Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Location: 501 W Diversey
Cost: About $20 per person

The other week, I was invited to come check out this spot in Lincoln Park, Isabel's. They hit me up with in the middle of July, but because I'd been so busy, it took me a while to stop in. Jenny and I met up after work one day last week and walked a bit north to see what they were all about.

Isabel's is on Diversey in a rather busy part of town. The vibe is interesting when you walk in. The decor is somewhere between Italian restaurant and diner. Accordingly, the menu options are inexpensive and you get can by with casual attire, but I had this lingering feeling that they should commit to one style or the other.

Our service was quick, friendly, and efficient, but there weren't too many other patrons to draw attention from us. Entrees were around $10, and the portion sizes were huge. They also had very cheap wine options with a glass of the house red going for like $4.

The Food
We split the Caprese Salad to start. It was standard and refreshing with rather large hunks of mozzarella. Jenny got the Chicken and Vodka sauce over Fettuccine. She wanted to know about other pasta options, but very interestingly they only had linguine. It's great that they hand roll their pasta, but I was pretty shocked to see that they only had one pasta option. Anyways, the sauce was rich, the pasta had a nice chew to it, and the chicken was moist. I went with the Chicken Cacciatore. It was probably the best chicken dish I've had in months. The chicken was juicy and doused in this garlic and onion heavy tomato sauce that had quite the kick. There were these little button mushrooms hidden throughout the dish too. The potatoes on the side were just average, but it didn't really matter.

The Caprese Salad

 The Fettuccine with Chicken and Vodka Sauce

The Chicken Cacciatore

I didn't know what to make of Isabel's at first. I'm pretty sure Jenny didn't like it because of the diner feel and how empty it was. Still, the Chicken Cacciatore was so good, and only $11. It would be nice to have more dining compatriots and for them to get the stylistic issues settled, but I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Pearls anyways.

Note: You might have figured out that they invited me to the restaurant, and I still gave them a Pearl rating. That is because despite inviting me to the restaurant, they seemingly forgot that I was coming in. Clearly my rating reflects that I am not bitter about this, but I just wanted to clarify for any interested party.
Isabel's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Jeff,

    You have never reviewed a Turkish restaurant, it seems. :P

    We were considering trying out one of the Turkish restaurants that there are in Chicago but couldn't decide which one to go to. I guess I will have rely on Yelp ratings now since I couldn't find a review here, lol.