03. Fiola | The Restaurant Guide 2012 - Design Bureau

03. Fiola | The Restaurant Guide 2012

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

By Lawrence Karol

Great food and great design don’t always go hand in hand—but they should. From a small pizza joint in New York City to a massive art-infused former factory in Sydney, these amazing spaces will sate your appetite for both wonderfully-prepared dishes and creative interiors.

Washington, DC

Architect Griz Dwight of GrizForm Design is the creative force behind James Beard “Best New Restaurant” Nominee Fiola, an upscale trattoria in DC. Fiola’s Chef Fabio Trabacchi is known for using common ingredients in extraordinary ways—meatballs topped with a sunny-side-up egg; oysters with lime, ginger, and oyster “granita.”

Dwight followed Trabacchi’s lead in the design by transforming the previously dreary, chopped-up space using natural materials such as rosewood and stone. “A lot of restaurant designs have a rusticity, but that doesn’t mean the space has to look unfinished,” he says. “We wanted to combine earthy, warm materials in a more upscale and unexpected way.” This included wrapping interior columns in golden silk oak leaves and channel glass and creating an alfresco feel with a stone wall whose arched openings give diners a peek into the kitchen. Large ultra-modern chandeliers are set in gilded domes, which Dwight says amplify the warmth of all the natural elements used throughout the restaurant. They also give off a tremendous glow that you can see from the street—perhaps adding a bit of sparkle to a town that can sometimes take itself a little too seriously.

FOOD: Rustic Italian

DON'T MISS DISH: Dwight recommends the Salumeria




   Design nirvana.

   Did someone say ‘wow’?

   Pretty damn cool.


   Calling for a redesign.

Knock it down and start again.

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