Sunday, October 12, 2014

Isabella's Restaurant

Isabella's is a Mediterranean restaurant located on the Upper West Side (359 Columbus Avenue).

I must say that this restaurant is one of my favorites and any guest that I bring to this restaurant, leaves with a "I hope to come here again" comment. I've dined here at least 4 times (NOTE: the 4 times I have been here have been for dinners!!!, so I won't/can't write about their lunch/brunch menus or how my time then was), and each time, I have never been disappointed. The atmosphere is great! The waiters/waitresses I've encountered were all lovely and accommodating; they don't rush you! The pricing is not bad and compared to going to an overpriced restaurant with disappointing food, going to Isabella's is a better choice, especially if you're in the area. 
You can see their menus here:     
In addition to their menus, they have specials which differ (I'm assuming) day to day or maybe even week by week, something like that, but if you hear something you like from the special's list - GO FOR IT! Whether it's the appetizer or the entree, the stuff that comes from the "special of the day" list is really ON POINT.

Previously, I've had a Tomato Curry Bisque with a Crab Corn Salsa which just melted my heart. My friend and I shared this dish, and I feel like maybe we should have gotten our own bowls. Haha. It was THAT good. (on the right side of the picture)

Another special dish I tried was a Gnocchi with Truffle Shaving and a cream sauce. Very rich, and obviously, creamy, but it wasn't over the board. The truffle flavor really complimented the dish and the smooth texture of the gnocchi was just mesmerizing. During my dinner, I was able to hear the opinion of a lovely lady to the left of me, who is said to be a "big gnocchi fan," stating that the gnocchi she ate at Isabella's was really delicious. "One of the most delicious gnocchi's I've ever had."

A few dish recommendations I must write about are (the one's I've tasted of course):

Artichoke Alla Romana (Appetizer) - There's a wonderful roasted flavor from the artichokes, and the creamy tang from the brown butter vinaigrette pairs well the arugula. Everything comes together quite well and since it's a light dish, it won't be overbearing for the stomach. 

Crispy Point Judith Calamari (Appetizer) - This one is my mom's favorite, and I must say, it's some pretty good Calamari. You can rarely go wrong with Fried Calamari, but Isabella's takes it to another level. There's a solid spiciness to it, but it's not unbearable that you'll reach for the water immediately. The spiciness balances out the fried, oily aspect of the dish.

Mushroom Ravioli (Main) - I must say this particular dish might not fit everyone's palate since it consists of mushrooms and there is a blended arugula sauce, adding a very bitter flavor to this dish. Tasting the blended arugula alone is not the best choice, but when paired with the ravioli, some sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, and pieces of fresh arugula, it comes together to be a wonderful dish. Very interesting composition of flavors, really. 

Recommendations from others:

Grilled Branzino (Main)
Herb Roasted Chicken (Main)
Cheeseburger (Main)
Hay&Straw Linguine (Main)

Good pricing, great atmosphere, awesome food! I highly recommend this restaurant to everyone!!!!! :)


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