's a fair amount of oil in the octopus preparation, too. I didn't get upset by this; it seemed very Italian to me. Italians value good quality olive oil as an ingredient in its own right. After all, there's a famous pasta preparation Aglio y Olio, in which the pasta is dressed with nothing more than olive oil and garlic.

The only thing that surprised me is that there is no bread provided to mop up the lovely flavored oil that pools at the bottom of the bowl. The meal begins with a spiral roll that rivals CityZen's Parker House rolls. In fact, think of the lightness of those Parker House rolls jacked up with cheese added to the batter. Now, you've got a sense of the Fiola signature roll. However, that early roll was the last bread we saw during the meal. I suspect I could have asked for another roll to mop up the oil, but I was already stuffed.

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Interesting that no one else has commented on "Il Branzino" which I thought was among his best dishes. My guess is that as the turbot on hay was perhaps his signature fish presentation at Maestro this will be his signature fish dish at Fiola.

Several comments: Maestro was $159 prix fixe when it closed. I noted above the prices of the various courses at Fiola; simply, this is a different restaurant with a different "style" if you will. Mark's post early in this thread is a very insightful one: this is a restaurant conceived as very approachable, one that someone could visit quite often. Yes it could be a special occasion restaurant (as Maestro) but really this has more in common with frequent visits and $75-100 per person all in. The very fairly priced wine list is part of this. A blow out dinner similar to Maestro can be done here and we were fortunate to do this in his first week. (He personally served the Il Branzino by the way. It is special.) A number of his best dishes from Maestro and New York's Fiamma are here including the lobster ravioli and the lasagna. Add a half dozen or more others to this along with at least two fantastic new desserts and the potential is there for a three to four hour memory. Still, Fiola is not really about that. Rather, it's exploring an imaginative and creative menu that has a number of tastes well worth experiencing in a less formal ambience.

Having said all this my guess is that in a month or so there will be three to four weeks wait for a reservation on a Friday or Saturday.

I think your comment "...Fiola is.. [about] exploring an imaginative and creative menu ... in a less formal ambience" really captures the essence of the place.

I don't believe the branzino was on the regular menu Saturday night. If my memory is correct -- subject to age intensified by food coma -- you must have been served the branzino as part of your tasting menu. I know the daily grilled fish choices were Alaskan salmon and swordfish. As I've written, our waiter indicated that the restaurant was hoping to wait to get into tasting menus until the place was in a more firmly established routine.

Thanks! I couldn't remember what the prix fixe for Maestro was when it closed.

Saturday night, we ate until we were in a food coma and spent $205 plus tip. (We were only charged for the single dessert we ordered -- not the parade that arrived at our table.) I'm aware that this isn't cheap; it isn't even moderate! However, the quality of Trabacchio's cuisine is big-league and for that places like Citronnelle and Inn at Little Washington are charging considerably more.

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Thanks!

Truth in advertising: I'm old enough to be your mother and, if you're in your twenties, I might be old enough to be your grand-mother. I don't think anything qualifies as romantic unless you can talk to your significant other in a private voice. That won't happen at Fiola. The closest you might come to a romantic experience is to snag one of the tables for two at the end of the banquettes. The padded bench wraps around so you have the option of sitting across from your companion or next to him/her. Sitting next to your special someone would be a cozier situation, but, by my standards Fiola is a lively place with sublime food. Younger generations may come to a different conclusion.

Here's a report on the men's outfits Saturday night: Half the men were wearing open collar woven shirts and the other half were wearing a sports jacket with an open collar woven shirt. (I only saw one young man wearing a collar-less tee shirt under a blazer.) Sam Donaldson was dining there on Saturday night, and he was the only gentleman in the room wearing a suit and tie. Even the other men in his party weren't wearing ties.

Wanting a quiet environment to be able to pay attention to your sweetheart is not age dependent or maybe I'm already at the age where my hearing is going and quietness is an appreciated quality of a shared meal. Still, in general it's just sad that most restaurants these days do not design dining rooms with noise reduction materials in mind.

Thank you for the detailed report on the jacket and tie or lack thereof requirement. From your report and others, it sounds like a good place to have dinner with another couple.

Actually, I think the inbetween-ness of casual upscale dining / high quality destination level restaurant is a smart move by Chef Trabocchi especially in this economy. Sounds like there is room to grow in a relaxed manner.

