707 6th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Graffiato, brought to you by Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella is a welcome spot in DC’s Chinatown, on the quiet side of the Verizon Center. Getting a table can be tough – even when the restaurant is empty and even if you are dining with a pregnant woman. But they are still figuring things out at this DC-hip joint, so we won’t hold the pretentiousness against them. Along with pizzas, small plates are the thing here (DC loves their tapas), which reminded us of an Italian version of the perennially popular Zaytinya.
The basic pie at Graffiato, the “Classic,” comes without cheese and costs $14. If you want cheese, the price goes up to $17. That’s high, even by Manhattan standards. We ordered the Classic with Cheese –sounds like a menu item at Burger King, but Graffiato is much better than that. The fresh mozzarella cheese (not bufala) was quite good, though cut a little too thick so it did not fully melt. But this cheese is far better than what you’ll find in a typical pizzeria. The sauce was also very nice and included sliced cherry tomatoes. The crust was too salty and a little dry, but very airy and soft with a bit of crunch. No sogginess here. Other toppings and menu items are top notch; spicy sausage, fried calamari, a variety of hams, and homemade burrata to name a few. The complimentary sparkling water is also a nice touch.
The pizza is pricey, but Graffiato is a place to frequent, especially if you like hanging with the “in-crowd.” It’s also an order of magnitude better than the nearby – though reasonably priced – Ella’s.