|Graffiato, with Mike Isabella working in the back|
Maybe the most anticipated restaurant-opening of the year has finally happened, and from the looks of things, we weren't the only ones excited to try Mike Isabella's Graffiato.
You walk into Graffiato and you see a long bar (full of people) that turns into a pizza bar--the only distinction is the pizza oven behind the bar. Late at night, when only the pizza oven, and not the actual kitchen, operates we imagine the downstairs becomes on lively bar/pizza scene.
|Mike Isabella works at his restaurant|
The decor is minimal. Exposed brick, wood benches at the booths (no cushions) and plain, wood tables. The tables in the middle are plain as well, and have cold, metal chairs surrounding them. As one person at our table said, "I guess they're really focused on the food."
|Prosecco didn't |
stay full long enough
to snap a pic
The famous chicken thighs with pepperoni sauce come with three pre-cut bites of chicken - and we mean "bites" literally. They are not doused in Isabella's famous sauce, but there is a little sauce underneath them that you will spend most of your time trying to sop up as much as possible onto the chicken.
|The pizzas are larger|
While the food was somewhat of a disappointment, especially from a celebrity chef (to be fair, we did have high expectations), the service is really great at Graffiato, especially for opening week. The wait staff is always there when you need something, but otherwise doesn't hover over your table. There is a huge support wait staff too, constantly filling your glass with complimentary still or sparkling water - a nice touch. They even come around and clean up the mess you made with the pepperoni sauce before you stick your arm in it trying to eat your next dish.
Graffiato is fun. The scene is vibrant and loud. Being open late adds a lot to the neighborhood, and a late night pizza and prosecco after a Verizon Center event will be fun. The food could use a little work, and we hope it will be perfected. It's not bad, but nothing you will crave going back for. And expect to leave a little hungry.