Fabio Trabocchi is officially back! The former Maestro chef opens the doors to his new DC digs tonight for a soft opening of Fiola. When we took a look last week, the old Paradou space was still more or less a construction site. But in just a short span of time, it's been transformed into a sleek Italian villa-inspired space serving rustic yet sophisticated specialties to match. Check out the pictures above of the finished space, and read on for more details about the design and the menu.
Fabio and Maria Trabocchi designed Fiola to have the feel of an Italian villa and you'll find plenty of nods to that through the warmly decorated restaurant. The 50-seat bar has a smooth wood finish and marble, while leather sofas line up in the lounge area. Columns are inlaid with a leaf-like design meant to evoke an afternoon on a patio. The main dining room has 60 seats that include banquettes and rounded booths — and those seated near the kitchen can peek in on the action through small window panes in Fiola's stone walls. Elaborate chandeliers hang on high encircled by elegant frescoes.
The design, Trabocchi says, is intended to reflect his cooking: simple yet sophisticated, rustic, but not too rustic. He'll be using mostly local products, meaning the menu will change fairly frequently, but Trabocchi says his pasta will be made fresh every day (by the same guy who has been making it for him for 10 years) and classics like the lobster ravioli and lasagna vincisgrassi will be on the menu. This is regional Italian fare and it's meant to be affordable and approachable. In other words, this is not Maestro, even if some of Trabocchi's old standards are on the menu. A bar menu will be tapas-style — and with cocktails from mixologist Jeff Faile.
Last week sommelier Adrian Reynolds told us that he has plans for 175 wines, most of which will be Italian and the rest will be Spanish. But these aren't necessarily "trophy wines," he says, explaining that he was going for a varied selection of regional Italian wines. Eventually American wines will be added to the list, too.
Fiola will serve lunch five days a week and dinner six days a week, closed on Sundays. During the soft launch, the general public can look forward to a 10-percent discount on their bill during the restaurant's trial-and-error period. For reservations, call 202-628-2888.