Chef Fabio Trabocchi takes you to the Italian seaside with his most recent addition to the Washington, DC restaurant scene. Fiola Mare’s menus are inspired by Trabocchi’s personal tastes and passion for seafood. A friend and I were celebrating her recent engagement to her soul mate and were fortunate enough to snag waterfront-view seats for the prix fixe signature brunch offered on weekends.
The meal starts with a cocktail or mocktail and their basket of warm pastries and breads served with fruit jam and farmer’s butter. All pastries were melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and we were especially impressed with the quince roll laced with a hint of cinnamon. While enjoying breads we mulled over menu choices for the 3-course meal which includes antipasti / salad + brunch favorites or pasta + dessert.
We decided upon the Colors of the Garden and Burrata of Buffalo Mozzarella salads. Both were fresh, lightly dressed, and composed unlike any salad we have ever had before. The flavor combinations were out of this world. Burrata is an Italian cheese with a shell of solid mozzarella filled with mozzarella and cream; the outcome is a smooth, buttery ball.
Next up were the main events. I had the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with red raspberries + the smoothest whipped vanilla mascarpone + oak barrel-aged maple syrup + beautiful edible flowers. The pancakes were SO fluffy – cloudlike – and the combination of toppings were delicious alone or blended together. My friend had the savory pasta dish Rigatoni alla Carbonara: perfectly cooked al dente rigatoni + guanciale (Italian cured meat similar to salami) + black pepper + pecorino romano + sunny side-up duck egg. Once you cut into that duck egg and stir the pasta up a bit, it becomes the most self-indulgent breakfast pasta you will EVER eat.
As if all of the above was not enough enjoyment for us, we were treated to dessert. And WOW. The Vanilla Sundae was lighter than most sundaes out there; it included house made vanilla ice cream + coconut espuma (a foamy whip topping I have never tasted before!) + spiced chai + house made chocolate accents. We were also treated to the Bomboloni which are Sardinian ricotta donuts with a side of fudge-y maple syrup dip. These donuts were crisper on the outside and softer on the inside than traditional donut holes and come beautifully plated.
The attention to detail, including excellent plating, courteous and conscientious wait staff, and beautiful décor and waterfront views, makes the experience alone a celebration. Fiola Mare resides in Georgetown’s Washington Harbour. Penn Quarter is home to Trabocchi’s flagship restaurant Fiola, and his casual but outstanding Casa Luca downtown offers traditional Italian meals.
Fiola Mare (Washington Harbour, 3050 K Street NW, Washington, DC // 202.628.0065)