The Dish: The Trabocchi Tasting Trail

by Catherine Trifiletti

Photos by Tony Brown

Eat your way through chef and restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi’s dining empire

There is a distinct thread that underlies all four of Fabio and Maria Trabocchi’s restaurants – a cohesion governed by unfaltering commitment to quality. Constantly changing menus signify their dedication to the freshest seasonal ingredients and, even at less costly iterations, thoughtful preparations and photogenic presentations draw on Fabio’s fine dining background.“Each restaurant tells a story about who we are and where we come from,” he says,“They must have a soul, and that soul comes from the real story of our lives and cultural heritage.” STAY TUNED:Come October the Trabocchis’ roster will expand to the new Wharf development with Spanish seafood eatery Del Mar (“of the sea” and Maria’s middle name) that pays homage to her Mallorcan roots.


First Course:

FIOLA MARE 3050 K St NW | (202) 628-0065 | antipasti $20-$36

Tairagai clam in its shell topped with spring vegetables and chard-ramp ponzu

The Georgetown waterfront gem draws an A-list crowd looking to get a seafood fix while enjoying views of the Potomac River. Nautical finishes and an extensive outdoor patio space are underlaid by Mediterranean sensibilities. Meticulously plated dishes of superb sustainable seafood comprise a changing menu that gives nod to the Italian coastal communities where Fabio trained.

Second Course:

SFOGLINA 4445 Connecticut Ave NW | (202) 450-1312 | pasta $22-$25

Beet stained goat cheese tortellini with spring peas, asparagus and sage

The Trabocchis’ latest venture pronounced [sfoal-YEE-nah], named after Italian female artisans who have preserved the tradition of hand rolling and shaping pasta, has breathed new life into the Van Ness neighbor- hood. Well portioned bowls of differing noodle varieties offer upscale and creative riffs on classics like cheese tortellini (Above).

Third Course:

FIOLA 601 Pennsylvania Ave NW | (202) 628-2888 | 3, 4 and 5 course menus $95-$135

Traditional A5 Wagyu served with vegetable and roasted garlic ash, baby turnips, radish, spring onions, ramps, baby beets & asparagus

The first of the Trabocchi eateries serves elevated Italian fare via prix-fixe menus with an impressive wine list to match. Newly-appointed chef Ed Scarpone (an alumnus of Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire) brought along a covetable Rolodex including Japanese cattle ranchers whose beef is so prized that each cut of meat comes with the cow’s birth certificate.

Fourth Course:

CASA LUCA 1099 New York Ave NW | (202) 628.1099 | dessert $8-$12

Nonna’s Pastry Cart (including tiramisu, Gran Marnier-soaked Gianduja cake, double chocolate fudge sandwiches & fresh strawberries tossed with mint)

Named after Maria and Fabio’s son Luca, the Penn Quarter osteria emphasizes the family values at the core of the Trabocchis’ DNA. Rustic Italian, Spanish and American favorites inspired by the family’s personal cooking traditions make up the well-rounded menu. Shareable entrees ensure a supreme communal dining experience.

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