I LOVE reality TV.  My friends say it’s because I’m drawn to the drama.  I think it’s because I enjoy seeing people do things that I can’t.  Like carry a tune, cook amazeballs food, or make couture clothes out of items from a pet store.

I guess it’s no surprise then that I was a huge fan of Top Chef Season 8 (all-stars). It had all the excitement and drama that good reality TV should have.  Remember when Jen Carroll got eliminated? Now that’s my kind of TV.

One of our faves toward the end of season 8 was Mike Isabella.  So when Isabella’s new restaurant, Graffiato, opened this past summer in DC, we were really excited to check it out.  We actually ate there in early July, so this post is a wee bit overdue.  But not to worry, we wrote down all of our thoughts right after the meal……when the pepperoni sauce was fresh in our mind. 🙂

Graffiato is a really nice place with a cool vibe.  We sat upstairs, but took a quick peek at the bar area downstairs and it was crowded.  That’s always a good sign.  Once upstairs, we were fortunate to sit at a table with a pretty good view of the kitchen.  Perfect spot for people and food watching.

Graffiato’s menu is split into a couple of sections: Vegetate, Salad and Soup, Pizza, Wood Fired, etc.  We decided to order a la carte, opting for items that got good reviews on yelp.

We started with the bread basket + two items from the Vegetate section — peppers and cipollini onions.  The peppers were average, but the onions were really tasty, especially on the bread.

From the wood fired section, we ordered the king crab leg (with sea urchin) and chicken thigh with pepperoni sauce (yes, the sauce from the show!).  Mr. Chow and I thought the king crab leg was EXTRA salty and we weren’t quite sure where the sea urchin went?  For $19, we definitely want to taste sea urchin.   The chicken thigh with pepperoni sauce was pretty tasty.  The sauce, of course, stole the show like how Alex stole Ed’s pea puree.

We followed that up with Roasted Potato Gnocchi and Sweet Corn Agnolotti from the pasta section.  The pasta is where Mike Isabella redeemed himself.   The gnocchi was awesome. Delicate, delicious, perfect.

And the sweet corn agnolotti?  Hallelujer!  This dish was SO. GOOD.  Angelo would undoubtedly have an R-rated moment with it.

We also ordered the Countryman pizza, per the recommendation of our very friendly and helpful waiter.  The pizza comes with black truffle, fontina, and an egg yolk.  It was worth a try, but next time we might opt for something else.

For dessert we had the Chocolate Tart.  Tasty, but pretty standard.

Overall we liked Graffiato.  It has a fun vibe, great service, and a menu with something for everyone. Plus, it’s pretty cool to see Mike Isabella at work, serving up amazing pastas and pepperoni sauce that would make Gail Simmons and cousin Antonia proud.

707 6th St NW
(at N G St)
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 289-3600


About Chow DC

We have have been eating our way through the DC metro area since 2005. Many calories later, we thought it’d be fun to share our food adventures with anyone crazy enough to listen. We are not food experts by any means, we just love to eat and will try anything once. Although we love a fancy meal, we strive to balance the price, popularity, diversity, and location of our dining experiences. Please contact us with questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you! chownowdc at Follow us on twitter: @chownowDC
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2 Responses to Graffiato

  1. I’m really enjoying your blog! I moved to the DC area a couple of years ago to attend culinary school. School and work kept me so busy that I haven’t really had a chance to explore the DC food scene, which is overwhelming. Keep em coming!

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