As though you expected anything else from the guy behind Graffiato, it looks like Mike Isabella's forthcoming Mexican small plates restaurant Bandolero is going to be hitting the trends hard when it opens in 2012. The restaurant's design team has announced it's going with a Day of the Dead theme, meaning design features like "cemetery gates, tequila crates, reclaimed wood, mismatched furniture, and creative lighting schemes." There will also be both a chef's table and a communal table facing out on M Street.
In case you have any doubt about Bandolero's aspirations, this is the best line from the press release: "Like Georgetown itself after sunset, Bandolero will be 'dark, crowded, hip, high-energy, and fun, with amazing food and drinks.'"
The press release:
Streetsense Designs Top Chef Mike Isabella’s New Georgetown Restaurant Bandolero
Streetsense Also Designs Tackle Box
Bethesda, MD, December 13, 2011-- The architecture and design team at Bethesda, MD-based Streetsense has been selected to design the 5,000 square foot interior of Bandolero, Chef Mike Isabella’s new modern Mexican small-plates concept set to open in Georgetown (3241 M Street, NW in Washington, D.C.) in early 2012.
Mike Isabella, a former Top Chef contestant who opened the wildly popular Italian-inspired Graffiato restaurant in Washington’s Chinatown district in June of this year, was tapped by restaurateur Jonathan Umbel to bring his creative vision to the Georgetown location formerly known as Hook. Hook and its sister restaurant, Tackle Box, have been closed since last summer due to a fire. Isabella and Umbel are working closely with Streetsense, which also is designing new interiors graphics for Tackle Box restaurants in Georgetown and Cleveland Park.
The partners are teaming with Streetsense designers Rhena Saar and Sumaya Kaufman to create a “Day-of-the-Dead” interior, incorporating cemetery gates, tequila crates, reclaimed wood, mismatched furniture, and creative lighting schemes that provide a candlelit glow. Dining spaces on two levels will feature a chef’s table with views into the kitchen and a communal table overlooking M Street. Like Georgetown itself after sunset, Bandolero will be “dark, crowded, hip, high-energy, and fun, with amazing food and drinks.”
“My vision for Bandolero is a high-energy, high-volume restaurant to match the bustling vibe of the Georgetown neighborhood and feed the late-night appetite of its college students, said Isabella. “The menu will change frequently with my twist on classic Mexican dishes and a large cocktail menu.” The Bandolero menu will feature salsas, guacamoles, ceviches, tacos, vegetables, and “carbons,” some with untraditional fillings such as duck and goat meat.