Sometimes the best places are the ones you’ve never heard of…
Conveniently located near the Museum of Natural History, Isabella’s is a Mediterranean restaurant that’s been serving folks on the Upper West Side for over 24 years. Having walked by Isabella’s several times, Restaurant Week was the perfect opportunity to finally try it out… so I invited my college buddy Brett to wine and dine!
Brett went with the warm winter panzanella, while I opted for the parmesan bisque with bacon, sourdough croutons and chives. The bisque was really good and surprisingly not too salty given it was made of cheese and bacon.
I went with the oven roasted arctic char with farro (a whole grain similar to couscous, quinoa and rice), cauliflower and a citrus beurre blanc. Our waiter (who was really friendly – the entire staff was great) recommended the fish be cooked medium, like salmon would best be served. He was right – the arctic char was cooked perfectly with a really crispy crust. Arctic char is a meaty, mild fish and it was quite filling paired with the farro.
Brett ordered the braised short rib ragu pappardelle and said it was good. The dish included some mixed vegetables, not all of which he could discern but that’s the joy of a culinary adventure!
What’s a restaurant week dinner without dessert? I’m normally a chocoholic but I went with the lemon tart while Brett chose the caramel chocolate torte. The lemon tart, served with a raspberry sauce, was light and not too sweet. The chocolate torte, a flourless chocolate cake, was served with a toasted almond gelato. I had a taste and it was delicious! Two very different desserts — if I had to choose again though, I’d go with the chocolate torte because…chocolate.
Spread kindness and cheer, xo