The prospect of meeting Mike Isabella at the signing of his new cookbook, "Crazy Good Italian," on Saturday drove a few people into a frenzy.

"I lied to my wife to be here," said one man who (understandably) did not want to be named.

Isabella, the Top Chef alum and D.C. resident who is a partner Georgetown's Bandolero and Chinatown's Graffiato, visited Hill's Kitchen in Eastern Market, signing copies of his new book and meeting fans.

"You have a classic section [in the book] for the stuff I grew up eating, then you have some of the more modern pastas," Isabella said. Some of the more obscure ingredients he uses include sea urchin, goat and squid ink.

"I just want to let people know that food's not scary. Squid ink is not scary ... I just wanted to make it easy," Isabella said.

Isabella will be opening his new Greek restaurant, Kapnos, on 14th and W steets NW in late spring or early summer. G, an Italian sandwich shop, will be next door.

-- Contributed by Lucy Wescott