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Chef Mike Isabella’s Bandolero Temporarily Taking Over Tackle Box in Cleveland Park

by Prince Of Petworth April 5, 2012 at 11:30 am 16 Comments

3407 Connecticut Ave, NW

From a press release:

While Bandolero is still under construction in Georgetown, Chef Mike Isabella can wait no longer to share his taco-centric, margarita-laden menu with Washingtonians, so he is taking over Tackle Box in Cleveland Park. Jonathan Umbel, owner of Pure Hospitality LLC and both restaurants, is temporarily closing the Cleveland Park Tackle Box location to make room for a preview of the Bandolero experience. A five-course menu will be offered on select evenings April 19 through May 4, and reservations are available exclusively through CityEats On Cinco de Mayo, Bandolero at Tackle Box will be open all day serving food and drinks a la carte.

“Bandolero construction is taking longer than expected, so we are offering the Bandolero experience at another location through Cinco de Mayo,” said Chef/Partner Mike Isabella. “This is another opportunity for our team to test the menu and build anticipation for the official opening in Georgetown later this spring.”

The five-course tasting menu will feature Mexican dips, tacos, enchiladas, and other dishes with Chef Isabella’s touches, and like all of his menus, dishes may change frequently. Most courses will include a choice of dishes, as well as a vegetarian option. The $65 menu includes tax and gratuity. Head mixologist, Sam Babcock will also offer a cocktail pairing, as well as a la carte beverages like his prickly pear margarita. Walk-ins are welcome to dine and imbibe at the bar.

Reservations are recommended and available through CityEats for seatings beginning at 6pm on the following dates:

Thursday, April 19 – Saturday, April 21
Tuesday, April 24 – Saturday, April 28
Tuesday, May 1 – Friday, May 4

Reservations: www.cityeats.com/bandolero

Cinco de Mayo
On Saturday, May 5 Bandolero at Tackle Box will open from 12pm to 1am to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. All food and beverages will be available a la carte, and reservations are not needed. From 5 to 7pm, guests 21 and over can enjoy samples of the Bandolero signature margarita made with Espolón Blanco, Patrón Citronage, blood orange and lime.

Tackle Box in Cleveland Park
3407 Connecticut Ave. NW

  • ET

    “Mike Isabella can wait no longer to share his taco-centric, margarita-laden menu with Washingtonians,”

    This is the line that makes me hate press releases. It was written in such a way to make readers feel like Mike is doing everyone a favor and all the “taco-centric” that already exists is crap and he is going to save us. Sure some of it is crap but sheeet, you don’t have to say it.

  • Sam

    So… What’s happening with Tackle Box?

    They had a sign up recently saying they were closed because of a broken vent in the kitchen. Was that true? Do they plan to remain in business?

    • I’ve walked by that place a few dozen times over the past couple months at all times of day and it is always nearly empty.

      Then again, when they charge you ~20 bucks for a lobster roll that is nothing more than a shrimp sized piece of lobster in a fleishmans hot dog bun, when do they expect. I tried it when it opened and haven’t been back once.

      • Randall Stevens

        Agree completely! this place is AWFUL. Some of the worst food in the area + expensive.

      • LP

        +1 A few friends and I went there two weekends ago. The service was slow and the food was way overpriced. I was ok with the portabella sandwhich, but my bf ordered a fish dish and received only 4 medium-sized shrimp…and they forgot his dipping sauce. We were really disappointed.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not saying the place ain’t overpriced, but the seafood is delicious.

      • Cpguy

        I think Tacklebox is terrible. I went there soon after it opened and have not returned. I can deal with crap food for cheap OR good food at high prices, but crap food at high prices? No thanks!

    • JP

      I agree – I’ve never heard of a restaurant closing temporarily, voluntarily. Granted its the same owner, but maybe he has other plans.

      It’s hard to imagine them keeping those garish fluorescent lights for Bandolero.

      • Anonymous

        how about cafe atlantico closing for america eats? popups are the new cupcakes.

    • Anonymous

      I was wondering if maybe the place wasn’t doing so well. Maybe Isabella can do something with the space.

    • me

      I loved Tackle Box when it first opened.. I thought their grilled trout with the aioli sauce was amazing, and it went really well with rice. Also liked the tomatoes and asparagus as side dishes.. I went back recently, and I haven’t been back since. They took rice off the menu and the quality definitely went downhill.. Too bad..

  • wow

    $65 for 5 courses of Mexican food??!! Wowza! Someone’s laughing all the way to the bank.

  • Jay

    Weird, weirdness with Tackle Box. I though the place had a great concept but has been wildly inconsistent. Loved the fried green tomatoes, grilled veggies and the variety of fish you could get from under $20. The price point was never an issue with me, but sometimes your food would be waaaay over-seasoned, sometimes under-seasoned, there was always confusion about exactly where to go to order and confusion about which parts of the restaurant had table service. Shame, cause the area desperately needed a casual low cost option.

    • JP

      Here, here. My first born child for a diner. Instead, we get another Mexican place..


      The food was horrible went I went. It also cost $60 for two lobster rolls and 2 beers. The least they could do is make it taste good.

  • Anonymous

    Man, you can tell fools don’t know how to handle a decent seafood joint from these comments. Oooh, the lobster roll cost you a lot and wasn’t worth it? Surprise! Probably the same films who once devoured and now scoff at $3 cupcakes. The fried seafood (oysters!) was solid and cheap. Grilled bluefish was great. Sad to see it decline and get tossed off for some overpriced small plates.


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