Tag Archive for Top Chef

Restaurant review: Isabella’s Graffiato is pretty damn good

Damn you, Isabella.  Damn you.  I hate to say it, but nice job with Graffiato (6th & G NW).

Why do I hate to say it? I’m conflicted.  Like others, I thought you were too arrogant during your first season on Top Chef.  Then, you made me a fan when you returned to compete in Top Chef All-Stars.  It was clear to me that you had come back a much more focused and humbled chef than your previous Top Chef-self.  In other words, you kicked some Top Chef ass.  I followed pre-opening reports about your restaurant and asked myself: Would Graffiato be worth the hype?  Then, I got frustrated because I couldn’t get a reservation and I just resigned myself to answering “no” to that question.

Right.  So, where was I? Ah, yes.  Damn you, Isabella.  Damn you.  I’m no longer conflicted.  I can openly and confidently say: great job on the food and the ambiance.  I will be back.

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Restaurant review: My Volt experience felt more like a fizzle

I was so excited.  Just like many others who’d watched Bryan Voltaggio on Bravo’s Top Chef, I’d been trying to get a reservation at his restaurant in Frederick, MD – Volt.  My friend and I had heard it was easier to get in for lunch.  On a whim, I checked Open Table on Friday.  Surprisingly, there was one lunch slot available for the next day.  Perfect! We could have a “destination lunch” (as my friend called it).  Yes, for me, Frederick is a destination since I rarely leave my neighborhood in DC much less DC entirely.  So, my day had come! My friend was so excited he didn’t even wear jeans, opting for a “smart casual” look composed of what I call “fancy pants” and a dress shirt.  When I got in the car, I felt a little under-dressed in my jeans and sweater.  Oh well, who cares. We were going to Volt!


Maybe it was because I had such high expectations that I walked out of Volt a little disappointed.  It was a good meal, but it wasn’t great.