Strictly Scuttlebutt, Though Very Sweet Scuttlebutt: Chef Mike Isabella Also Coming to 14th and W St, NW?

I’m so glad you guys like scuttlebutt because this is a really good one…

Chef Mike Isabella seems to be on a roll. First the Italian Graffiato in Chinatown, then yesterday we got word of a new Mexican spot coming to Georgetown, and now I’m hearing rumors of another Isabella spot coming to the/near the new project being built at 14th and W St, NW. Word on the street is that it will be a Greek restaurant but I also heard it could be a pizza spot so who knows. But if a new Chef Mike Isabella spot is coming to 14th and W St, NW – that would be a huge score for the neighborhood.

Cross your fingers that this is reliable scuttlebutt. Obviously this project is pretty far down the road as major construction still needs to be completed but I’ll be sure to share more info if/when it becomes available.

18 Comment

  • Love Chef Isabella’s restaurants, but am I the only one tired of pizza (and burger) joints? Piolas is set to move in right across the street and Matchbox a little further down. Greek would be awesome. I just want a little variety that is all (plus nothing will beat Pete’s!).

    • +1 on being tired of pizza & burger joints. I think we’ve reached critical mass.

    • I also like Pete’s, but I think that a little competition wouldn’t hurt. Seems to me that their prices are a little high and service a little bad, and I keep ordering from there because there just aren’t that many good options around. In particular, Pete’s, what’s up with the $3 delivery charge? $25 for a large pizza isn’t enough?

    • Along those lines, can we please be done with small plates? I am tired of paying $8 for three bites.

  • It’s nice to see new restaurants coming but if you are opening accross the street from Fast Gourmet, it’s going to be hard to make me eat anything but a delicious chivito sandwich.

    • So far I am 0 for 2 for good experiences at Fast Gourmet (moldy fruit and not a good sandwich “special”) – so is the Chivito good? I want to like this palce.

      • The chivito is excellent. I know a big group from Uruguay who tried it and said it was like eating one at home. You can’t get a better compliment than that. (Chivito is a thin beef sandwich traditionaly from Uruguay) I also like their milanesa sandwich. I haven’t tried anything else on their menu because I’m hook on the chivito. They also sell alfajores (two small cookies with caramel in the middle) that I love (pretty sure they are home-made by a third party). And I heard their flan is really good but I haven’t tried it yet. The chivito and milanesa sandwiches may seem a little pricey at first, but they make sense when you see what you get.

  • Matchbox is not good pizza. And Petes quality has gone down. Would LOVE to see Chef Mike open a good pizza place in the ‘hood.

  • Isabella, stick to what you’re good at (Greek) and it ain’t pizza!!

  • Great that the stars aligned and this chef has been able to parlay his Top Chef (or whatever program it was) fame into some (what I presume to be) lucrative restaurant gigs. And I had a very enjoyable meal at Graffiatos a few weeks ago. But I think there’s a point where the only thing a celebrity chef is contributing to a restaurant is his or her name. And that point comes somewhere around the second restaurant. I think this is particularly true when each restaurant serves a different style of cuisine. I thought Isabella’s whole gig was based on recipes from his Italian grandma. Was she Mexican and Greek too? I’m definitely not hating on the guy. I wish him the best. I just think it’s a bit of a misconception to view multiple restaurants as distincly “Chef [fill in the blank].” He probably won’t be “cooking” at either one.

    • He (and his grandmother) is Italian.
      But he earned his stripes under Jose Andres at Zatanyia (a Spanish chef who is a little more than successful crossing cuisines/cultures).
      I am excited for small plates Mexican up the road from my office and (hopefully) Greek down the road from my apartment.

  • “love chef Isabella’s restaurants…”
    Restaurants? He only has 1. It has only been open for 5 months. His interest seems to be in making money from style rather than dedicating himself to the substance of making good food. The difference between a working chef and a TV chef.

  • …sniff …sniff …HAPPY tears !!

  • There is something worrisome about any business owner who is already taking his/her eye off of their first business before even hitting the 1-year mark. Any entrepreneur out there will know that you can never pay a manager/exec chef enough to care about your business as much as you do, and jumping into new ventures before old ones are stabilized is a very dangerous decision to make. In the food industry, one of the fastest ways to bury oneself is to get caught up in one’s own (initial) success, and jump into subsequent restaurants prematurely. I wish him well, but to me, this is an indication that he is not driven by the product or experience he delivers to his patrons, but by lining his pockets, and that is a recipe for a restaurant unraveling.

Comments are closed.