As I started writing this post, I couldn’t help but wonder if there is someone out there who doesn’t like Italian food? Carb-heavy dishes rooted in tradition, light yet flavorful insalatas, delicious sauces, some of the best seafood recipes – it’s a definition of soul food, don’t you agree? And while its casual rendition is always a good idea, refined Italian cuisine is what truly makes your tastebuds sing and is worth the splurge for special date nights. A pursuit of these elevated Italian flavors brought me to Fiola, one-Michelin star restaurant helmed by the James Beard Award-winner Fabio Trabocchi. Everything, from the impeccable service to the elegant interior and outstanding food, made it a perfect spot to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
I’d highly recommend starting your soiree in their bar before heading over to your table. Fiola offers a few seasonal tasting menus, but also allows for some flexibility to craft your own four- and five-course dinner. Dishes here are founded on authentic Italian traditions with a creative contemporary spin.
Our bespoke tasting menu started with a refreshing amuse bouche of asparagus mousse topped with cured salmon and perfectly cooked asparagus. We continued with antipasti – buttery foie gras torchon (terrine), its richness balanced out by sweet and sour onions, pistachios and pickled rhubarb. I might raise some eyebrows here for saying this, but as delicious as it was, I think the portion for quite big and heavy for the first course.
For the pasta course, I picked Fiola’s signature lobster ravioli. It was simply divine, its luscious sauce dripping with delicate flavors. Justin opted for equally impressive bucatini topped with beautifully cooked red kind prawns complimented by a delicate kick from Espelette pepper (paprika from southwest France) and richness of the sea urchin emulsion.
For the main, I opted for the Rohan duck breast. Cooked perfectly to medium rare, it paired well with honey and lavender glaze, fava beans, pickled rhubarb, and Iberico ham. Although, I had a little bit of food envy looking over at Justin’s plate – his Spanish branzino lay atop leeks, complimented by oyster sauce and caviar. The flavors were very well nuanced and the fish melted in your mouth. So good.
I was perhaps least impressed with the final course: veal tenderloin served with crispy veal sweetbreads, morel mushrooms and asparagus. While everything was cooked very well, flavors didn’t quite tie for me.
Come dessert, we both fell completely silent. Mine, a deconstructed tiramisu that oozed flavorful coffee notes, and his, a decadent Millefoglie with chantilly cream and fresh berries, held our attention with the complexity and layers of flavor. Both were just too good to focus on anything else.
I was sadly too full to try the petite fours that were meant to finish off this beautiful feast. Although, Justin took full advantage and reported that they were excellent as well.
Overall, Fiola most definitely met our expectations and didn’t fail to impress with its service or the food. In my next post, I will tell you all about Del Mar, yet another Trabocchi’s restaurant located at the Warf featuring Spanish menu and the most stunning interior. Stay tuned!
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