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Graffiato Opens Thurs. June 23

by Prince Of Petworth June 20, 2011 at 10:30 am 19 Comments

From a press release:

Top Chef All-Stars Runner-Up Mike Isabella will open his first restaurant, Graffiato, in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on June 23. The no-frills two-story eatery, composed of bricks, cinder blocks, wooden booths and teak composite countertops, is a raw space reminiscent of the Italian bistros Chef Isabella grew up frequenting in New Jersey, yet the menu is anything but traditional Italian fare. Artisanal pizzas, house-made seasonal vegetable dishes, locally procured meats and cheeses and Italian-inspired small plates comprise the menu, which is sourced almost entirely from the East Coast.

Graffiato is a two-story 5,000-square-foot space with industrial finishings. The steel-covered wood oven is the centerpiece of the first floor, surrounded by a cinder-block bar and chairs for a dozen guests to dine while interacting with Chef Isabella and his pizzaiolos. Concrete floors, original exposed brick and barn lights bring an outdoor feel inside. Wooden tables, handcrafted by Chef Isabella and his father-in-law, compliment the wooden booths and the simplicity of the design.

The second floor seats about 100, including a ham bar with a table-height wooden counter for seven guests. Cured meats and fresh-stretched mozzarella are prepared at this station. Unlike a traditional charcuterie bar, the hooks hanging above the counter display various meat cleavers instead of hams.


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