Looking forward to dining there.

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Last Friday, I went to Fiola with a group of friends. We tried a good portion of the menu (much to the chagrin of my companions who were horrified by the over-ordering). The conclusion: Although I would not be surprised if Fiola eventually transformed into a good restaurant, it was disappointing and will require some serious work.

First off, the service. I hardly ever remember service unless it is exceptionally good or exceptionally rude. While neither was the case at Fiola, the service was lackluster and, frankly, so strange that it stood out and colored much of the meal. The unusual service began when we called to make a reservation. Fully booked, we were told. Fair enough. But low and behold, OpenTable showed a tremendous amount of availability. We booked a table and showed up on time (more or less) for an 845 reservation. The table was not yet ready, and a polite hostess directed us to the rather nice bar. (Although the stools are strangely balanced, they are really lovely). We ordered drinks and waited. And waited. No one came over to apologize or even acknowledge the wait. We ended up getting seated a half hour after our reservation time. Sure, it happens. And we enjoyed catching up with old friends. And when a restaurant is new, it's understandable. But the lack of acknowledgment or apology (or the standard free drink) was a bit strange. The service got stranger one we'd been seated. The menu is long and at times lacking detail. This can be frustrating for a diner and calls upon a waiter to muster some real skill. Our waiter could not. He seemed fairly confident that the lasagna has no meat in it. It turns out that it's a meat lasagna. When asked for opinions between certain dishes, he would resort to his personal preferences. (I'm glad that he likes octopus, but that doesn't help us choose between dishes). Our waiter also seemed eager to take away the wine list and then, without the list present, upsell wine. The other staff also had a strange tendency: they took away dishes and utensils without asking whether we were done. The one time someone asked if I was done with a dish, he had already taken my knife and fork, so I felt pretty committed to letting go of the last bit of the food.

Service glitches aside, the food was not very good. I would say that the dishes ranged from "bad" to "good" with an unfortunate number of "ehs." The overarching theme was a lack of salt. (And I was frustrated that when we asked for salt, we got a mixture of salt and pepper; I don't want to add pepper flavor to something that simply is underseasoned). Some of the stronger appetizers were a parpadelle with eggplant that wasn't on the menu but was offered as a substitution once the waiter discovered that the lasagna had meat; and the tuna with tomato (slightly undersalted but not bad; the acid in the tomato did some work). A crod crostini and a stewed octopus were both fine but nothing special. In the category of "has potential but needs improvement" were a salad of artichokes, favas, and peas which had it been prepared with some salt and acid would have been a great dish; and the burrata which was accompanied by a nice pesto but also needed salt and/or acid. The eggplant parmesan (described as having a lemon froth) was utterly bland (and no lemon flavor was anywhere to be found). A swordfish carpacio was a true failure: The fish didn't taste fresh and was tough. No one wanted to finish it.

We split several entrees that were also mixed. The lasagna got strong reviews as did a beef cheeks pasta (something like a ravioli) served with mushrooms. The grilled octopus with asparagus came without asparagus. Its sauce and accompaniment were nice, but the octopus itself was luke warm (having presumably sat for a bit before plating). The sea urchin/crab pasta, which has been the subject of controversy on this board, was very weak. Everyone agreed that there was barely any urchin flavor. The crab was not super fresh. And as became the theme of the night, the dish was very undersalted.

Desserts were ok but nothing special.

I hope that Fiola improves. But I'm certainly not rushing back any time soon to follow up on that.

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For Shrimp and anyone else that had issues with Fiola in our first week of operation, you are more than welcome to e mail me at fabio@fioladc.com and i will personally invite you back as my guest.

Hopefully this board will take into consideration that we are working hard to improve our restaurant's service and food. We are not trying to make any excuses, and we do take those comments into serious consideration.

Thank you for your patronage and I look forward to greeting you as my guest, so that now we can all enjoy the nice weather.

Fabio Trabocchi

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A very interesting post for your second one and first in two years.

