Restaurateurs Fabio and Maria Trabocchi proved their chops at running a successful waterfront venture when they opened Fiola Mare in Georgetown two years ago. Now, the couple is poised to tackle another stretch of riverside real estate: the forthcoming Wharf development, where they’ll debut Del Mar, a Spanish seafood restaurant. The two-story, 11,500 square-foot eatery on the Southwest Waterfront will be their largest yet.
While Casa Luca pays homage to Fabio’s upbringing in Le Marche, Italy, this next concept is dedicated to Maria—her middle name is Del Mar, which translates to “of the sea”—and the cuisine will be grounded in her native Spain, including the island of Mallorca, where she grew up. The Trabocchis travel there each year, and just returned from a working vacation, where they collected ideas for the upcoming venture.
Though plans for the menu are still in the early stages, paellas will be a focus, along with tapas and seasonal dishes from the Basque region, Barcelona, and Valencia, matched with Spanish wines and ciders. The same fare will be served on both floors, though the upper level may be reserved for private event space, and is equipped with its own open kitchen, bar, and wine cellar. In warmer months the restaurant will boast about 1,900 square feet of outdoor seating, including an open patio, enclosed veranda on the sidewalk, and waterside cabanas.
Del Mar is one of many dining concepts headed to the Wharf, a $2 billion project from Madison Marquette and PN Hoffman, which will include retail and office space, condos, hotels, a marina, and a major music venue run by 9:30 Club owner Seth Hurwitz. Some of Washington’s top restaurateurs have already signed on for dining attractions, including Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, who’s developing an Asian restaurant, and Mike Isabella, who’s joined with fellow Top Chef alum Jen Carroll for Requin, specializing in French and Mediterranean fare.
The space for Del Mar is still under construction, and is slated to open in October 2017. In the meantime, look for the Trabocchis’ next restaurant, Sfoglina, a pasta-centric eatery that will debut in Forest Hills this fall.