It’s not like I ever need an excuse to dine out. But I do have a list of restaurants held in reserve for special occasions. My wedding anniversary deserves a top tier restaurant, particularly since we are now at 31 years. Last year’s 30th meant dinner at two phenomenal restaurants- Inn at Little Washington and Chicago’s Alinea. That’s impossible to top. What is perfectly reasonable, however, is double dipping dining. One restaurant the Saturday night before the anniversary, and one the night of the anniversary.
Our pick for the weekend before is the brand spanking new Fiola Mare on the Georgetown Waterfront. We are dining with Cousins A & B, whose anniversary falls a few days before ours. We dined with them last year at the Inn, and we decide to pair up for a celebration dinner again this year. We are not necessarily the most perfectly suited dining companions. The cousins are not adventurous eaters, and B is watching his diet. (As I claim to be, but anniversaries don’t count). I am hoping that Fiola Mare will satisfy my desire to try an exciting new restaurant, while at the same time fulfilling the requirements of A & B.
Fiola Mare is the third DC restaurant from Chef Fabio Trabocchi. We have enjoyed a few special meals of Fiola, and are also fans of the fare at the more casual Casa Luca. Fiola Mare focuses on seafood, and the beautiful waterfront view evokes a Mediterranean seaside experience.
The only reservation available at the already-popular spot is at 6:00 pm or 9:00 pm. We choose the early arrival, and benefit from the opportunity to witness the sunset. As the light in the room gradually dims, the atmosphere in the restaurant palpably changes from bright and airy to something more elegant and serious.
The beautiful display of fresh seafood perched next to the kitchen tempts me. Do I opt for a simple whole fish, grilled and deboned tableside? Or, should I stick to something that exhibits a bit more culinary flair? Once I glimpse Chef Trabocchi toiling away in the kitchen, it fuels my desire for flair.
Burrata of buffalo mozzarella rests atop a salad of baby artichokes and cucumber, and basil Genovese pesto. The dish gently eases us into the meal with sophisticated but not over-complicated flavors.
Fiola Mare, 3050 K Street, NW, Washington, DC