For the ironic news of the week: Tim Carman of Washington City Paperreported yesterday that Mike Isabella is leaving his post as head chef of Zaytinya to open a small-plates restaurant in Penn Quarter. In other words, he’s quitting the José Andrés empire—otherwise known as Penn Quarter’s small-plates empire. Isabella, a former Top Chef contestant, will focus on one cuisine Andrés hasn’t hit yet: Venetian cicchetti.
Bobby Flay is set to join the growing cadre of celebrity chefs who’ve set up shop in Washington, says Missy Frederick of the Washington Business Journal. Flay, known for his Southwestern cooking style and Throwdown With Bobby Flay on the Food Network, is looking for a DC space to install his burger concept. Other locations of Bobby’s Burger Palace include New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Philadelphia.
Frederick also reports that the owners of Cava, a Greek restaurant with locations in Rockville and Capitol Hill, signed a lease for a space in Clarendon. The menu will be similar to that of its siblings, but new ideas are in the works, such as a rotisserie spit. The Clarendon restaurant scene has boomed recently, with the additions of Lyon Hall, Northside Social, a revamped Spider Kelly’s, and a soon-to-open Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza.
Prince of Petworth got a look inside Carmine’s, an Italian import from New York City, and reported that the space (Seventh St., NW, between D and E sts.) should open August 3. He snapped a photo of the menu on the wall, and while our eyes aren’t good enough to read the prices, commenters on the blog post are appalled that lasagna costs $26.50 and a side of meatballs is $13.50.