Thursday, April 25, 2013

What Jeff's Drinking Now

I've been transitioning away from the bourbons, ryes, and Scotches that winter “forces” me to drink. Last month, I talked about DC’s own Green Hat Gin. This month, let’s get further into warmer weather drinks.

There’s nothing quite like sitting out in the sun and having a nice beer. 
My choice this spring so far has been San Diego’s Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. This is a great example of a California IPA. Obviously, there are hops, but these provide a grapefruit/citrusy edge to the beer. While the hops add a bitterness to the beer, there’s enough malt in the mix to add just enough sweetness to make this one of my favorite IPAs I've ever tasted.


Bar Manager Jeff Faile

Recipe Corner: Filomena

One of the original drinks on the opening list is still there and still going strong. The Filomena is perfect for the warmer weather. Even for you non-gin drinkers (please try gin ... you’ll be glad you did), this is a great way to get on board. Hendricks gin isn't your traditional London Dry style gin. While there is still juniper in there, you’ll also get cucumber and roses. When you combine that with the elderflower liqueur, St Germain, the roses become even more prevalent. Throw some lime juice in there to take away some of the sweetness, and you have a beautiful warm weather cocktail!

The Filomena
1.5 oz Hendricks Gin
1 oz St Germain
1 oz Fresh Lime juice

Combine all 3 ingredients in mixing glass. Add Ice. Cover with mixing tin. Shake. Strain into your favorite martini glass. Sip. Smile. Repeat as necessary.

Bar Manager Jeff Faile

Ask the Bar Man, Jeff Faile

Part of my job is to describe certain liquors and answer questions about how people should make drinks at home. If we're busy at the bar, it's hard for me to go as in depth as I'd like to. Our "Ask the Bar Man" feature in the bar newsletter allows you to ask any and all questions you'd like. Fire away! Send your questions to

Q: What do you drink when you go out? -- Jessica from Dupont Circle

A: I get asked that all the time, and it really is such a hard question to answer. Many things factor in to it: mood, weather, company, setting all have some say to what I’ll ask for.  After a busy Saturday night shift, more than likely it will be a bourbon neat if I head home. If I go out, perhaps I’ll go with a cold beer and a shot. See? 

Behind all the cocktails, sometimes I’m as simple as they come. If I’m home on a random night, I’ll often make a Manhattan, Old Pal, or a Negroni.  If I’m out to dinner, I’ll choose wine most of the time unless it’s a friend of mine behind the bar or I see an interesting combination on the cocktail list.

All in all, I don’t have one go to answer when people ask me that. It’s all about experiencing new things for me. I rarely order the same drink at a place just so I can see the array of what a place has to offer. Isn’t that what life is all about anyway?


Bar Manager Jeff Faile

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A New Member of the Family

Demolition starts Monday!
Let the games begin! Demolition starts Monday on our new location at 1099 New York Avenue NW (entrance on 11th Street). 

Every chef is a product of a place and a tradition. Named for his nine-year-old son Luca who has already begun apprenticing with his father in the kitchen at Fiola, Casa Luca will be a homage to Trabocchi’s family heritage and his upbringing in the Le Marche region of Italy, among sharecroppers, fishermen, artisans, truck drivers and everything in between. Casa Luca will feature the traditional, authentic and affordable cooking of Le Marche families.

“My father taught me not just about cooking, but about food sourcing and sustainable farming. When I was growing up, these were not trends; they were and still are the way of life for Italians,” says Chef Trabocchi. “These are the core values that will shape the culinary direction at Casa Luca.”

The menu will include charcuterie and cheese selections, Le Marche flatbreads such as crescia and chichì, antipasti and salads del campo (from the fields), housemade pastas, and main courses, such as roasted and grilled meats and fish. Presentations will be straightforward, allowing the fresh, seasonal ingredients to shine. Traditional dishes will take on a rustic elegance, appealing to modern palates craving familiar flavors, such as:

  • Montefeltro Flatbread “Crescia” with Broccoli Rabe
  • “Chichirichì di Offida” Stuffed with Onions and Roasted Peppers
  • Mussels Alicia with Tomato Marinara
  • San Leo Ravioli of Greens, Parmigiano, Lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs
  • Scrippelle ’Mbusse Crepes of Pecorino, Truffles, and Hen Consomme
  • Monkfish with Baby Artichokes, Scallions and Dill “Porchetta” style
  • Giuseppe “Braciole” Pork Chop with Zolfino Beans “Cacciatora” style
  • Salami al Cioccolato Marchigiano, in small and large sizes to share

In the spirit of traditional Italian osterie that offered only one dish daily, Casa Luca will feature rotating daily specials such as Lamb Chop “Scottadito” on Tuesdays and Porchetta Ascolana on Thursdays.

