Photo: Abby Greenawalt
As we walked through the Fiola dining room, my friend Bridget loudly announced, "well this is a stodgy crowd." Just kidding, it was me who made the loud announcement. Bridget was telling me to shhh. I just want to see if she reads this blog.
No matter who said it, it was true. Fiola, on a Tuesday night, was filled with the only people who eat expensive dinners on a Tuesday night: lobbyist and maybe a few members of Congress wearing those pins on their lapels. A lot of suits, in other words. Then came us. Three women, with babies recently tucked in their cribs, who escaped for a big night out. While the lobbyist made deals, we talked developmental milestones, like giggling and rolling over. Oh boy, we were ready for some Chef Fabio, and, wow, he did not disappoint.
To start I enjoyed the Nantucket bay scallops with chanterelles and light as a feather meatballs with a fried egg on top. For dinner, a delicate plate of cod filled gnocchi straddled by smoky, baby octopus. To end the meal: sugary, warm donuts with cream.
Every morsel of food was exceptional. As in, moan-out-loud-in-a-stodgy-crowd good. Oh, and how could I forget those ginormous, flaky popovers? The ones the waiters generously kept bringing more of until I reminded them that I recently had a baby, and, you know, I would like to fit into my old clothes someday, which somehow I forgot as I kept eating said popovers and then, Doh!, ordered donuts.
I'm not one for fancy, or, as some people call it, refined Italian. Moreover, I don't like foam, especially if it costs a lot, but I think Fiola's unique flavor combinations and exquisite detailing make it a stand out. The restaurant's dishes are more complex than raviolis filled with expensive ingredients or truffles this or that, and worth every penny, I say. I plan on going back, for sure. Next time, I'll head there on a Friday night, when the young and hip sip Jeff Haile's craft cocktails at the bar. I wonder what that crowd will think of my thoughts on swaddling and nap time.