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“Disappointed”
Review of Graffiato

Graffiato
Ranked #319 of 3,555 Restaurants in Washington DC
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Reviewed 27 January 2013 via mobile

Had it on my list for awhile and finally made it for sunday brunch. It was busy, but not packed. Took 15 minutes to get our drinks and 40 minutes to get pizza. Service was uneven and the food was average. Greasy pizza and dull salad. Will not return when there are much better options.

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Thank kitty1018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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411 - 415 of 553 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2013

Love this place, they have wonderful food and a delightful atmosphere. I had the caesar salad with cream cheese crouton and the pork shank ragu lasagna, you must try when you go.

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Thank Angela L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2013

I recently moved to DC from San Francisco. Graffiato reminds me of some of the many San Francisco restaurants I love. The energy and space of the restaurant were great. It's a typical San Francisco type space (long but somewhat narrow) making each table with access to the energy of the bar and kitchen. I highly recommend sitting at the counter where you can watch the action of the kitchen. The small plate/tapas style also reminded me of San Francisco. I love that style of eating where you can try many different dishes and flavors in one night. I really don't think you can go wrong with any of the dishes. I wish I would have left a little room to try the pizza though.

I also love this restaurant because the Chef/owner is typically there (and he was the night we were there) and very active in both the food service and interactions with the customers.

I think the reason I'm giving this a Very Good instead of Excellent is because I don't have enough experience yet with DC dining to make comparisons. Based on my San Francisco experiences, however, I think this is a Very Good...which is likely an Excellent for most other places.

Also the only reason I'm putting $$$ as cost is because I wanted to try everything given that it was my first time. Because of that, I ate too much and probably spent more than average.

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Thank caazmark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2013 via mobile

If you like all of your food to taste wood-fired, then you will probably love Graffiato. We stopped in for lunch on a Sunday and tried several options from the small plates. Service was good -- very attentive despite the crowd -- but they were running a 3-item-and-cocktail lunch special which he failed to tell us about, even though we were ordering 6 items and cocktails! We didn't find out until after we left and saw the sign in the window. That was annoying as it would have saved us some money off the final bill!

Anyway, we tried the lasagna, the meatballs, the fish, the cavatelli, the brusaels sprouts and the flat bread. These were all good, but not great, except for the sprouts. The lasagna and Cavatelli were very woody tasting and both needed salt. Actually the meatballs needed salt too. The lasagna was really bland -- just tasted like wood roasted pork and some slightly spicy tomato sauce. I did not love. The meatballs were small and a little dry, but I liked the way they were served with an egg and polenta. However, the folks next to us ordered the same thing, but they didn't think the egg was cooked enough. I had no problem with ours as I just immediately broke it and mixed it in. It looks like they are soft boiled slightly, so think sunny up yolks and maybe some gooey white.

The Cavatelli was good, but still not a wow. it had more flavor and seasoning, but was missing salt! It had lamb in it so it was a bit gamey, but we like that. The portion was very small, but we were fine with that since we were trying so many other dishes.

The Brussels sprouts were excellent! My favorite of all the dishes! I highly recommend these. Roasted to a nice crisp (probably in the wood oven!) and served with bacon, maple syrup and yogurt. Really tasty!

Overall, I would say this is a fun place with decent food. I didn't love the traditional Italian dishes because I thought they tasted too much like the wood oven and were lacking in seasoning and other flavors -- eapecially the lasagna. If I go again, I will stick to pizza. Those looked pretty good and should be done in the wood oven! Also, make a reservation! This place gets crowded.

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Thank jag_7896
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2013

Our visit to Graffiato came a few weeks after we had visited Bandolero (another DC restaurant by Mike Isabella). I think I preferred Bandolero for their Georgetown location, atmosphere, and cool take on Mexican cuisine; however, Graffiato is not far behind - and really, depending on your taste, it might be ahead.

Both restaurants have gone with the typical tapas concept, where instead of ordering a large entree for each person, you order multiple smaller dishes. A sign of a good tapas restaurant is always the turnaround between ordering and delivery, more so than at a regular entree restaurant, and Graffiato does a good job here. At first glance the dishes appear to have your usual ingredients and nothing on the menu really catches the eye, but the preparation and presentation of these dishes, with maybe one or two exceptions, was phenomenal.

Graffiato is clearly a popular happy hour spot, and the tapas concept definitely encourages happy hour clientele but also diners who want to try out multiple dishes rather than be limited to one or two. And the dishes here did not disappoint. Washington, DC has a fair number of tapas offerings, and I would place Graffiato in the upper echelon of these.

The atmosphere and decor are pretty minimalist - on purpose - and while a popular happy hour spot, you can still have a normal conversation in the restaurant.

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Thank Markus1995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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