Dinner tonight between Fiolas and JW Marriott
If you are talking about today, then this post isn't going to be much help.
I don't know what to make of your phrase "... don't usually eat Italian." Why not? The answer to that question may be the clue to solving your conflict. If you've only eaten Italian American food, what many call Red-Sauce Restaurants, then you haven't tried Italian food, the type of food that Fiola serves.
But let's just accept your premise, you really don't like Italian. Fiola's menu is super simple to convert into a straightforward seafood menu.
Order a half dozen oysters. Now you might not be able to get cocktail sauce in this Italian establish, but a squeeze of lemon is really all good quality oysters need.
Order the Adriatic Brodetto. That's simply a mixed fish and seafood stew with a touch of tomatoe. Have you ever enjoyed bouillabaisse or cioppino? If so, you'll enjoy Brodetto
Order simply grilled fish. I'm confident that the restaurant will be willing to simply grill any species of fish that appears on the menu.
I can't think of a single reason to eat at the JW Marriott in particular when the alternative is Fiola's. I can name several worthwhile restaurants that are located within other DC hotels. In contrast, I can't name any of the restaurants in the JW Marriott. In fact, I just went to the JW Marriott web site. Their dining options are not highlighted at all. You have to follow the link to Hotel Details where information like Guest Room Information and Arrival Information is of equal importance to dining. This is in contrast to the Park Hyatt Hotel where there is a link to dining on the home page and deservedly so. The wonderful Blue Duck Tavern is located in this hotel. Ditto for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel which houses the awesome CityZen.
Many thanks to both posters. While we were having drinks at the lovely Fiolas, another part of our group arrived in DC after all, in time to have dinner so we met at the Hamilton, steps away from our hotel. It was nice to spend time with them, but food was just or less than ok. My husband said his sushi was good. My beef and nochi (sp) was ok, a little rich. My calamari wasn't good. The hummus appetizer and one of the dips was tasty. This place was huge and very busy.
We will probably be with the same party tonight. Definitely interested in Bistro Bar and would love to reconsider Fiolas. My husband doesn't eat pasta, and I eat it seldomly. We usually avoid Italian because there are always so many wonderful places so it's a way to narrow down our choices. Indy 67, appreciate your tip on how to check websites for restaurant info.The Adriatic Brodetto would be to die for for me.
Thanks again Indy 67 and Ipsedixit. Your posts were not too late, and I'll be coming to DC a few times a year.
"...My husband said his sushi was good"
Now that I've learned your husband likes sushi, you may have another option at an Italian restaurant. Does your husband like sashimi? If so, he could happily start his meal with crudo. That's the Italian version of sashimi. Admittedly, the way the fish is sliced is quite different and the Italian version is typically dressed with good quality olive oil and salt and pepper or herbs or a squeeze of citrus. Still, the family relationship between sashimi and crudo is obvious.
Incidentally, I've never seen crudo offered in entrée-size portions, but I could happily make an entree out of several plates of crudo. In fact, the tasting menu on the web site includes two crudo (or crudo-esque) courses in its six course offerings: scallop crudo, and seared tuna. The regular menu includes razor clam crudo and tuna carpaccio which is, for all practical purposes, the same as crudo.
Hi DC chow hounders. Here are final words on my DC trip.
We did not eat at any Marriott restaurants, but we attended a reception. where the food and snacks were lackluster though service was friendly. If any one wants to know specifics, let me know. I did a walk through the Willard because of it's special historical significance and had lunch at the Willard's Cafe du Parc. The Caeser salad was excellent, just the right amount of dressing and flavor. The fish in the fish and chips was the best I've had since I can remember with a light breading crust and very tender cod. Excellent service. French fries on top were crisp and good, but layers below were not crisp.
My husband and I had lunch at Ebbitt's Grill. It's worth a visit just to see the history. My last visit I wasn't impressed with the crab cakes, but I ordered them again at double the price from 5 years ago. They had lots of crab, but were a little dry with very little sauce or dressing. I used some of my husband's sauce that came with his calamari. Calamari was exceptionally good, and he was pleased with his oysters. The chard with my crab was a little too bitter. We always enjoy visiting Washington DC. DC hounds, I so appreciated your suggestions and am looking forward to Fiola and Bistro Bar on our next trip.
Indy 67: a note on sushi, sashimi and crudo. If sashimi and crudo are both raw, that would be an excellent selection for him. He loves raw seafood and steak just waved over the fire. He on occasion does order 2 0r 3
smaller plates of sashimi. I was told sushi can be either raw or not. I should look that up.