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In town for the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertainment Show over the weekend, comely kitchen vixen Giada De Laurentiis dished up some tantalizing D.C. restaurant gossip, telling Endless Simmer‘s Russell Warnick: “Georgetown needs some better food gosh darn it, and I hear that [Graffiato‘s] Mike [Isabella]’s gonna open up a place there, a Spanish/Mexican food place. It’s at a place called Hook…The ink isn’t signed yet — you can call it a rumor.”

She was referring to the Georgetown sustainable seafood spot that has  remained closed since a fire over the summer. Contacted by ES, Isabella denied the rumor. Sort of: “No, no, that was misinterpreted. I don’t have anything signed. It was a miscommunication.” He more firmly rejected the rumored kind of restaurant: “I wouldn’t do a Spanish/Mexican concept.”

Earlier this fall, Isabella dished to Y&H contributor Stefanie Gans about his wish to open a new pizzeria different from Graffiato, possibly on H Street NE, then later downplayed the whole idea. His camp called it a “half-baked rumor“—-albeit one that he started himself.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery