Mike Isabella Debuts the Dishes at Bandolero (Preview)

The chef hosted a pop-up dinner this weekend with offerings from his upcoming Georgetown Mexican eatery.
Mike Isabella Debuts the Dishes at Bandolero (Preview)

Bandolero’s mahi mahi or “fish stick” tacos, as chef Isabella calls them. Photographs by Dakota Fine.

Curious about Mike Isabella’s latest venture? After the Graffiato chef dished about plans for the Mexican restaurant he’ll open in Georgetown this spring, we certainly were. So we checked out the five-course pop-up dinner he hosted this weekend, which featured dishes likely to be on the opening menu at Bandolero.  

The four-day pop-up was held in the newly opened LivingSocial venue in Penn Quarter, which is decked out with a basement speakeasy, a concert space, and a professional-grade kitchen available for cooking classes and future visiting chefs.

Standouts from Isabella’s lineup included airy chicharrones with salsa roja, crispy mahi mahi tacos with chipotle mayo and avocado, and seared hanger steak with chimichurri sauce and spicy chile de árbol. Mixologist Sam Babcock served up cocktails to washed it all down, including a smoky drink made with Sombra Mezcal, cucumber juice, and cilantro. If this formula translates to M Street, Isabella may have another packed house on his hands.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.