The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2012

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Page 103 of 132

Politics and Potables WHERE TO DRINK NOW IN WASHINGTON, D.C. New spaces, seasoned places and talented FIOLA A faces. There has never been a better time to grab a memorable cocktail in the District. by Kelly A. Magyarics / photos by Greg Powers pproachable and classic libations incorporating Italian fl avors is how Bar Manager Jeff Faile describes the selections in his cocktail program at this 156-seat trattoria moderna. Its Penn Quarter neighborhood location, smack dab between the White House and the Capitol, means that Fiola welcomes both hip, young cocktail mavens as well as lobbyists and staffers, all bellying up to sample drinks in four categories: Aperitivi, Jeff's Choices, Light and Dark. The multi-layered "Straight to the Top" combines Knob Creek Bourbon, Barolo Chinato, Bonal, and orange and chocolate bitters; heady-scented "Ain't That a Daisy?" mixes Milagro Tequila, house-made hibiscus cordial, lime and grapefruit. Fiola also offers 13 varieties of amaro—an obses- sion of Faile. "People assume that all amari are simply bitter, but there are so many levels of fl avor there," he explains. "The fun is fi nding out which herb or spice from one will show up when combined with one spirit or another." Menu standouts from award-winning chef Fabio Trabbochi include meatballs served with tomato and a sunny-side-up egg, and creamy, oozy burrata over pesto. Recently launched mixology classes challenge Trabbochi to pair his cuisine with drinks via a three-course food and cocktail experience. Faile cites his ultimate goal for guests is consistency. "As cliché as it sounds, you're only as good as the last drink you poured." Jeff Faille is Bar Manager at Fiola in D.C. may 2012 / the tasting panel / 103

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