Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dinner With A Top Chef

So if you don't watch Top Chef, you won't appreciate this post, but Mike Isabella was a star on two seasons of Top Chef, and was the runner-up on Top Chef All Stars. We love to watch Top Chef and Mike Isabella was always a favorite of ours, because he was from DC and was the chef at a restaurant in the building where Walt works downtown, Zaytinya. Now he has his own hip happening restaurant downtown, Graffiato, and we went there last night with Julia to celebrate both Walt's and my birthdays.

Pork belly with cannelini beans and ham
The menu is all small plates, so you get a nice selection of different tastes and flavors, brought out in succession. Of course I completely forgot to take pictures until the end of the meal, so you won't see the crispy brussels sprouts with maple, pancetta, and egg, or the roasted cauliflower with pecorino cheese, the risotto with lobster and mascarpone, the chestnut agnolotti with butternut squash and brussels leaves, or the scallops with sunchokes, citrus, and almonds that we enjoyed. They were de-li-cious. We wanted to lick the plates.  I did finally remember my camera, and got pictures of the pork belly with cannelini beans and the pizza with black truffles, fontina, and a farmed soft egg. Dessert was a dense chocolate tart with sea salt gelato and the specialty of the restaurant, zeppoles.

Pizza with black truffle, fontina cheese, and farmed soft egg

Looking out the window from our table
Zeppoles with autumn spices and pumpkin caramel
After dinner, Julia spoke to the waiter and asked if we could meet Mike Isabella, and told her it was our birthdays. (Sometimes it's good to have an assertive daughter.) So we got to meet Mike, talk about his experience on Top Chef (I asked about Padma, and yes, he is still friends with several of the other contestants), and he even put his arm around me and posed for a picture with moi!! So cool! It was a really fun night.

Julia and me
Oh, and I almost forgot, the coolest thing is they have prosecco on tap! Woo hoo!


  1. Wow, sounds like dinner at Graffiato was awesome! I think the menu is more interesting at dinner than at lunch.