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Le Bailliage du Greater Washington, DC Chapter

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Falling for Fiola in the Fall

September 19, 2013

By Dame de la Chaîne Christine Owens and Judith Mazza, Vice Chargée de Presse, Bailliage of Greater Washington, D.C.

After a brief summer hiatus, the Bailliage of Greater Washington wanted to begin the 2013-2014 season at one of the top rated restaurants in the area, and chose Fiola, the flagship restaurant of Chef Fabio Trabocchi. Known for his elegant presentations, delicious flavors and precision and attention to detail, we were not disappointed.

We gathered in a secluded private room and enjoyed a selection of fine Italian charcuterie and Italian artisanal cheese, which just melted in our mouths. The Fiola “puffs” filled with truffled cheese Fonduta set the tone for a luxurious meal. The Tuscan style of foie gras mousse served atop grilled country bread was an absolute delight, as was the wild mushroom tartar served with a poached quail egg and a Parmigiano Reggiano frico. We washed all of this down with Gemin Prosecco di Valdobbiadene NV (Veneto, Italy).

We were pleased to have Christophe Malvezin, Agricultural Counselor from the French Embassy join us, as we anticipate the French Ambassador’s induction into the Chaîne during the 2013 Grand Chapitre. Maître de Table Restauranteur Patrick Birchall, General Manager of the historic Willard Hotel, and his wife Katiuska were also present, and looking forward to hosting our holiday gala in December of this year. Mid-Atlantic Chambellan/Bailli Paul Haar was in fine form as he introduced guests and new members to one another.

Our first seated course was a burrata of buffalo mozzarella served over a mâche salad with a pesto of basil Genovese served with a Santa Barbara Le Vaglie Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2012 (Marche, Italy). It was a wonderful combination as the creaminess of the burrata contrasted with the fresh greens of the salad. One of Chef Trabocchi’s signature dishes was the ahi tuna carpaccio served on top of roasted tomatoes with Taggiasche olives and sorrel cream. It is a brilliant combination in which the tomato and the tuna complement each other perfectly. The Cantina Pra Cru Monte Grande Soave Classico 2012 (Veneto, Italy) paired nicely with it. Next we were treated to a branzino, perfectly poached in olive oil, and served with Manila clams and a risotto of Tuscan farro. This delicate yet rustic dish was paired nicely with the Cantina Montauto Arcione 2010 (Toscana, Italy).

What would an Italian meal be without pasta?  The I Vincigrassi  or Le Marche style of a classic lasagna with a bianchetto sauce was rich and flavorful. The Villa Papiano I Probi de Papiano 2010 (Umbria, Italy) stood up quite well to the robust flavors. Our last savory course was a roasted rack of Colorado lamb with chanterelle mushrooms, guanciale and rosemary jus served with a full bodied Nuschese Aglianico 2010 (Compania, Italy).

As we awaited our dolce, Maria Trabocchi and Chef de Cuisine Justice Frank entered the room to grateful applause for a lovely meal. They entertained questions from the confreres. Vice Conseiller Culinaire Chef Francois Dionot joined them as he complimented the obvious expertise it took to create such a lovely meal. Vice Chargée de Presse, Judith Mazza presented Maria Trabocchi with the Chaîne plate and our thanks for their warm hospitality.

Our final course a zuppa Inglese was a marscapone custard with almond spongecake, limoncello granita and huckleberry compote was served with Villa Capezzana Vin Santo Ris 2005 (Tuscany, Italy). With sweet tastes and sweet thoughts of Italy we ended the first event of the 2013-2014 season.

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