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The recently launched CityEats online reservation site is banking its immediate future on Graffiato chef Mike Isabella‘s rising stardom. The Food Network-partnered Internet service has announced an exclusive deal with Isabella, making its site the only place online to book a table at the former Top Chef contestant’s ultra-popular Chinatown eatery. Previously, patrons could snag their seats (when they could get them) via OpenTable. As recently as Monday, in fact, one of Y&H colleagues booked his reservation through OpenTable.

In a video statement, Isabella says, “I believe CityEats is the future and I want to be the first to let everyone know that, by the end of the year, the only place to get a reservation at Graffiato is at CityEats.” He credits the site’s partnership with Food Network as part of the deal’s appeal. “People follow, watching Food Network, where to eat, what to eat, how to eat, and, uh, knowing that, you know, everyone only goes through OpenTable. Now, I think, the Food Network will help them see that there are other options.”

Logo courtesy of CityEats