Mazel to Mike Isabella. The Top Chef Las Vegas alum and bona fide TC All-Star unveiled plans for his own restaurant this week. Mike is bringing home-style Italian to D.C. with Graffiato, his two-story, 145-seat restaurant in Washington's Penn Quarter, according to the Washington Post. "This will be food I grew up eating, prepared by my grandmother," Mike told the paper.
He said he plans to "keep it simple" at Graffiato, serving up dishes like wood-fired pizza and stuffed ravioli. In addition to keeping it simple, he's also keeping it in the TC family -- fellow Top Chef Vegas cheftestant Bryan Voltaggio is one of his investors.
Mike had been head chef at José Andrés' Zaytinya in D.C. for the past three years, but announced his plans to leave for his own venture in July. He's aiming for a February 2011 opening for Graffiato. If you can't wait, you can catch him in action when Top Chef All-Stars premiers December 1st.
What do you think -- is Mike's cuisine worth a trip to D.C.?
All I have to say is I love Bryan V. He should have won Top Chef. What a gentleman. AND helping Mike by being one of his investors just proves what a great guy he is. Love you Bryan! Of course wish Mike I all the best!
Mike had his highs and lows as a chef on TC -but he had some competion for sure. It was a strong group of chefs. I would try out his resturant for sure.I am from the DC area and still have family and friends there. I wish him good luck. OliveAnne FloridaFan
Thats awesome! Congrats Mike! Wishing you all the best in your new venture, your cousins, Patti & Lori
Mike makes brussell sprouts taste unbelievably good, I can't wait to try what he considers his best dishes.