CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – A Coral Gables restaurant led by an award-winning chef and his wife is bringing the authentic tastes of Italy right into South Florida’s backyard.

You’ll feel and taste the ultimate in luxury and fine dining at Fiola Ristorante & Bar. The first restaurant venue outside of Fabio and Maria Trabocchi’s famed eatery in Washington D.C.

Fabio is a James Beard Award-winning chef and bringing Fiola to Miami was Maria’s idea.

“Since I’m Spanish and I grew up on an island, I was like why don’t we go to the south, to the beach, to warmer weather. Miami always caught my attention, Miami was on my radar and here we are,” said Maria.

Fiola is named after their daughter and it means ‘sweetheart’ in Italian.

The space is elegant and inviting.

Housed in the contemporary classic style dining room are thousands of bottles of wines from all over the world in all price ranges. When asked how many wines the restaurant carries, Maria said, “Not enough and today one less.”

Executive Chef Michael Fusano brings to life Fiola’s classic Italian inspired dishes, including the Fisherman Style Local Snapper. (CBS4Miami)

Back in the kitchen, Executive Chef Michael Fusano, who was with the team in D.C., translates Fabio’s menu that’s inspired by regional Italian classic dishes, local seasonal ingredients, and family traditions.

His talents are clear from the start with the intricately detailed and delicate dish called ‘Fisherman Style Local Snapper,’ which is served tableside.

Fiola’s Fisherman Style Local Snapper (CBS4Miami)

“Chef Michael knows exactly and has that passion and that way of cooking that’s so Italian,” said Maria.

They sample the beef short rib agnolotti with mushrooms, toasted hazelnuts, and fossa cheese.

Beef Short Rib Agnolotti with Mushrooms, Toasted Hazelnuts and Fossa Cheese. (CBS4Miami)

Next, a wild Hamachi with fresh wasabi, butterfly peas and bison beef tartare mixed at the table with a raw duck egg on top, another Fiola favorite.


Wild Hamachi with fresh wasabi, butterfly peas and bison beef tartare mixed with a raw duck egg. (CBS4Miami)

Maria, who handles the front of the house, had unique challenges in the D.C. restaurant she won’t find here.

“When we first opened in Washington, I didn’t know anything about politics. So, the first thing I did was buy the current book of Congress and memorized everyone,” said Maria. “That way, I would know who was a Republican and who was a Democrat and what state. Then, when I saw the names I knew I couldn’t sit them together.”

Fiola is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

Explore Fiola’s menu and offerings here.

Lisa Petrillo