Chef Fabio Trabocchi became a James Beard Award winner during his time at Maestro in Tysons Corner, but he left for New York City in 2007 to open the Italian eatery Fiamma. That venture closed down a little more than a year after it opened, but Trabocchi didn’t lose his passion for the cuisine of his homeland. Now he has returned to the area that made him famous — in Penn Quarter, this time around — with the chic-yet-casual Fiola, which opened in April.
THE VISION: “Our menu must reflect the seasons. That’s been the principle behind Italian cooking for the last 500 years,” Trabocchi says. The offerings rotate based on market availability, so asparagus may show up in several dishes one day, and sea urchin may take center stage the next. “The creativity starts when the ingredients come in,” Trabocchi says. “They naturally suggest what ends up on the table.”