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The chef/owner of Graffiato is Mike Isabella, of Top Chef fame, and you’ll understand why he was the runner-up on Top Chef All-Stars after dining here. He knows how to take classic Italian dishes and up the ante. At Graffiato, his pizzas are topped with gourmet ingredients, like fried calamari and cherry pepper aioli (“The Jersey Shore”), and then cooked in a woodburning oven, just as good pizza should be. In addition, Graffiato serves flavorful small plates: charred asparagus with hazelnuts, wild striped bass with bourbon peaches, sweet corn agnolotti—you get the picture. Best seats in the two floor restaurant are upstairs at the “ham counter” in front of the open kitchen, or downstairs at the back bar, where you can watch pizzas come and go from the oven. And the restaurant’s location can’t be beat: right across from the Verizon Center, in Chinatown. If you like Graffiato, you might want to know about Isabella’s other jumpin’ joints: In the U&14th Street Corridors, the Greek restaurant Kapnos (2201 14th St. NW) and right next door, G (“Sandwich Shop by Day, Tasting Menu by Night.”)