Breaking News! Mike Isabella Announces His Plans to Leave Zaytinya to Open His Own Place.

Mike Isabella. Photo by Lisa Shapiro

Are you ready to be shocked?! This sort of announcement always rocks my world. What can I say? Just a few hours ago, the City Paper’s Tim Carman broke the news that Former Top Chef contestant and head Chef at José Andrés’ Zaytinya, Mike Isabella has plans to leaving Zaytinya, where he has worked since March 2007,  in order to open his own restaurant. Carman reported that Isbaella will remain at the Penn Quarter restaurant until his departure next month. His last day at the THINKfoodGROUP’s tapas sister will be August 7. He plans to sign the lease for his own space as soon as tomorrow.

Carman reports, “Isabella’s place will focus on the Venetian version of tapas, the cuisine made famous in the states by Andrés. Cicchetti are, like tapas, small plates designed for snacking in a bar setting.  Isabella wants to do a sort of local, seasonal version of cicchetti, including a wine list heavy on bottles from Virginia.”

I have always loved Zaytinya. I’ve had great dining experiences there. I wish Mike the best of luck!  I’m still waiting to hear about when former Chef de Cuisine of Central Michel Richard, Cedric Maupillier will open his own place.

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