Monday, August 15, 2011

Trattoria Isabella

Location: 217 N. Jefferson St.
Cost: About $25 per person

My buddy Josh finally moved out of the medical district and into the West Loop. I wanted to check out his new place, so I headed over that way. His family was still around from helping him move in, and we all went out to dinner. We went right around the corner from his place to, Trattoria Isabella.

Trattoria Isabella is a pretty huge restaurant with multiple dining areas and a beautiful patio with outdoor bar. They have complimentary parking too. We would've sat outside, but it was a scorcher. We practically had one of the dining rooms to ourselves since it was a bit slow at 6PM on a Sunday (plus everyone else was on the patio). They take reservations, but the seating is pretty expansive, so it seems like a safe bet for a short wait.

The service was spot on throughout the meal. The food was fairly priced. Most everything from pasta to chicken floated between the high teens and low twenties. The portions were large enough to justify the cost but nothing excessive. It should be noted that they have a pizza oven normally, but it's been on the fritz for the past little while.

The Food
We got things rolling with an order of the Grilled Calamari. It came out with a pleasant, sweet balsamic dressing. There was a nice texture to the calamari, and there was just the right smokey hint to each bite.

 The Grilled Calamari

For the main course we got the Gnocchi Bolognese, the Farfalle al Pollo, the Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce, the Chicken Marsala, the Special Ravioli, the Di Mare Pasta, and the Whitefish of the day. I thought the gnocchi was a bit tough texturally. The rigatoni and farfalle had a similar cream sauce that was scrumptiously rich and tangy. The ravioli was bursting with cheese, and if I didn't ignorantly burn the roof of my mouth, I might have enjoyed it more. Scott and Davida really enjoyed their fish and chicken respectively. The marsala sauce had a really nice thickness and sweetness to it.

The Farfalle al Pollo

The Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce

The Chicken Marsala

The Gnocchi Bolognese

The Special Ravioli

The Di Mare

 The Fish of the Day

It should also be noted that the Finkle's have gone back to Trattoria Isabella since this visit and were just as impressed if not more so. That being said, consistency seems to be a strength.

From atmosphere to the service, and most importantly to the food, we were pretty pleased with Trattoria Isabella. The gnocchi connoisseur in me was left wanting more, but the other dishes I got to try were spot on. The patio really is a great al fresco option as well. I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Pearls.

Trattoria Isabella on Urbanspoon

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