100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 8 Fiola

Server Dat Phan sets tables. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Fiola may be Italian, but it’s the Grace Kelly of Washington dining rooms, possessing an effortless cool, a beauty that’s steely without being off-putting.

Chef/owner Fabio Trabocchi grew up in Italy’s coastal Le Marche region, and he has a special affinity for fish (which he also shows off at Georgetown’s Fiola Mare).

In the sea of tuna carpaccios, his stands out—the top-quality ahi is precisely cut and spooned with a vivid mix of yuzu, tomato confit, and olives. A filet of branzino is elevated with a froth of Prosecco zabaglione and pearls of paddlefish roe. And his superlative house-made spaghetti is enriched with sparklingly fresh sea urchin, mussels, and Nantucket bay scallops.

The desserts from pastry chefs Tom Wellings and Kendra Grieco are fitting sendoffs—their candied apple, a blown-sugar fruit filled with snowy apple foam, is one of the most stunning sweets we’ve had all year.

Don’t miss:

  • Burrata with baby artichokes and pesto
  • Parmesan risotto with Alba white truffles
  • Ricotta cavatelli with amatriciana sauce
  • Lobster ravioli with ginger
  • Roasted duck with butternut-squash relish
  • Labneh sorbet with chia seeds
  • Ricotta doughnuts
  • Ensaimada (a cream-filled brioche)

Get Our Weekend Newsletter

The best DC news, delivered straight to your inbox.
Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.