Bandolero to Temporarily Open in Cleveland Park

With the Georgetown location delayed, Mike Isabella moves his Mexican eatery into the Tackle Box space.

Bandolero's "fish stick" tacos. Photograph by Dakota Fine.

It seems like Graffiato chef-owner Mike Isabella is anxious to get his new Mexican concept, Bandolero, open as soon as possible. First there was the Bandolero pop-up, and now we hear he’s taking over Tackle Box in Cleveland Park for a Bandolero “preview” while construction wraps up at the ultimate destination in Georgetown. Tackle Box owner Jonathan Umbel, who’s also the proprietor of the erstwhile Hook space on M Street that Isabella is transforming into Bandolero, will temporarily close the seafood shack while the toque re-debuts his eatery.

If you’re thinking of dropping in for a bite and a prickly pear margarita, not so fast. Likely in order to keep things (i.e., crowds, quality) under control, Isabella is offering a five-course dinner tasting menu exclusively, starting April 19 (see reservation dates below). It’s $65 per person, including tax and gratuity, which is gentler than that of the Living Social pop-up, but you may see some similar dishes in the lineup of Mexican dips, enchiladas, tacos, and other small plates (take a look at some of the dishes here). Head bartender Sam Babcock will offer a cocktail pairing as well as drinks à la carte. Things get more casual–and probably pretty loco–on Cinco de Mayo, when the restaurant will be open from noon to 1 AM offering an à-la-carte menu and gratis margarita tastings from 5 to 7 PM.

The bar will also be open for walk-ins to drink and dine on the dates below. For those seeking a table, race to the reservations!

Reservations are available starting at 6 PM on the following dates:

Thursday, April 19, through Saturday, April 21

Tuesday, April 24, through Saturday, April 28

Tuesday, May 1, through Friday, May 4

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.