Life Lesson: Never leave your wife stag on Canal Street at night so you don’t have to pay the fee at the ATM. Not even for a New York Minute. She might get jacked and more importantly, you’ll never hear the end of it.
Isola is the newest incarnation of a gorgeous, breathtaking space in the Mondrian Hotel in Soho that for some reason keeps trying to make sub-par restaurants. Ideally, this space would just exist to make people happy – visually indulgent and a great place to meet for cocktails with friends. Unfortunately, we do not live in such a fantasyland and some people have to make a buck. When you do arrive at Isola, you feel like you are in for something special when you walk in and through an ivy-laced corridor with exposed brick. Even with no reservations, we were seated by the lovely hostess within 15 minutes of arrival - after a drink at the bar and Heview being hit on by the maitre he’, there we were at a table for four right in the middle of our dream space. The antithesis of the friendly (and quick) staff to this point was our waiter. He took so bloody long between visits I could feel my food getting cold before it even arrived. By the time we finally got our appetizers, our waiter placed a Burrata Pizza with Pesto and Roasted Tomato, an order of Tuna Crudo with White Balsamic, Jalapeno, Watermelon and Pine Nuts, along with the Beef, Veal and Pork Meatballs in Roasted Tomato Sauce. The Tuna was a nice dish and seemed to be enjoyed by all who ventured into it and the Meatballs looked amazing and tasted something like decent. The Burrata Pizza was a thin crust and also just decent. At this point the meal needed to be saved by our company and the maitre he’, who decided to join us for a bit! If only the food was as good as he was flamboyant and amazing, we would have been in for a treat. For mains, the Branzino was somewhere in the middle of the road and the Parmesan Potatoes were completely dry. The Mushroom Polenta was the one saving grace of the second act, but a side dish does not a meal make. If we were going to get jacked anywhere, I’d prefer it be in here than for real on the street, so the night turned out ok from that perspective, but I do not need to come back here until the next restaurant gets churned out – until then I’ll just admire the space from afar. 9 Crosby Street | Between Grand & Howard Streets (212) 389-0000