Now that I’ve opened the floodgates on scallops, it is quickly becoming an all-around favorite. Since the retirement of my dear sweet corn angnolotti, I’ve been on the hunt for a new seasonal favorite at Graffiato (other than zeppoles because I can’t eat dessert for dinner on a regular basis!). I enjoyed the duck cannoli special earlier in the fall, but I think the scallops with sunchoke, “citrus,” and almonds takes the cake. The pork belly with cannellini beans and ham (photo not shown because it was in my belly before said photo could be taken) is also a strong contender. On this particular visit, I also had my first taste of wild boar:
Join Taste of the Nation DC on Monday, December 12 at Graffiato for a holiday happy hour! A portion of your $25 ticket will support Share Our Strength and help fight childhood hunger in America. Your ticket also includes a complimentary glass of house wine, draft beer or Graffiato’s signature punch as well as a shared sample of oven fresh pizzas and a selection of small bites provided by Graffiato.
All are invited, so please share this with your friends! Remember, tickets are limited – purchase today & kick off the holiday season by supporting Share Our Strength!
Monday, December 12
5 – 8 p.m.
707 6th Street NW
Includes one (1) glass of house wine, punch or draft beer & selection of small bites Purchase Tickets Here
brussel sprouts, chicken thighs, chinatown, crispy goat, fall, graffiato, mike isabella, mushroom, penn quarter, pepperoni sauce, polenta, pork belly, pumpkin, risotto, roasted potato gnocchi, truffle, virginia wineries, zeppoles
This weekend, I escaped the hustle and bustle of the city with a trip to Virginia wineries just off 66. It was beautifully sunny and a perfect day to see the changing fall foliage.
Also changing this season is the menu at Graffiato. Although I was sad to see the sweet corn agnolotti go, I am happy to see the infusion of pumpkin into the risotto and caramel accompanying the zeppoles. The pork belly might be my favorite new addition, and the new roasted potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms and truffle is a delicious indulgence. Top Chef fans, never fear–the pepperoni sauce has survived the menu change.
At Taylor Gourmet, the Market Street hoagie is indisputably my favorite — house roasted pork, roasted red peppers, arugula, and fresh mozzarella on a “old world Italian loaf with sesame seeds.” I’m not sure what traditionally characterizes an old world Italian loaf, but Taylor’s bread strikes the perfect balance of crustiness and chew. Equally important, filling the bread are generous portions of fresh veggies and, as its name suggests, gourmet protein. Normally, it’s hard to justify a sandwich with one piece of iceburg lettuce and a slice of tomato as a healthy serving of “vegetables,” but there is no shortage of greens on the Market Street hoagie.
The first couple times I went to Taylor, I ordered a 6″ hoagie for a meal. An amateur move. At $7.10 before tax, the 6″ gourmet hoagie is reasonably priced until you realize that for $2.40 more, you can double your yield with a 12″ hoagie. At $10+change after tax, that brings the cost down to $5 per meal, assuming you are able to restrain yourself from eating the second half (or are willing to share with a deserving soul :)).
Nutritious. Delicious. And economic crisis-friendly. Bonus points for call ahead/online ordering and $2 delivery service (with $18 minimum order).
agnolotti, chinatown, clams, cocktails, crudo, cucumber, gin, gnocchi, graffiato, hendrick's gin, mike isabella, neighborhood bar, penn quarter, prosecco, risotto, sage and confused, sophia, sparkling wine, top chef, tuna, washington d.c.
I cannot imagine any restaurant ever living up to the borderline overexposed, most anticipated, blogosphere-lauded reception that Graffiato has received in D.C. this summer. It has been so hyped, that the Washington City Paper’s restaurant critic devoted an entire article to the hype surrounding Graffiato.
However. I will join the masses with this one statement: the sweet corn agnolotti is single-handedly one of the best bites of food I’ve ever had in my entire life.*
The pork ribs are cooked perfectly, the pork-fried almonds + beets are delicious, and, of course, the roasted potato gnocchi is one of the best manifestations of the humble spud. When it comes to dessert, the “secret” zeppole is perfectly decadent and airy at the same time.
Of course, having an extensive list of sparkling wines (including prosecco on tap…and sparkling wine in a can!) does not hurt for those of us who are bubbly inclined.
All of that aside, I have to say that the best of Graffiato is its staff + fearless leader Chef Mike Isabella. Before Graffiato opened, I read an interview with Chef Isabella saying that he wanted Graffiato to be a neighborhood eatery where residents could just hang out. Given the Top Chef-stalker following, I was skeptical of Graffiato actually being a neighborhood eatery. But I must admit that I have happily been proven wrong. Since my first visit on opening night, the staff has been nothing but nice, gracious, and completely unpretentious. As a resident of the neighborhood, I welcome and love having a place a stone’s throw away from home where I can grab a drink and a delicious bite to eat after work (sans reservation). Bartender Brad gets extra love for entertaining voices and modifying the Sage and Confused to satisfy my love for Hendrick’s gin and cucumbers.
If you try to make a reservation on OpenTable, chances are you will not be eating at Graffiato for months. But if you are looking for a relaxed, casual, and fun dining experience, stop in and grab a seat at the bar. I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes for a seat, and I would argue that the dining experience at the downstairs bar is far more interesting than the dining room upstairs.
Despite the hype, Graffiato has managed to stay grounded and be a place where everybody knows your name.
* Despite eating microwaved potatoes for much of my childhood, I promise, I’ve sampled culinary delights around the world, including the best of Italy! 🙂