ISA is a restaurant born of the coming together of two great forces. Namely the former chef from Il Buco and the front man from Freemans. As you’d expect the place is a total hipster foodie mecca, in fact many say it’s the coolest restaurant in New York at the moment.
The one unisex bathroom felt like you had walked in to a grooved out 70s chalet bathroom. There are odd angular mirrors on the triangular wooden walls so you can see yourself from all angles. A speaker that looks like a grey rock plays loud tripped out rock music directly at you, something certainly not heard in the restaurant itself. Enough of the bathroom, we really need to focus on the food.
The dishes were both surprising and straight forward at the same time. Food is sourced locally as you’d expect but at first glance the menu looked very limited with just 6 starters and a couple of main courses. After our panic subsided and we carefully reread our choices we realized that it was in fact a varied and interesting menu with dishes like tartare with creme fraiche, broth poured over foie gras and fresh peas, a whole squid baked, we think, because it was like no squid we’ve ever tried. We suggest choosing lots of tiny dishes with maybe one main course to share as it’s all about tasting everything at Isa.
The wine list was the most unusual we’ve ever seen and it terrified us. Wine from Slovakia, eek we cried. However, in the spirit of attempting to be hip we gave it a try and were actually quite pleasantly surprised. The off-beat wine list with such selections as Orange Wine (a dry wine the opposite of rose) ended up being just as pleasing and perfect as the food itself. The staff is really well-informed about everything and are delightfully friendly and professional at the same time. The entire experience was just a whole handful of cool deliciousness and one that we highly recommend.ISA. 348 Wythe Street. Between 2nd & 3rd Street. Williamsburg. Brooklyn. NY 11211. Tel: 347 689 3594 Brunch weekends 11.30am – 3pm. Dinner nightly 6pm – 11.30pm (10pm Sundays)