Joe, I'm actually not sure whether you were encouraging me to post more or criticizing the post. I appologize that I don't write much on this board. I eat out a lot but tend not to have time to do long writeups. And because the DC restaurant scene does not change as quickly as cities such as New York or Chicago, I tend not to encounter new restaurants all that frequently, especially those about which there is much to say that has not already been said. So I usually reserve my DC restaurant thoughts for friends, and longer reviews, often of out-of-town places, for chowhound or a friend's blog. I appreciate your interest, though. I'll make more of an effort to post here.

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Guys, remember those epic happy hours at the old Corduroy, with JPW with one copy of the wine list at one end and me with another copy at t'other end, and awesome bottles flying around at awesome prices?

Fiola--big lounge area, close to Metro, and tons of awesome wacky Italian bottles on the list from $30-$60. Oh, and Mr. Faile's way with apertivos (full disclosure blah blah blah).

Catch my drift?

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Oh, and Mr. Faile's way with apertivos (full disclosure blah blah blah).

The Milan Mule was a throughly enjoyable way to kill time waiting for my dinning companion, and I was remiss in mentioning how gracious the bar staff was.

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I get the impression the gracious Chef Trabocchi's been reading this thread and taking feedback because last night, the spaghetti with crab, sea urchin, and chile flakes was fantastic. I was worried they weren't going to have it as it was not on the written menu. Instead, it was presented as a "special". When it arrived at the table, there was clear visual evidence of the presence of sea urchin in the burnt orange colored sauce coating the noodles. Also, the crab was very fresh, and I loved the kick of the chile pepper at the end of each bite. I think I could have liked the plate clean.

As leleboo stated, our dinner was great from start to finish. We began with the Apulia buffalo mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, & a pesto of basil Genovese, and a salad of violet baby artichoke, fava beans, English peas, & mint. Both items represented to me a restraint in letting the high quality ingredients speak for themselves.

After the pasta dish, I ordered the branzino topped with a "brodetto", a tomato based stew of littleneck clams and fish. The fish was beautifully cooked, light and delicious, and I liked the subtle kick in the sauce. In contrast, leleboo ordered the veal chop covered in mushroom and wrapped in proscuitto, served with hazelnuts & Jerusalem artichoke puree. This was rich and hearty tasting, and the meat was perfect.

We also enjoyed both our desserts: the fennel gelato with blood orange on an olive oil semolina cake and a trifle of strawberry & lemon granita. Both of them had a blend of flavors. The gelato had a strong fennel flavor that was tempered with the tangy orange and sweet cake. Likewise, the trifle combined sweet and sour as well.

PICS

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I am not sure that I have seen anyone 'hating on' this restaurant, does less than glowing praise now constitute hate?

No; it's just a phrase. :D I don't think "Mild dislikers gonna mildly dislike" exists. B)

As leleboo stated, our dinner was great from start to finish. We began with the Apulia buffalo mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, & a pesto of basil Genovese, and a salad of violet baby artichoke, fava beans, English peas, & mint. Both items represented to me a restraint in letting the high quality ingredients speak for themselves.

After the pasta dish, I ordered the branzino topped with a "brodetto", a tomato based stew of littleneck clams and fish. The fish was beautifully cooked, light and delicious, and I liked the subtle kick in the sauce. In contrast, leleboo ordered the veal chop covered in mushroom and wrapped in proscuitto, served with hazelnuts & Jerusalem artichoke puree. This was rich and hearty tasting, and the meat was perfect.

We also enjoyed both our desserts: the fennel gelato with blood orange on an olive oil semolina cake and a trifle of strawberry & lemon granita. Both of them had a blend of flavors. The gelato had a strong fennel flavor that was tempered with the tangy orange and sweet cake. Likewise, the trifle combined sweet and sour as well.

PICS

A few extra notes, although 1000yregg really summed it up perfectly ...

The mozzarella was wonderful, so fresh and creamy it was almost more like burrata (I could have sworn the server actually said "burrata," which was not on the menu last night, when he set it down, even). {ETA: The online sample menu calls this dish "La Burrata," although the printed menu last night did not.} One of the wonderful aspects of the pesto was that it was not overwhelmed with cheese or garlic; the basil shone, highlighting the mild mozzarella, and the roasted tomatoes' sweetness really tied it together.

The veal was one of the best pieces of meat I have eaten in a long time. As noted, it was cooked to a perfect medium rare, with what was essentially duxelles tucked under the just-crisp-enough prosciutto, so each bite had a medley of texture as well as incredible flavor. The hazelnut/sunchoke puree added a nice depth of flavor, the two elements contributing nuttiness in different ways. It was just outstanding.

