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)

More from Food