Call it The Clubhouse, call it delicious, it doesn’t matter. Just know you’ll want to call it. All night.

Photo courtesy of Bisnow Media

By Francine Cohen

Common wisdom indicates that if it’s so hot that lightning crackles through the sky and a deluge of water soaks our nation’s capital for at least 45 minutes, it’s probably too hot to be contemplating firing up the pizza oven. Unless of course, you’re a chef with a new restaurant.

So, on July 11th, an intrepid group of food journalists, chefs, friends, family and hospitality industry folks braved the heat, and the storm that followed the Fancy Food Show (, to head over to DC’s Chinatown neighborhood for an oven-warming; a party to celebrate the opening of Chef Mike Isabella’s restaurant, Graffiato ( 707 6th Street, NW).

With the fire blazing and chefs busy in the kitchen Isabella and his team turned out a delicious menu of:
Fried Pork Belly Ravioli
Parmesan Arancini
Assorted pizzas
Olli Speck
Salumeria Bailesse Culatello
La quarcia Procuttio Americano
Ceringolla Olives
House Stretched Mozz
Tuna Crudo with pine nut relish
Scallop Crudo with fennel
Pork Fried almonds
Local assorted cheeses

While GM James Horn oversaw the bar and offered up refreshing glasses of wine, beer and some signature Ilegal ( mezcal cocktails.

Not to be found on the menu that night were Isabella’s signature Chicken Thighs with Pepperoni Sauce, pillowy soft agnolotti, or his hearty bone marrow presentation. But you can try them all when you manage to snag a table, upstairs or down, next time you’re in town.