top 100: graffiato.

Graffiato is one of those restaurants that I decided I liked before I even walked in the door.  First of all, the intriguing Jersey/Italian place is Celebrity Chef Mike Isabella’s first official restaurant endeavor!  (It opened just this past June.)  Isabella has quite the resume: grew up in New Jersey cooking with his Italian-American grandmother, was a Top Chef competitor, then worked under Chef José Andrés at Zaytinya for a few years.  What else is awesome about at Graffiato at first glance?  The menu is composed in (my favorite) small plate style, and there is Prosecco on tap.  Awesome!

Chris & I tried out Graffiato back in the fall… before we knew it was about to be selected as a Top 100 Washingtonian Restaurant!  We went with two other friends, which turned out to be great, because we were able to try out a good number of dishes.  While we were waiting for our table, I took a little trip around the restaurant and checked out the upstairs.  The enormous wood-fired oven at the bar is quite a sight, and though I didn’t catch a glimpse of Isabella, I was super excited for the meal ahead.

Our friend Judd had heard great things about the Chesnut Agnolotti, and it did not disappoint!

I really have not had polenta very much in my life, but I find it so intriguing.  Polenta seems like a mix of mashed potatoes and pasta to me… or pureed pasta, maybe…

When I ordered the Goat with Polenta, I saw the “goat” part and immediately thought… goat cheese!  I guess I forgot that you can eat goat as a meat too.  :)  Delicious though!

The winner, in my opinion, was the Jersey Shore Pizza.  Made up of fried calamari, tomato, provolone, and cherry pepper aioli, I probably wouldn’t have selected it on my own.  (Calamari + pizza sounds like a heart attack!)  However, it was so highly-recommended on Yelp, that we decided to go for it.  Wow.  Definitely a great choice!!

It was also hard to pass up a prosciutto plate.  Even though I eat prosciutto all the time, I’m not very knowledgeable about it.  I couldn’t differentiate between the different types very well, but I certainly enjoyed the spread!  Isn’t the olive oil-streaked display gorgeous?

I really enjoyed Graffiato.  I was sold before I arrived, the food was delicious, and the vibe was right.  I love places with that glamorous, laid-back atmosphere.  Loud and happy, a little rustic, and no stuffiness allowed!  Graffiato was exactly that.  I will say, it’s a pricier place, so you may find yourselves nervously adding up the items as you go — and it’s so easy to lose yourself in the world of small plates!  My goal is to return at some point and try out the Chef’s Tasting Menu, which was recommended to us by a friend.  The price makes it more of a special occasion choice, but after making the selection, it would be fun to relax with the fixed price and just enjoy the goodness.  Thanks for the dinner, Graffiato!

 

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