Bandolero Celebrates With an Opening Party

Chef Mike Isabella of Bandolero is flanked by "Food Network Star" finalist Malcolm Mitchell and Jennifer Carroll, who was on the sixth season of "Top Chef" with Isabella in Las Vegas.
Robert Devaney
Chef Mike Isabella of Bandolero is flanked by "Food Network Star" finalist Malcolm Mitchell and Jennifer Carroll, who was on the sixth season of "Top Chef" with Isabella in Las Vegas.

Chef Mike Isabella held a welcome party—"Tacos & Tequila"—at the site of his lastest epicurean effort, Bandolero, for friends, foodies and neighbors May 29.

The M Street modern Mexican restaurant opened May 24 and wanted to treat its guests to the big flavors in its little tacos and strong margaritas. The wait staff kept bringing out trays of tacos, whether with tuna tartare, crab or corn and snapper to the happy crowd, which included media and PR types and a few other participants in food and chef shows.

Known for his other restaurant, Graffiato, and being a sort of protege to DC restaurant czar Jose Andres, the personable and enthusiastic Isabella moved from kitchen to front bar, greeting everyone and posing for photos. The drinks—tequila rules here—included a "City of Gold" sipper, highly recommended. There's more to the menu, of course, but also on the tasty list with those fish and pork tacos are pork rinds with the pumpkin-seed mixed dip or guacamole. Bandolero is in the former Hook space at 3241 M Street, and Isabella has just ramped up Georgetown's culinary vibe.

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