Top Chef Mike Isabella’s next project
Ask a dozen food geeks to name the first thing they associate with Mike Isabella. They’ll probably rattle off a list of biographical highlights. He’s the “Top Chef” contestant, New Jersey bad boy, clam-shucking chauvinist, serial restaurateur, the dude with the gypsy tattoo to ward off evil.
With his next major project, however, Isabella may forever shed his tats-and-work-shirts image. He may potentially confirm his status as one of the most ambitious restaurateurs in the Mid-Atlantic. In the summer of 2017, the chef will open Isabella Eatery in Tysons Galleria. It is an ambitious, 10-concept undertaking that will combine a few brands that are already familiar to D.C. diners — and several that are not.
It will span across 41,000 square feet on the McLean mall’s third level. In addition, the project will be adjacent to luxury stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Prada. The 600-seat Eatery will include variations on established brands. Including favorites such as Isabella’s Italian flagship Graffiato, his spit-roasting Greek restaurant Kapnos or his Mexican cantina Pepita. Another brand that may be included is Yona, the Japanese and Korean restaurant guided by chef Jonah Kim. It will also feature a raw-bar riff on Requin, the seafood project being workshopped by chef Jennifer Carroll in Merrifield, as well as new enterprises dedicated to Spanish tapas, old-fashioned ice cream, specialty coffee, classic cocktails, and Mediterranean grilled meats.