all photos: Shauna Alexander
Monday nights traditionally get a pretty bad rep in DC. After all, we are a city of day jobs, alarm clocks and absolute inability to loosen up (or so they tell us). Well, the first Monday of every month (and at an ungodly late time of 10pm-1am) just got a little more exciting courtesy of Mike Isabella and Graffiato. On January 7th, the forever-a-BYT-favorite Penn Quarter eatery kicked off their first ever Industry Takeover night to a full house of hungry and thirsty DC food fans and workers.
The concept is simple: after regular dinner service ends, on the first Monday of the Month, Mike will hand the kitchen and the bar over to some (choice) friends. Complimentary food will be served, special cocktails (and even some other drinks) will be on special, and everyone will have a great time.
The first night, which we stopped by on Monday, featured the A team behind RANGE (which you really need to go to) headlined by Bryan Voltaggio and bar manager Owen Thomson.
The packed house enjoyed a selection from several of Range’s kitchens (including some really delicious desserts by pastry chef John Miele) and the signature punch was such a hit that by Midnight, it was well gone (thankfully, the $5 special on prosecco on tap was very much flowing)
But almost (ALMOST!) as good as the food and drink, of course, was the people watching. Mondays are a rare night that some of the even busiest chefs and bar folk in town have off and they all descended upon Graffiato to support their own. We spied, in the crowd: Spike Mendelsohn, Victor Albisu of Taco Bamba, Scott Drewno of The Source, BYT Drink Diary alum James Horn, and more. It was as if a food fan had died and gone to chef hang out heaven.
And if this all makes you want to not miss the next one (and it should), here are the details for upcoming action items:
UP NEXT: On February 4th Scott Drewno, executive chef of The Source, and Erik Bruner-Yang, chef/co-owner of Toki Underground, hot off their fall Noodle Dinner collaboration are teaming up to serve late night Asian cuisine at Graffiato. Toki Underground head mixologist, Colin Sugalski, will also mix up a special cocktail at the bar that evening.