100 Best Restaurants 2012: Fiola

No. 8


Four years ago, Fabio Trabocchi left DC a king, having guided Maestro to the top spot in our 2006 list of the 100 best restaurants. Fiola, which marks his return from New York, wasn’t the triumph we had counted on when it debuted this spring, but Trabocchi has since revised the script.

He emphasizes rusticity in his dining room–the brick wall framing the kitchen suggests a glimpse into Grandma’s sanctum. But elegance prevails, from the waiters in tailored shirts to the leather-bound menus. On the plate, Trabocchi forgoes the refinement that made his reputation and concentrates on simpler dishes from his native Le Marche. His greatest asset this time around is pastry chef Jason Gehring, whose sweets send diners home beaming.

What to get: Tuna-topped crostini; burrata with heirloom tomatoes and basil; meatballs with a sunny-side-up egg; pappardelle with ragu of Scottish hare; lasagna with morels and truffles; lobster-filled ravioli in lobster sauce; Arctic char with tomato broth, clams, prawns, and mussels; roast lamb with roasted fennel; doughnuts with dipping cream and jam; zabaglione.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Expensive.

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 Petworth.