Faced with construction delays at the former Hook space in Georgetown -- and not wishing to miss what he calls “the biggest party of the year” -- Mike Isabella plans to offer diners a preview of his Mexican restaurant Bandolero at Tackle Box in Cleveland Park, beginning April 19.
Pure Hospitality’s Jonathan Umbel owns both restaurants, along with Hook, which shuttered after a fire in June. The restaurateur recently agreed to Isabella’s request for a temporary, two-week takeover of Tackle Box (3407 Connecticut Ave. NW).
Isabella, the “Top Chef” personality behind Graffiato in Chinatown, stresses that his pop-up taco party won’t be the finished product; the temporary menu will be a tasting concept rather than a la carte, since the kitchens at Tackle Box and Bandolero are different designs. But he figures the staff he’s put together for Bandolero could use the practice, and he doesn’t want the food crowd to lose interest while they wait for the permanent restaurant to open, which is now likely to happen in May.
The short-term experience will cost $65, including tax and tip. While the tasting menu is still in the planning stages, dinners will highlight salsas, “lots of tacos,” and maybe some enchiladas and tamales, Isabella says. Dessert ideas include tres leches in different flavors and a sundae made with churros mixed into ice cream.
On May 5, Isabella will suspend the tasting program and reservations to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with an all-day party beginning at noon.
To book a spot for one of Bandolero’s 6 p.m. dinners in the pop-up Tackle Box space (available Tuesdays through Saturdays from April 19-May 4), go to the restaurant reservation site www.cityeats.com/bandolero. Beginning Monday, April 9, you can also book a reservation by calling 202-625-4488.
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