Chef Mike Isabella Credit: Graffiato DC website

Celebrity chef Mike Isabella is planning to open a restaurant in downtown Bethesda, sources have told Bethesda Beat.

Isabella is currently negotiating lease terms and an announcement will be made when a lease is signed, according to the sources.

A spokesperson for Isabella would not confirm the restaurateur’s intentions, saying in an email “at this time Mike has not signed a lease in Bethesda.”

Isabella, a New Jersey native, opened his first restaurant, Graffiato, an Italian concept, in 2011 on 6th Street in the District. Prior to that he served as executive chef at José Andrés’ Zaytinya in D.C.

Isabella gained national attention after he appeared on season six of the Bravo cooking show Top Chef and later was the runner-up on Top Chef All-Stars in 2011. Food & Wine readers voted him “The People’s Best New Chef” in the Mid-Atlantic region in 2012. Since then he has opened a Greek concept, Kapnos, and a sandwich shop, G by Mike Isabella, in the District; and a second Graffiato in Richmond.