Top Chef's Mike Isabella's Graffiato opens, cookbook to debut
Top Chef's Mike Isabella's cooking up a sweet life, with his first restaurant venture, Graffiato opening Thursday, and the launch of his first cookbook, Flavors from a Jersey Italian, scheduled for autumn 2012.
The 2-story, 5,000 square foot, Italian-style eatery opens in Penn Quarter, with prosecco on-tap just in time for the dinner rush.
And the former Zaytinya chef couldn't be happier about having full control over his menu, he notes during a behind-the-scenes interview with the Washington City Paper.
Graffiato, opening only for dinner in its early weeks, will serve up a mouthwatering variety of dishes including King Crab Legs, Roasted Potato Gnocchi, Sweet Corn Agnolotti and an array of pizzas. The Countryman pizza is topped with black truffles, fontina and duck egg: strange and wonderful.
Graffiato's array of cocktails has an ode to romance — the Virginia is for Lovers shakes up catoctin creek gin, local wine, carpano, orange infused aperol and blood orange bitters. Pouring beers and craft sodas — the Real Soda "looks like orange, tastes like grape" — patrons won't leave dry.
And the stories behind Isabella's love affair with pizza will unveil in his cookbook — a collaborative effort between his wife Stacy Isabella and Carol Blymire, the Alinea at Home writer.
What takes a cookbook from good to great are the stories behind the chef and his or her food,” Blymire writes in an email to the Washington Post's Tim Carman. “A good sommelier pairs wines with food in a way that brings out the best in both. As a writer, I want to do the same thing — unearth those anecdotes and experiences that tell the story of Mike Isabella through the food he cooks so that people who buy the book and cook from it feel that connection, you know?
Nutella cookies? We're already smitten.
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