Apparently Mike Isabella hasn’t given up on Mexican food. Nearly a year after his split with Bandolero, Isabella has announced plans to open a Mexican cantina called Pepita in Ballston. The restaurant will be located at 4000 Wilson Blvd.—the same building as his second Greek restaurant, Kapnos Taverna, which is slated to open this fall.
This time around, Isabella is straying far, far away from Day of the Dead-themed decor, which caused the Post‘s Tom Sietsema to call Bandolero “one of the grimmest restaurants to open in years.”
“It’s going to feel like you’re on vacation at a Mexican coastal resort between the wood finishes, greenery, fresh produce for cocktails and dishes, and windows that open onto a small patio,” Isabella says in a press release. The space will be outfitted with light wood furniture and a motif of yellow, light green, and marigold tiled patterns.
The small menu will have only about a dozen dishes, including tacos, ceviche, soups, tortas, and daily specials. The bar will feature a large selection of tequilas and mezcals plus hot and frozen Mexican coffees and frozen margaritas. Guests will be able to choose from a list of fresh squeezed juices to customize their margaritas. Like Graffiato and Kapnos, the drink menu will be overseen by beverage director Taha Ismail.
Pepita is slated to open early 2015.
If you can’t keep track of all of Isabella’s restaurant openings, consult this handy timeline.
Photo by Jessica Sidman