Mike Isabella contemplates his emerging empire. Photograph by Dakota Fine.
Let’s begin with La Forchetta, a pizza cafe near American U at which, as early as April 2, we will once again be eating the food of prodigal son Roberto Donna, who returns to Washington after a brief stint in the great Southwest. Fans of Donna’s roast pork sandwich at Galileo Grill will be most pleased—Donna told Anna Spiegel it will be on the menu at the new place.
Also due to open in early April is the newly remodeled Howard Theatre, where easy-on-the-eyes chef Marcus Samuelsson is consulting on the menu, staffing, and dishes at the Supper Club.
McLean, where Francophile residents have no doubt been mourning the loss of Michel in Tysons Corner, will be getting a new French restaurant, Bistro Vivant, within the next three weeks, if all goes according to plan. All seldom does in the restaurant world, of course, but this place should be open soon.
And look out, Mr. Andrés. Former Think Food Group employee cum nascent restaurant empire overseer Mike Isabella is planning no fewer than three new restaurants. You’ve no doubt heard about the Graffiato chef’s plans for Bandolero, the Mexican-ish restaurant that will take over the Georgetown space once occupied by Hook. (You haven’t heard about it? Read this and this.) The staff at Bandolero should be serving up margaritas this spring.
Bits of news have been floating around for months now, but the official word came today that Isabella would be opening Kapnos, inspired by Northern Greece and featuring “a marble chef’s table” where ten diners can feast on whole spit-fired beasts. The restaurant will have 150 seats total, and menu items will include small plates such as phyllo pies and wood-grilled octopus along with larger portions of meat including lamb, goat, duck, chicken, and suckling pig. The Pagonis brothers—George, a Zaytinya alum, and Nicholas—will serve as chef de cuisine and GM, respectively.
Then there’s G, a sandwich spot next door where Elliot Drew (sous chef at Graffiato) will toil under the title of executive sous chef. Among the sandwiches on offer: chicken Parmesan, veal cutlet, meatball, and sausage with peppers. A $40 tasting dinner will be offered in the evening, featuring antipasti, pasta, a main course with meat or fish, and dessert. Steve Uhr will be director of operations.
The eateries are slated to open in the restaurant-laden 14th Street neighborhood in early 2013.