[ 2 ] December 1, 2011 |

Fiola Gnocchi

Never judge a book by it’s cover.  So cliche, but this was my exact thought immediately after leaving Fiola.  From the outside looking in, Fiola can be a bit intimidating for the casual diner.  You would think you can only enter unless you are a card carrying member of one of those members-only clubs in the District and this is where they hold their break sessions.  Upon entering, however, the decor relaxes you where contemporary meets a rustic appeal with the giant bay-like windows inviting tons of light into the space.

The outer decor and contemporary interior, unfortunately, allowed me to feed into a stereotype: could this place really offer up authentic Italian cuisine?  Having traveled to Rome earlier this year, I am tainted in my views of authentic Italian food that is served in the U.S. where Rome was a place of much simplicity when it came to serving up the food.  My favorite spots were extremely casual with some of the freshest ingredients I have ever tasted on the basic spaghetti noodle.  Fiola is not giving into the American stereotype.

Starting with the usual suspects, bread and salad, they kept it simple but intriguing with a perfect balance of oil, garlic and cheese.  Take the salad posted above, for example, which to the common viewer it looks like a boring arugula salad, but in the crispy puff is all things goat cheese paired perfectly with red peppers.

I stuck with the gnocchi on my visit which would have been a 9 on a scale of 1-10 had it not been for the puddle of oil waiting for me when I took my last bite.

I wrapped things up with a slice of Fiola’s chocolate hazelnut tart, which was a tad rich for my palate, but a few bites added the proper closure to a good meal.

Since the restaurant boasts a business lunch menu, I ventured over on a lunch break to see if they were true to their word: business means quick but quality.  They were prompt though we had to make the “eye contact” for the waiter a few times before jokingly mentioning we were on a time crunch.  Fiola is not to be judged by its new age look, after all this is D.C., everybody is going contemporary.

Fiola on Urbanspoon

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Category: Food.Fun.Stuff., Travels, 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. Mary Kong says:

    Great pics, Johnna! I can’t beleive you went to Fiola without me! Been dying to go!

  2. Johnna says:

    Thanks Mary!! Let me know when you go, I’ll come with;-)

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