You can say this about Mike Isabella: he’s not afraid of letting other chefs take the spotlight at Graffiato . In fact, come January, he is unveiling a pair of new events at his Italian-inspired Penn Quarter restaurant during which he will be leaving the kitchen for a seat in the dining room.
The first event, which kicks off on January 7th, will see a rotation of Isabella’s chef buddies taking over the open kitchen on the first Monday of each month for what is being billed as an “Industry Takeover.” Though open to the public, the event, which runs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., is designed as a gathering place for restaurant folk after their shifts have ended. “It’s really a way of giving back to some of the different chefs who I've worked with throughout the years,” says Isabella, “They’ll have fun and I get to hang out with them.”
The guest toques will serve up complimentary snacks on the first floor, while the bar serves drink specials. The event is launching with some big names. The first guest will be Bryan Voltaggio and his head mixologist at Range , Owen Thomson. The following month (Feb. 4), Scott Drewno of the Source will be joined by Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki Underground .
On January 13, Isabella’s sous chef, Adam Brick, will debut a tasting menu he developed that uses the rare cuts from the whole animals the restaurant goes through each week. “We’re a busy restaurant, and there are certain gems that we can’t use to just do one dish with,” says Isabella. “We wanted to do something really creative and fun with it.” The limited 12-course menu will be available to 12 guests each week, priced at $85 and served at the small second floor ham bar. The selection will be one for adventurous diners, expect dishes made of pig snout, tuna marrow and lamb neck among other. The menu will be served at 8 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays.
Visit Graffiato’s website for more information on both events.