In the restaurant world, "R&D" is actually code for stuffing yourself silly. And that’s essentially what Top Chef alum Mike Isabella and his team did when they visited Morocco earlier this summer to prepare their palates for the opening of their next restaurant, Arroz in Washington, D.C.
“It’s a Spanish restaurant, but there’s a lot of influence from northern Morocco in southern Spain,” Isabella says.
Isabella investigated those cuisines for five days in Tangier, just a few hours north of his beverage director Taha Ismail's home city, Casablanca. Ismail’s father played tour guide, but Isabella and his team didn’t arrive without an agenda. “We got all our recommendations from Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain,” he says.