Miami Beach just got a little jealous – a James Beard award-winning, Michelin starred chef, Fabio Trabocchi, has opened his first restaurant outside of Washington DC, in the landmark Sunset building at 1500 San Ignacio Avenue, in Coral Gables. This is the type of restaurant you would expect to find in the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities. Fiola is a sophisticated, elegant restaurant serving contemporary Italian cuisine with polished, traditional hospitality service.
High, wood-beamed ceilings, modern chandeliers, gold silverware, white tablecloths, lush pillows on the sofa-like banquettes, tableside presentations, and a glass-walled wine cellar with an 8,000 bottle selection, are all notable touches to this exquisite dining experience. The interiors are by renowned architect Jeffrey Beers and the decor by award-winning Barcelona based, Lazaro Rosa Violan.
The cuisine is inspired by regional Italian classics, but, with a nod to Miami, using local, seasonal ingredients. So you will find additions like stone crabs, key limes used both in sweet and savoury dishes, plantains, yucca, and snapper. Executive Chef Michael Fusano is overseeing everything from the beautiful, copper pot adorned open kitchen. Under the attentive management of GM Stefania Sorrenti, the large attractive dining room is manned by the equally large, smartly dressed staff to look after all of your needs.
There is an impressive wine list and there are many fine choices by the glass. We enjoyed a glass of one of our favourites, a Paul Meyer Chardonnay. There is also a delightful cocktail program, with some of the best tasting and aesthetically appealing cocktails I’ve had in a long time.The menu offers a wide variety of salads, crudo, homemade luscious pastas, and meats and seafood from the grill, wood-fired oven and raw bar. The menu changes daily, but there are some signature dishes, that thankfully aren’t going anywhere. The lobster ravioli with ginger and chives is one such dish. Or my personal favourite, the bucatini, with tender red king prawns, and sea urchin. The flavors are rich and intense. Another standout was the porcini mushroom “cappuccino” soup with sheep’s milk ricotta pansotti, all under a Parmesan foam. The cuts of meat they serve are a “cut” above, sourced from the best ranches around the country. Whether you try the venison chop or the prosciutto wrapped veal chop in an ossobucco sauce, with foie gras, gremolata and Alba hazelnuts, you will find them all palate pleasing. The desserts also are delightful, playful and divine. We found the staff extremely accommodating, and they gave us half portion pasta and half glass of wine on request.
Only opened in November 2018, Chef Fabio has a winning formula here. There is attention to detail and the art of fine dining, but without the pretentious attitude. Dinner was deeply satisfying and picture perfect. These delights don’t come cheap, but what you get is luscious cooking and dedicated service for well-heeled diners.