Monday, September 3, 2012

Graffiato (Washington D.C.)

Graffiato is owned by Mike Isabella, who was on Top Chef... or something. He wasn't exactly one of my favorite contestants, but supposedly he makes a mean pizza.

The decor was very West Village. Exposed brick walls, tiny intimate tables, open ceilings... all the sorts of colors and prints that you'd find in some small funky scene-y restaurant in NYC.

They even had an open kitchen where you can watch them sautee things and put on finishing touches. Check out that oven on the left!

Hand cut spaghetti. They tried a little too hard. The spaghetti was extremely fresh, and as a result, it was too soft and not al dente. This is why some of the best chefs in the world recommend just using the dry spaghetti. The sauce was great though.

Once again, the sauce was great, but the star of the dish was cooked poorly. The octopus was way too tough. I have no idea what happened here. I was rather disappointed.

The sweet corn agnoletti was by far the best small dish. Everything was perfect... the freshly rolled pasta really did the dish justice. The sauce was creamy yet light. The chives gave the sauce just the right amount of kick. The mushroom and roasted pine nuts were a great addition in both flavor and texture. And oh, a certain someone might be allergic to pine nuts. That gave us something to think about for the rest of the meal.

Jersey Shore pizza with fried calamari. Seems a little low brow, but it's supposedly one of their signature dishes. It was great!! This would have been the best pizza I ever had if they had 1. added a little spice: chili flakes or jalapeƱo I don't care which. 2. calmed down on the orange mayo-based sauce. The fried calamari was already adding plenty of grease. 3. more red sauce please!

Turns out that we were supposed to order more red sauce on the side, but it was all very unclear at the time.

Overall, the pizza was what this place was known for, and that's what they do best. The dough was extremely good, and the pie rivaled some of the best thin crust pizza in New York. Was the balance and technique as great as the tried and true methods of Grimaldi's or Lombardi's? No. But the innovation was not to be ignored.

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