A chicken parm is the kind of sandwich that's pretty delicious no matter how it's prepared, and even a bad one is still going to be pretty good. You can't really go wrong with fried chicken, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and bread. So elevating the familiar deli classic is best done by approaching it from a place of subtlety, lest you undermine the essential qualities that make it great. At Mike Isabella's latest project, G Sandwich Shop, his iteration of the Chicken Parm ($11) is immediately recognizable, but augmented just enough to make it its own delicious beast.
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Washington, D.C.'s deluge of spring restaurant openings may have tapered off a bit, but there are still a few left to watch. Take Kapnos (meaning 'smoke' in Greek), for instance. The latest establishment from Top Chef alum Mike Isabella welcomed its first customers last Friday to its fare share of fanfare. Isabella, who has a professional background in Greek cuisine, describes the menu as "focused, traditional; not your neighborhood gyro joint." We paid an early visit to check it out.
On paper, Mike Isabella cuts an impressive figure. He's moved around the country, working with the likes of Marcus Samuelsson, Jose Garces, and José Andrés, and made appearances on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. But pizza is a notoriously tricky endeavor, even for the most accomplished of chefs.
If you've ever wondered if Top Chef alums secretly hang out together eating each other's food and generally being cooler than you, you're probably right. But starting this past Monday at Mike Isabella's Graffiato, you can get in on the fun with DC's celebrity chefs at monthly Industry Takeover Nights. The first Monday of each month beginning at 10 p.m., Isabella will turn his kitchen over to guest chefs and mixologists for complimentary small plates and drink specials. First up was Bryan Voltaggio's' Range team.
Top Chef alum Mike Isabella's sophomore outing, Bandolero offers Mexican small plates in a dimly lit, Day of the Dead themed venue. Check out the suckling pig, queso fundido, and more dishes.