Amazingly to me, though, the richness of the dish didn't overwhelm the tastes I had of the branzino, which was once again perfectly cooked, the creamy, dense flesh flaking with a touch of the fork, and the brodo had a smokiness to it that kicked everything into gear. This is definitely a go-to dish.

The place was jumping; yes, it does get a little loud, but I also think it may depend where you are in the room; away from the brick walls near the kitchen seemed a bit quieter. Our server, a young man who said he'd just relocated from another Italian restaurant downtown, was attentive but unobtrusive, although I got the inkling he thought our constant discussion of food (both what we were eating and just general interest in dining) was somewhat hilarious.

Oh, and the fennel gelato ... creamy but refreshing, this could almost serve as an intermezzo, a twist on the traditional sorbet used for that type of course. So could the lemon and basilgranita atop the strawberry trifle. I can imagine that one is going to sell like mad out on the patio during the dog days of summer. Wow.

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Tom, In Wednesday's Post:

...

Thus, patrons can get their spaghetti dressed up with both crab and sea urchin, the latter of which is beaten to form the pasta's rich "sauce." And short ribs, so tender you can cut them with a spoon, sport a designer tag (Kobe) and beige clouds of mushroom foam. A light launch comes by way of razor clams, removed from their cigar-shaped shells and served crudo-style with olive oil, citrus and ginger plus rafts of grilled bread.

Anyone else find it conspicuous that he never actually observes how the food tastes? As much as I appreciate him teaching us that razor clam shells are shaped like cigars and the grilled bread looks like rafts, I'd prefer to know whether it's any good.

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I wanted to introduce myself to everyone here especially people talking about coming in for a gathering at the bar. My name is Jeff Faile,and I'm the bar manager at Fiola. My schedule varies, but you can usually find me behind the bar Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I'm here the other days as well, but I may not be behind the bar then. If you ever need anything or have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me through here or directly at Jeff@fioladc.com. I look forward to meeting everyone.

Cheers,

Jeff

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I wanted to introduce myself to everyone here especially people talking about coming in for a gathering at the bar. My name is Jeff Faile,and I'm the bar manager at Fiola. My schedule varies, but you can usually find me behind the bar Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I'm here the other days as well, but I may not be behind the bar then. If you ever need anything or have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me through here or directly at Jeff@fioladc.com. I look forward to meeting everyone.

Cheers,

Jeff

Jeff is the best!!!! Have him surprise you with a cocktail, you won't be disappointed!

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We had full-on dinner tonight: short form, go tomorrow. Stupid good. More details, continue on. (Natch.)

Dear Mrs. Rockcreek made this a special birthday present/ran my first 10K/didn't die celebratory meal. She asked me if I wanted to know where we were going, and I said no. Truthfully, I was a little impressed with myself for not digging into our OpenTable account. I really had no idea where we were going, but as we were walking up Indiana Ave from the Archives Metro, I barely made out the part of the awning that read "Trabocchi" and nearly screamed "SHUT THE F*** UP!" (I did not.) She got a tip from ol_ironstomach (who is my brother, and is never wrong) that it was opening. That bumps my lucky number to 2 of places I got to eat at first. (First one was minibar, which was pretty much winning the lottery, but I'm counting it.)

Disclosure: because I didn't know where were going, I didn't do ANY research on Fiola, which includes reading this thread, so apologies if I recount something that bores you. I'm a crappy writer, but a fairly agreeable singer (in my own mind.)

Anywho. Drinks at the bar, house prosecco for her, Aperol Spritz for me. Very nice - not that familiar with Aperol, but I like this over Campari. I had to acquire the taste for Campari (and did), but Aperol is easy. We soon discovered we knew the bartender from a stint at Bistro Provence. Good times!

The dining room feels warm and unfussy. It's a little loud, but in that familiar, noisy, family dinner table sort of way. The two-tops are a little closely pinched, but nothing a careful pull doesn't fix. It is interesting to me how much of an impact tile vs. carpet in the dining room makes; both the sound level and the feel both change dramatically.

We were a little surprised not to find a tasting menu, but our server Michael made one for us. (He was great. Everybody was great.) First course was burrata over roasted tomatoes and pesto genovese. Creamy, simple, balanced. Great start.

