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How Fiola Miami Became a Hub For Exclusive Wine and Food Events

Fiola Miami founder Thomas Angelo and his team bring Italian legends in wine and food to Coral Gables, hosting high-end dinners with the likes of Gaja, Antinori, and more.

Thomas Angelo at Fiola Miami

Thomas Angelo is the restaurateur behind Fiola Miami.

The Miami area has its share of luxurious, money-is-no-object restaurants, and Fiola Miami is quickly becoming known as one of the top spots for Italian cuisine and wines in this category. Especially given what happened toward the end of 2023, when the sister restaurant of Fabio Trabocchi’s Michelin-starred Washington DC flagship hosted a succession of wine dinners with per-person price tags from $600 and up. Among them were visits from Italian standouts Gaia Gaja and Emanuele Baldi of Antinori Prunotto. 

Miami lawyer and restaurateur Thomas Angelo, who brought in Trabocchi to open a Fiola in Coral Gables in 2018, is a wine connoisseur who describes the restaurant as a “passion project.” 

Fabio Trabocchi and Danny Ganem
Fiola founder Fabio Trabocchi with Fiola Miami executive chef Daniel Ganem.

Yet he and his team, including executive chef Daniel Ganem, a Miami hospitality vet, and head sommelier and beverage director Daniel Bishop, who came to South Florida after working at award-winning San Francisco restaurant Delfina, are able to pull off elegant, elevated wine dinners with elite collaborators.

After a busy year in 2023, working not only with Gaja and Antinori but Vega Sicilia, Napa wineries Harlan and Bond, and other A-list wine and spirits brands, Fiola Miami will next host a “Quattro Mani Collaboration” February 6 and 7. For two nights, Ristorante Due Camini’s Michelin-Starred Chef Domingo Schingaro will share the kitchen with Ganem, with wines from the Borgo Egnazia estate in Puglia. (Reservations are available through Resy or OpenTable; more information and the menu at the Fiola Miami website.)

Thomas Angelo and Gaia Gaja.
Thomas Angelo and Gaia Gaja at Fiola Miami.

In an interview with Appetito, Angelo explains that many of these special dinners come about through his personal relationships, which he’s developed during frequent trips to Italy. The son of an Italian immigrant father from Puglia and mother from Basilicata, he returns to the region at least once a year, he says, often at Borgo Egnazia, which Condé Nast Traveler calls “One of the loveliest places to stay in all of Italy.”

“I was one of the first guests at Borgo Egnazia,” Angelo says. “I became friends with the lead sommelier, Giuseppe Cupertino, who has been there from day one, and who is now a renowned figure in Italian wine circles. He and I became friends, and I go back at least once a year, if not twice. That's part of how I met Gaia and developed these relationships.”

Angelo adds that Trabocchi “can’t even believe we do these dinners. He’s just stunned.” 

Daniel Bishop pouring wine at Fiola Miami
Daniel Bishop pouring wine at Fiola Miami.

Bishop, as sommelier, seems stunned as well, noting that Angelo has given him the leverage to build a list of 1,650 labels including classics from Italy’s best-known wine regions, as well as an extensive list of California wines. He adds that it’s already one of the biggest and most impressive wine lists in Florida, while Angelo notes, “It’s my goal to have the best wine list in Florida.” 

With friends like Gaia Gaja and Giuseppe Cupertino dropping by, it seems like Fiola Miami has an unfair competitive advantage. 

Of course, it should be noted that the restaurant isn’t always hosting such glamorous guests, and that the team has developed other creative offerings beyond Ganem’s acclaimed daily menus. Among them are a pasta omakase, a $145 tasting menu featuring six pasta courses and dessert (for $145 per person); and Sunday Family Dinner, a $65 prix-fixe with an impressive family-style menu of pastas, mains, appetizers; and desserts. Additionally, Fiola Miami hosts themed nights that cater to Coral Gables’ Latin community, such as a Cuban Heritage Night (tonight, January 25), with a La Caja China-inspired barbecue, rum, cigars, music, and art. 


Fiola Miami, 1500 San Ignacio Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146, 305-912-2639, @fiolamiami, fiolamiami.com

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