Greece: Isabella’s Estiatorio [Closed]

GreeceIsabella’s Estiatorio [Closed]
330 W. State St.,
Geneva, IL

Isabella’s Estiatorio in downtown Geneva, IL really is an unexpected find. Perhaps I shouldn’t say that though, since they definitely have been found, what with a Zagat Rating proudly displayed, as well as a featured spot on Check Please!. We arrived at Isabella’s on a blustery Thursday, and the restaurant was already crowded. The dining room is understated and elegant, with hardwood floors and big picture windows. As we came in out of the cold and we were warmly greeted by our hostess and server (we thankfully had a reservation). The menu consists of a variety of rotating seasonal Mediterranean (with emphasis on Greek) dishes.

We started out with their home made dip plate, which consisted of a basket of fresh pita bread and a sample of four Greek dipping sauces and olives ($12). The included dips were tzatziki, melitzanosalata (chopped eggplant and tomatoes), taramosalata (Cod caviar) and hummus. All of the dips were excellent, and more than enough for two to share. The dish came highly recommended, and is always available, not matter the season. M also enjoyed a baby spinach salad with pears and blue cheese ($8).

For the main course, I (L) ordered the pork tenderloin with an apple cider glaze ($23). My favorite part of the dish was the neat little square of Manchego Potatoes Au Gratin, which was a cheesy layered, lasagna-style concoction. M chose mesquite grilled lamb chops ($28), which he had sampled there many times before. The chops came with crispy potatoes and a lemon-oregano reduction. The latest incarnation of the chops did not disappoint, and were tender and moist.

For dessert we had the white chocolate mousse, which was probably the least successful of the dishes. It was fairly watery, with both the texture and flavor of a mediocre zabaglione. But no matter, the rest of the meal had made up for it. Isabella’s is a great, unexpected spot for dinner if you happen to be in the Western suburbs. The service is friendly, the food is great and the atmosphere is refined, yet relaxed.

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