Restaurants & Bars


Isabella's - Asbury Park


Restaurants & Bars 9

Isabella's - Asbury Park

bgut1 | Nov 20, 2007 05:20 PM

The DW and I had the opportunity to run out this evening for a quick dinner. We decided to drive into AP and see what was open on this slow night. We parked on Cookman and focused on either Plan B or Isabella's. Neither were very busy this evening so we decided to jump at the first one with the most appetizing menu. To be honest neither did it for us so we choose Isabella's as several friends had recommended the restaurant in the past. The room is pretty nondescript. I found it quite odd, that but for an interesting color scheme, there was no design to the space. In fact I do not recall any wall coverings or pictures in the entire room. There were no table coverings either instead each place setting sat atop place mats which contained errant splatters of tomato sauce (not a good sign). Hoping the food was good we decided to proceed with ordering our meal. While I rarely eat pasta (I pretty much eschew the white stuff due to my low carb diet), my DW and I decided to give them a try as they were recommended highly by our server. We started with a split of their beet salad with mixed greens, walnuts and blue cheese. A pretty common offerings at restaurants these days and a fine way to gauge this kitchen. While not bad the salad wasn't anything special. While the beets were not canned, they really had very little beet flavor. The greens were pretty fresh and the vinagrette dressing was okay but we found very little blue cheese and the walnuts (usually candied in such a preparation) were dry flavorless and burnt (probably from roasting them in a pan of some sort). An inauspicious start if you ask me. Again, due to our server's recommendation, my DW ordered the cappelini with crab meat and escarole in an olive garlic sauce while I ordered the linguini with mussels, clams and shrimp in a light marinara sauce which I asked to made spicy. After placing our order I inquired whether the pasta was fresh. I was advised that it was dry (not in itself bad) but brought in. Now, neither of the pasta dishes were bad, in fact my pasta was a nice al dente and the sauce was cooked spicy to my specifications. The problem however with both dishes was the fact that had you not known you had ordered pasta you would have thought by looking at the dishes that both were soup. There was so much watery sauce in the bowl, the pasta was swimming in it. I don't know about you but I prefer my sauce less watery and lightly coating the pasta. I almost had the nerve to ask for a soup spoon with my dish. Although we dutifully ate our meals and left, I seriously doubt we will return. BTW, the cost of the shared salad and two entrees was $62 excluding gratuity. Thanks for reading and be well.

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