The Wharf has many upscale options for diners to choose from, but the most expensive option, Del Mar, radiates high class inside and out. Owners Fabio and Maria Trabocchi realize their fifth and most upscale restaurant (Fiola, Fiola Mare, Casa Luca, and Sfoglina are the others) “is not your every night option, but hopefully it is your special night out option.” The Spanish-themed restaurant offers valet parking and requires a dress code (no flip-flops or T-shirts, etc.) making for “the most upscale restaurant in The Wharf,” Maria says. Although that may put off some possible diners, Maria shares the same view as the other owner: Each restaurant has a different theme and clientele. Del Mar is no different. What is different is the personalization the couple is putting into their newest restaurant. Maria is at the door every night greeting diners, while husband Mario leads the kitchen day in and day out.
From food critic Tim Sietsema of The Washington Post (three visits already) to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bands headlining The Anthem, Del Mar is rapidly bringing new visitors to the Southwest waterfront. With each new visitor a new perspective is gained and word of mouth travels quickly.
The beautiful two-story, 300-seat restaurant pays homage to Maria’s home in Mallorca, Spain. The nearly all-seafood restaurant also offers Spanish classics like jamón ibérico and patatas bravas. The Post’s Sietsema echoes Maria’s recommendation: The not-to-be-missed dish is the traditional seafood paella. Spanish wines by the glass and bottle meet their match with variations on the national Spanish cocktail, the Gintonic. There are also sangrias (with a surprise twist), signature cocktails, and Spanish beers to round out the drink menu.
With the more reasonable Presto Menu (available Tuesday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) the restaurant offers your choice of beverage and entrée for $20 at the wraparound, 18-seat bar. The Sunset Menu (Tuesday to Sunday, 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.) diners can choose from dishes starting at $17. There is also a brunch menu along with traditional lunch and dinner menus.