100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 4 Fiola Mare


Checking out the the day's catches. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Fiola Mare



The real achievement here is that chef Fabio Trabocchi has made the waterfront location—with its commanding view of the Potomac—feel almost secondary.

You’d have to take a trip to Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, a paean to the piscatory in Midtown Manhattan, to see fish and seafood treated with as much care and skill. Or to see a non-meat meal (there’s but a single meat dish on the dinner menu) ushered into such a rarefied realm of luxury and indulgence.

The special-occasion restaurant has largely disappeared from the scene, as neighborhood spots and high-minded bistros have cropped up by the dozens. This is one to book for that anniversary or birthday, especially if you snag a table overlooking the river. Even just swinging by for lunch (the three-course, $28 prix fixe is a legitimate deal) feels grand and indulgent.

Don’t miss:

  • Hamachi or bluefin toro crudo
  • Olive-oil-poached black bass or cod with Prosecco zabaglione
  • Wild turbot with smoked potatoes and charred spring onions
  • Lobster ravioli
  • Spaghetti with clams
  • Under the Sea (a stew of langoustines, scallops, turbot, prawns, and foie gras)
  • Mint-chocolate tart
  • Spumoni
  • Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts)

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.

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.