Restaurants and chefs don't deny. They all know when food critics go to their restaurants. They know how to spot them. Because they go at random times of the day, single tables or the way they behave.
Fiola Mare in Georgetown goes one step further. Any staff member that spots a reviewer in the dining room wins $500. This is according to one current and one former staff member at the fine dining seafood restaurant with waterfront views. They both spoke under the condition of anonymity.
According to the Washington City Paper, when chef Fabio Trabocchi was asked about this employee behaviors, he did not deny.
Fiola Mare received three stars from Post critic Tom Sietsema and was named the number one restaurant in the D.C. area by Washingtonian magazine in 2016. The restaurant also earned a RAMMY Award in 2015 for "best new restaurant" of the year, as determined by an anonymous panel of food writers.