Chef Trabocchi hopes to cultivate a traditional tavern feel for the bar with approachable beverage options and a convivial ambiance. Wine on tap - vino alla spina - is customary in small towns across Italy, and Casa Luca will offer several sparkling, white and red selections on tap. To remove the inhibition and confusion of price from guests’ wine selection, Wine Director John Toigo will offer 20 accessible, food friendly bottles from across Italy and Spain – 10 whites and 10 reds – at only $28. Traditional Italian aperitifs and liquors will take a place of pride on Bar Manager Jeff Faile’s well-curated cocktail menu.

Casa Luca’s interior design will evoke the warm atmosphere Trabocchi family dinners in both Italy and Spain. Much like the menu, traditional and artisanal accents will coexist harmoniously within the modern exterior framework of the building. The interior will showcase hand-blown glass lamps from producer Gordiola in Maria Trabocchi’s home of Mallorca and hand printed textiles from a family of artisans at Antica Stamperia Marchi near the Le Marche coast, juxtaposed against the sleek building façade.

Visit the Casa Luca website or follow us on Twitter!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sweet Simplicity: Rhubarb

Pastry Chef Tom Wellings is giving a perennial Fiola favorite - the zuppa inglese - a spring makeover! Chef Tom is now offering a vanilla-mascarpone custard set with pectin, served with plump segments of blood oranges macerated in sugar and extra virgin olive oil, topped with sweet and tart rhubarb-limoncello granita.

Pastry Chef Tom Wellings' Spring Panna Cotta

Spots in Our Summer Wine Tasting Sessions Still Available

Wine Director John Toigo
Price $85 per person, including a tasting of foods selected for pairing and a class packet featuring wine specifications, tasting notes, and more.

All classes are held from 5:30 to 7 pm.

*****Waiting List Only*****
Thursday, May 2, 2013
“Bubbles for All Occasions”
From Champagne to Prosecco to Franciacorta … the methods and makers of sparkling wines and what makes the amazing Italian sparklers such a good value.
  • Mazzolino, Metodo Classico, Brut, Rose, Oltrepo Pavese, Lombardy NV
  • Ferrari, “Perle”, Metodo Classico, Brut, Trento 2006
  • Ca’ del Bosco, Brut, Franciacorta, Lombardy NV 
  • Pierre Moncuit, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, Le Mesnil, Champagne, Frane NV
  • Billecart-Salmon, Brut, Rose, Mareuil-Sur-Ay, Champagne, France NV
  • Zardetto, Prosecco, Brut, Veneto, Italy NV
  • Giacomo Bologna, “Braida”, Bracchetto d’Acqui, Piedmont, Italy 2010
Thursday, June 6, 2013
“The World Cup of Pinot Noir”
In the wine cellar as on the soccer field, there are different styles. We’ll taste pinot noirs from France, Italy and the United States , as well as a newcomer from New Zealand.
  • Ca’ del Bosco, “Pinero”, Sebino, Lombardy, Italy 2007
  • Frédéric Magnien, “Herbuottes”, Morey-Saint-Denis, Burgundy, France 2007
  • Clouds Rest, “Limited Release”, Sonoma Coast, CA 2007
  • Loimer, “Dechant”, Kamptal, Austria 2007
  • Bodega Chacra, “Barda”, Mendoza, Argentina  2010
  • Spy Valley, “Envoy”, Marlborough, New Zealand 2007
Thursday, July 11, 2013
“Maria’s Favorite Wines of Spain”
These are the Spanish wines we love to drink.
  • Lopez de Heredia, “Viña Tondonia”, Tempranillo, Reserva, Rioja 2001
  • Lopez de Heredia, “Viña Tondonia”, Tempranillo, Grand  Reserva, Rioja  1994
  • Jean Leon, “Vinya La Scala”, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grand Reserva, Penedes 2001
  • Jean Leon, “Vinya La Scala”, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grand Reserva, Penedes 1994
  • Los Astrales, “Astrales”, Tempranillo, Ribera Del Duero, 2009
  • Anima Negra, “AN”, Callet/Mantonegre/Fogoneu, Mallorca, Spain 2010
Frequently Asked Questions
To register for classes or for more information, please email us at or call (202) 628-2888.

Payment must be made at the time of reservation. Email for credit card authorization form.

Class Cancellation Policy
Cancellations with a full refund are accepted up to 72 hours prior to tasting date. No refunds will be granted for cancellations after this point. 

If we must cancel or reschedule the class for any reason, your registration fee will be refunded or you may elect to transfer your balance to a future class.

There are no prerequisites for our classes. Our goal is to build our customer’s confidence in selecting wines and increase their enjoyment of wines.  

Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
If you are registered for one of our classes and have an allergy or dietary restriction, please let us know in advance by emailing  so that we can do our best to accommodate you.