Two Great Restaurants Highlight DC's Resurgent Dining Scene


Washington, DC, has become a foodie capitol. These two restaurants are helping to revive the city's dining reputation.

The lobster ravioli at Fiola Mare. Photo by Scott Suchman/Courtesy of Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants.

Washington, DC, known for its museums, monuments, and the Mall, has in the last decade or so become a city for foodies, even a destination for non-local food-lovers. If you’re planning on visiting the city to see the sights (especially the new

National Museum of African American History and Culture

), or to celebrate the inauguration, enjoying dinner at Fiola Mare as well as Rose’s Luxury will add to your DC getaway.

Fiola Mare

Fiola Mare is a rarity: a restaurant that serves exceptional food in an unfussy atmosphere. Located on the Georgetown waterfront, Fiola Mare offers views of the Potomac River and dining on the deck as well as in one of several indoor spaces.

Chef Fabio Trabocchi creates memorable dishes for this Italian seafood restaurant. The food is fresh, expertly prepared with a light touch, and plated beautifully. Along with diplomats, dignitaries, and deep-pocketed businessmen and women, the dining room fills with people celebrating. That’s partly because the place is expensive, but mostly because the great food adds to the specialness of any occasion.

Among the menu’s many stand-outs are the lobster ravioli; the Grand Adriatic Grilled Seafood, a bounteous catch of lobster, scallops, mahi mahi, branzino, calamari and octopus; and Under the Sea, a mix of scallops, prawns and other shellfish in broth.

Washingtonian magazine, in its annual list of the 100 Very Best Restaurants in the DC area, rated Fiola Mare as number one. No argument here.

Kitchen seating at Rose's Luxury. Photo by C. Stapen.

Rose’s Luxury

For a table at Rose’s Luxury, you have to stand in line. That’s a testament to the restaurant’s food and to Chef Aaron Silverman’s desire to make Rose’s a neighborhood walk-in place. But so many people want to dine at Rose’s that the line can start at 3 pm for doors that open at 5 pm. Only a limited number of reservations are accepted for parties of six to eight.

Chef Silverman opened Rose’s Luxury on Capitol Hill in October 2013 and by August 2014, Bon Appétit rated Rose’s Luxury as the year’s top new US restaurant. In this year’s Washingtonian magazine list of the 100 best restaurants in the DC metro region, Rose’s Luxury ranked number 21, a still very good rating. The reviewer felt that the Peruvian chicken was “ho-hum.” We agree and so apparently did someone at Rose’s. The Peruvian chicken has been replaced by Greek chicken with pickled vegetables.

That’s important, since Rose’s serves only two entrees. The other is smoked brisket based on Silverman’s grandmother Rose’s recipe. Some people love it, but we thought it had a briny, sour taste.

So what makes Rose’s worth the wait? The small plates show Chef Silverman’s skill in mixing unlikely ingredients to create amazing tastes. Among the amazing items are the confit goat with BBQ Sea Island red peas, rice, and garlic breadcrumbs, and the pork sausage habanero salad, with peanuts and lychee.

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