Bread wasn't bread, but a buttery, flaky, baseball-sized roll. Wife actually said she liked them more than Parker House rolls. They were great - dunno how Italian they were, but they were great. They poured a delicious olive oil with it which, sadly, just went unused. Not for lack of trying.

Out came a G.D. Vajra 2006 Barolo "Alba". I don't know Italian wine at all (forgive me, Deano) but we enjoyed this the whole way.

Pasta: lobster ravioli, by which I mean: a giant claw, and thin sheets of pasta surrounding a lobster tail with lobster espuma. Not quite that big, but Mrs. Creek is from Massachusetts, a Red Sox fan and Lobstah Ho in equal measure, and she shushed me when I was going to say how good this was. The claw part is really that big.

The house dropped two glasses of prosecco on us. How am I not going to mention their hospitality?

Pesce: a roasted black cod special over a tomato ragu. Unbelievable how tender the fish was. I thought Chef had prepared it sous-vide, but I was mistaken, because it was the brasato - kobe short ribs, cipollini, barolo sauce - that was done that way. Wife had the vitello, a generous veal chop, mushrooms, sunchokes, and hazelnuts. I preferred the brasato only because I felt the vitello had a lot going on. And, the brasato came with a dollop of some sort of cream which totally completed it for me. She preferred the vitello because the barolo sauce was too sticky for her. She's a texture person, so I get that. Both were delicious. Next person who has the brasato, please inquire what that creamy thing was - not too heavy, not too light, but strong enough to handle coming out on a hot plate next to a protein without breaking. Good stuff.

Dolci: gianduja cake and bomboloni with a fruit compote (raspberries?) and a heavy cream. I did not share the gianduja. I also need to get a set of Almodóvar-designed demitasses. We brought the shortbread petit fours home for the babysitter.

What else? I'm jammed full of food, completely satisfied, and now I have to create an excuse to go back because I love me some tonnato. Probably won't take too much arm twisting. Thank you, staff of Fiola, for a wonderful meal.

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2nd trip to Fiola in as many weeks. This time I went with my wife - she still remembers the lobster ravioli from the last time we were at Maestro. So we started with the tuna crostini - 3 large mounds of tuna tartare that tasted like the tuna crudo at half the price. We also shared a fried mozzarella (fritter) with a piece of fried basil and diced tomatoes (perhaps they were confitted) which was the best fried cheese I've ever had. It reminded me of lowly fried cheese-sticks served at many restaurants but so much better. 2nd courses were the lobster ravioli and lasagna. They were both great. The ravioli dish is two raviolis (with chunks of lobster inside) with two chunks of lobster outside. I loved the pasta because it soaks up the lobster sauce, so maybe four raviolis are better than 2? I suppose presentation wise it looks better with lobster meat on the plate instead of 4 raviolis. Lastly, I tried the sea urchin pasta again while my wife had the shortribs. According to the menu, the sea urchin was accompanied by Maryland blue crabs this time. I'm happy to report that the pasta was much better this time. Not only were there lump crab meat, there was a piece of urchin nad topping off the pasta. It wasn't particular spicy but I didn't think spiciness was necessary. I had a little bite of my wife's shortrib. It might've been cooked sous vide (because the coloring is even throughout the meat) but when it tastes delicious, it's hard to find fault with how it was cooked.

I don't normally order dessert because I don't normally eat sweets so take this with a grain of salt. I didn't much care for the lychee panna cotta. My wife ordered some sort of gelato with espresso and it was a shot of espresso poured onto the gelato. The espresso overwhelmed the gelatto and my wife ended up pouring the espresso out.

Best Italian in DC? I think so but I haven't been to Tosca or Galileo (and I don't claim to be any sort of Italian expert). I only wish Fabio was back in Tysons Corner instead of downtown. It would be great to be able to pop by on a weekday for his pasta dishes.

Parking tips - metered parking in front of the restaurant is Monday thru Saturday at $0.25 per 8 minutes. There are a few meters on the right as you proceed up Indiana that takes credit cards. Take lots of quarters with you if you don't want to valet your car.

We were offered 2nds on the croissant tasting brioche looking rolls. I can't imagine how fattening they were but they taste so good.

