The importance of family in Italian culture isn’t a cliché—at least not for DC chef Fabio Trabocchi and his wife, Maria. They named their latest restaurant, Casa Luca, after their 9-year-old son Luca. It’s been open since July 5 and while more casual than their modern upscale restaurant Fiola, it still showcases Fabio Trabocchi’s authentic Italian cuisine.
From the menu items to the antique china-inspired plates, everything at Casa Luca is meant to feel like home. The food is inspired by the Italian region of Le Marche, where Fabio Trabocchi grew up.
“We call it ‘Casa’ because it really defines the word ‘home,’ and ‘Luca’ because it’s the link of the third generation,” says Trabocchi. “I learned a lot about food from my dad, and Luca nowadays likes to hang out in the kitchen.”
Though the restaurant focuses on family—its interior walls feature vintage pictures of the chef’s father and other relatives—the real star here is the food. The chef’s favorite dish is scrippelle‘mbusse, a little-known dish from Italy’s Abruzzo region, which comprises savory crepes made with hen broth. All pastas are made in-house with fresh ingredients, a holdover from Fabio Trabocchi’s childhood when he and his father, a former farmer, would pick foods from nearby fields. Trabocchi has also recreated ciauscolo, a salami from his native region.
Drinks are similarly artisanal here, with Italian wines both on tap and by the bottle selected exclusively by the chef’s friend, LiaTolaini of Tolaini Winery in Tuscany.
“I always wanted to do a restaurant that was based on very good quality ingredients, and where more people can taste the food that I grew up with in Italy.” 1099 New York Ave. NW, 202-628-1099