[ 2 ] September 15, 2011 |


I am quickly falling in love with the National Harbor.  The quirky, off the beaten path boutiques, the river views on a beautiful day and of course, the food.  During my most recent visits, I have been swooned by one particular restaurant, Fiorella.  Fiorella managed to snag the best piece of real estate on the Harbor where it sits directly on the banks of the Potomac River.  On my first visit I sat outdoors and was provided the best views of the river at night, perfect for a date night.

The name says it all; it is clearly an Italian restaurant which aims to have a little something for everyone.  Being the purist that I am when it comes to Italian restaurants, I am always reluctant to trust an Italian menu that has an Alfredo dish.  The ironic thing is I love Alfredo.  It is totally an American way of making pasta and after my visit to Rome earlier this year; I know that we clearly made this one up.  I kept my optimism, however, because after eyeing some of the Roman style pizzas coming from the kitchen at Fiorella, I knew my curiosity would not let me leave.

Four Cheese Pizza

On my first visit, we had the antipasto salad, baked shrimp Alfredo and the four cheese pizza.  The star of the show was clearly the pizza.  Topped with stracchino, Gorgonzola, provolone, mozzarella and basil, it fulfilled every dream I had for that night: to be full, eat flavorful food and not compromise my waistline. On my second visit, I was anxious to get back to that pizza. This time, I took a different route with hearty starters such as the meatballs, which were seasoned and topped with a thick tomato sauce. Forgetting I had already tried the baked shrimp Alfredo, I ordered it again (*because I can be boring at times…) and of course I had plate envy.  Plate envy is when you want what someone else at your table or the next table ordered instead of what you ordered.

Italian Southern Fried Chicken

Plate envy ensued from the minute the Italian Southern Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes arrived.  The epitome of juiciness, the perfect blend of Italian seasoning meets basic seasonings breading two pieces of piping hot chicken breasts is the best way to describe the latter.  The mashed potatoes did nothing for the dish where they showed no personality other than the contrast of colors on the plate.  I shifted my attention to the fish entrees on the table with the salmon taking the first place prize over the Whole Branzino alla Provencale (*Mediterranean Sea Bass).  The branzino seemed to be drowning in its pool of tomato, garlic and basil sauce where the salmon was slightly complimented by fresh cracked pepper.

Fiorella's Bread Pudding

The highlight of my second sitting was the dessert. You know my feelings on dessert so it surprised me when I devoured the bread pudding combined with apples and walnuts and topped with vanilla gelato.  The warm combination mixed with the cool creamy gelato tempts me every time like the annual sale at Neiman Marcus.  I always go overboard.

Besides my obsession with views of waterways, food can get me to go just about anywhere.  Fiorella has added yet another reason I need to spend more time at the Harbor.  With views like this and a good glass of red on deck, they don’t have to do much convincing.

Fiorella Pizzeria E Trattoria on Urbanspoon

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Category: restaurant reviews, Washington D.C.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Comments (2)

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  1. I totally disagree with this review. The pizza was not great. Overcooked on top and too crunchy on the bottom, it lacked depth and flavor. In fact, it reminded me of matzah pizza, the flavorless pizza I eat during Passover. The service was mediocre at best. To add insult to injury, I wound up with a nasty case of food poisoning. I will never go back.

  2. Johnna says:

    That sucks:-( Thanks for the feedback!

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