Young and Hungry

Mike Isabella Drops OpenTable, Signs Exclusive Deal With CityEats

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

  • David I

    Yes, and there is nothing wrong with Opentable. It works great and customers earn coupons. I'm not going to leave opentable even if I try cityeats.

  • Caryn Lovinger

    Graffiato is not even that good. I've eaten there twice and been disappointed. If he hadn't been on Top Chef, I doubt it would last into 2012.

  • Jane

    I also found Graffiato disappointing and overpriced. Why does he feel the need to shill for the Food Network? Is he running out of cash already?

  • research paper

    Thanks for info!!

  • Ivory

    While Isabella has the right to choose which site(s) patrons can use to book reservations, I'm not understanding why Graffiato can't be on both OpenTable and CityEats. As someone mentioned, selling out to the Food Network doesn't make any chef appealing.

    And I'll throw in my support with the 'Graffiato isn't even that great crowd'. It was underwhelming to say the least. There was one good dish out of the 6-7 our table ordered and they don't even have that pizza on the menu anymore.

  • gerry

    Open Table has an outdated and skimpy reward program. When are these guys going to get in the modern era and get rid of coupons

  • KP

    OpenTable charges the restaurant $1.25 /per guest per reservation when making a reservation through the OpenTable Website, $0.25 per guest per reservation when going through OT link on Restaurant website. They have had a monopoly in this city for years, new restaurants needing visibility HAVE to use OpenTable because there is not other option. OpenTable knows this--So they charge what they want. Restaurants need more competition to help lower the prices.