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No HH momentum from the board, but the wife and I stopped by on Friday night for drinks and dinner at the bar. The cocktails we started with, both negronis and the fiore, were excellent.

We were off to a good start with the calamari appetizer with Fregola di Sardegna (pasta made with coarsely ground, durum wheat semolina) that was in a spicy tomato sauce. Salads were next and I had the ruby artichoke with favas and she had the asparagus with arugula (IIRC). We both enjoyed the asparagus salad better. I had never had what appeared to be thinly slided raw artichokes before and I think they were too mild in flavor to stand up to the dressing.

For mains my wife had the lobster ravioli and I had the veal chop. I did not try the ravioli, but it looked very nice and my wife enjoyed it. The veal chop comes topped in stuffing and wrapped with prosciutto. The veal was good, but was a bit on the salty side, although that did not prevent me from finishing it. Dessert was the gianduia which was an excellent and decadent finish.

Overall it was a very good and expensive dinner. I certainly see us returning for dinner occasionally.

The space will make a great HH location, especially when the weather warms enough for the patio to be open. I don't really remember what the bar menu had on it so I cannot comment on that aspect.

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No HH momentum from the board, but the wife and I stopped by on Friday night for drinks and dinner at the bar.

[i moved those nascent happy hour posts here.]

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Had a great dinner here on Saturday night. We note there were quite a few empty tables. Hopefully an anomoly.

For starters, we had the slow roasted veal with a tuna sauce and apples - It was superb and a large portion. The veal was extremely tender (it was sliced paper thin) and it had a wonderful rich tuna sauce. We also had the mozzarella fritters which were served on top of an eggplant and tomato sauce. The fritters were outstanding - the batter was crispy and thin, the mozzarella runny and the sauce was great. I would order multiple orders of these. We also had the spicy tuna on crostinis. This was the only weak dish of the night. The tuna was very bland and had little spiciness. The portion was large though and a great value at $8. For mains, I had the vincisgrassi which has been discussed many times. It was great. My guest had pasta with octopus in a tomato sauce. This was great as well, though we note that the octopus was rather salty, but once mixed into the sauce, it was ok. For dessert, (I forget the names of what we ordered specifically) but we had the Fiola version of the Kit Kat Bar which was outstanding. We also had a chocolate and pistachio cake served with some pistachio gelato. Also was outstanding. The desserts were some of the best we have had in a long time in any DC restaurant.

Overall, great meal. Service was very pleasant. I do note that it looks like they are tinkering with prices. The veal chop is now $36 and a few other items are a buck or two more.

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Had a great dinner here on Saturday night. We note there were quite a few empty tables. Hopefully an anomoly.

For starters, we had the slow roasted veal with a tuna sauce and apples - It was superb and a large portion. The veal was extremely tender (it was sliced paper thin) and it had a wonderful rich tuna sauce. We also had the mozzarella fritters which were served on top of an eggplant and tomato sauce. The fritters were outstanding - the batter was crispy and thin, the mozzarella runny and the sauce was great. I would order multiple orders of these. We also had the spicy tuna on crostinis. This was the only weak dish of the night. The tuna was very bland and had little spiciness. The portion was large though and a great value at $8. For mains, I had the vincisgrassi which has been discussed many times. It was great. My guest had pasta with octopus in a tomato sauce. This was great as well, though we note that the octopus was rather salty, but once mixed into the sauce, it was ok. For dessert, (I forget the names of what we ordered specifically) but we had the Fiola version of the Kit Kat Bar which was outstanding. We also had a chocolate and pistachio cake served with some pistachio gelato. Also was outstanding. The desserts were some of the best we have had in a long time in any DC restaurant.

Overall, great meal. Service was very pleasant. I do note that it looks like they are tinkering with prices. The veal chop is now $36 and a few other items are a buck or two more.

Interesting, the veal chop was $32 on Friday night.

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Had a great dinner here on Saturday night. We note there were quite a few empty tables.

That's funny -- I couldn't get a reservation for Saturday because (i was told) it was fully booked. Ate there Friday night instead and had a terrific meal -- especially the burrata/pesto, the razor clams, the octopus, the short ribs, and the fennel ice cream. The tuna crudo and lasgana were good but I wouldn't order them again -- not as memorable as the other choices.

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