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Of all the ballyhooed restaurants to open in D.C. this year, none won such widespread acclaim as Mike Isabella’s Italian-inspired, Jersey-accented Graffiato. TV chefs may be great promoters, but they’re notoriously absent father figures in the kitchen. At first glance, Graffiato fits that stereotype—with Isabella appearing to spend as much time mugging for snapshots as cooking. Ditto the hype-filled appearances by TV chef buddies. And yet, if you ignore the starfucker-heavy crowd, the food is…good! Best example: Isabella’s famous pepperoni sauce. The stuff that wowed the A-list judges on television turns out to be just as luscious and delicious in person. Now that’s a reality show you can believe in.