Great Washington, DC Restaurants: Fiola Mare

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Washington, DC’s heating up. The National Museum of African American History and Culture, a new Smithsonian museum, opens September 24, and in January a new president moves into the White House. Whether you’re headed for the museum (obtain timed entry tickets ahead) or partying/commiserating post-election, a meal at Fiola Mare, one of the city’s very best restaurants, will add to your experience.

Fiola Mare

Fiola Mare's Kennedy LoungeFabio Trabocchi Restaurants

Fiola Mare’s Kennedy Lounge

Fiola Mare is a treat. The seafood restaurant with an Italian flare serves some of the best food in Washington, DC Rated as the 2016 number one restaurant in the city by Washingtonian Magazine, Fiola Mare is also expensive. For most of us that puts Fiola Mare in the celebratory category—the place to toast a birthday, a new baby, a promotion or some other special event.

We went to celebrate an anniversary (it was less costly than a weekend away, although not by much). Nevertheless, even my husband, affectionately known as “Mr. Thrifty” thought the meal was worth it. And that’s saying a great deal.

I have thought about the lobster ravioli for months. Creamy without cream (I’m allergic), the ravioli was the best I have ever tasted and worth the $50 plate. Even though my husband and I shared a half-portion, I am still dreaming:

Fiola Mare's Lobster RavioliScott Suchman

Fiola Mare’s Lobster Ravioli

Designed for two, the Grand Adriatic grilled seafood satisfies with its bounteous catch of lobster, scallops, mahi mahi, branzino, calamari and octopus. Other standouts: gragnano spaghetti chitarra (spaghetti with clams) and Under the Sea: scallops, prawns, and other shellfish in broth.

The food is fresh, expertly prepared with a light touch and plated beautifully. In addition, Fiola Mare’s setting is fun. Many fine restaurants come with a formal and fussy dining room. Not this one:

Located on Georgetown’s waterfront, Fiola Mare sits along the Potomac River, facing the greenery of Theodore Roosevelt Island.  You can dine on the deck or in one of several dining rooms. We like the biggest one with its view of the open kitchen fronted by rows of Spanish turbot, Dover sole, branzino neatly lined up on ice.

Fiola Mare is the third Washington, DC restaurant helmed by Chef Fabio Trabocchi and his wife Maria Trabocchi. They serve delectable dishes and memorable experiences at Fiola, an upscale Italian restaurant in Penn Quarter, and Casa Luca, a casual trattoria in downtown DC rated number nine on Washingtonian’s list.

Fiola Mare serves lunch Tuesday to Friday; dinner Monday to Sunday; and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.