Restaurants, Italian Penn Quarter
Photograph: Courtesy Graffiato/Greg Powers Graffiato

Graffiato opened in Chinatown in 2011 as tattooed Top Chef Mike Isabella’s debut venture. Even though the spot has been up and running for four years now, and even though Isabella has gone on to open other hot spots in and around the District, the small plates at Graffiato still pack a punch and draw huge crowds. Order a local brew or a draft Prosecco, and then try the Jersey Shore pizza—wood-fired dough teeming with crispy calamari, tomato, provolone, and a chili-flake sauce—and you’ll understand why. The salty-crispy-sweet notes in the maple-charred Brussels sprouts will play with your taste buds, as will the tender gnocchi arranged with braised pork and drizzled with a creamy burrata sauce. The charred octopus is not to be missed, nor is the bone marrow—house-made breadcrumbs, bacon, and seasonings baked into a trough of split bone. Graffiato may be Isabella’s first child, but it could easily still be our favorite.


Venue name: Graffiato
Address: 707 6th St NW
Washington, DC

Opening hours: Sun–Wed 11:30am-11pm; Thu–Sat 11:30am–midnight
Transport: Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro

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Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Two level Italian restaurant near the Verizon Center in "Chinatown".  When we first entered, the aroma of pecorino was strong, very strong.  We sat upstairs near the open kitchen and the ambiance was pleasant.  The ceasar salad was delicious and not swimming in dressing. The cream cheese filled croutons were spectacular.  I had the veal rigatoni bolognese  and was tasty, once you got past the half inch of pecorino cheese.  They love that cheese.  The pizza was cooked well but a bit under seasoned.  The chocolate cake dessert was apparently decadent, although I didn't get a chance to taste.