Isabella, a small restaurant serving local, seasonal American bistro-style food in Dedham Square, opened in August 1995. There’s lots of pendant lighting over the spacious bar and the rows of tables in the dining room. A chalkboard hanging on the far side of the bar lists the wine specials. At the end of the dining room, which features a decorative mural running the length of one wall, is the open kitchen, where diners can catch a glimpse of their meals being prepared.
Pictured: Interior of Isabella Restaurant. Next
For starters, the duck confit egg rolls ($13) arrived sitting atop a bed of spinach, with a bowl of peach agrodolce on the side. The egg rolls were crispy on the outside and packed with vegetables and a touch of duck confit. The agrodolce added a complementary sweet note, and its freshness balanced the fried rolls.
Pictured: Duck egg rolls. Next
The pork chop ($24), cooked a perfect medium-rare, had nice grill flavor and garlicky notes. It was served with tender-crisp broccolini and a polenta cake. The polenta cake was reminiscent of arancini with its crunchy outside encasing a creamy, cheesy filling. The goat-cheese and polenta mixture was studded with sun-dried tomatoes, which added small bursts of flavor.
Pictured: All natural Porkchop. Next
Smoked mozzarella and basil ravioli ($23) show the kitchen’s inventive side with pasta. The oversize ravioli are served in a puttanesca sauce full of capers and olives (both green and black), as the name would suggest, plus chicken and asparagus. Each bite of ravioli yields bacony flavor and rich cheese.
Pictured: Smoked Mozzarella & Basil Ravioli. Next
Sous-chef Lucarme-Pierre Louis (known as “Luc”), who has been at Isabella from the very beginning, started as a dishwasher shortly after emigrating from Haiti. Isabella also offers a number of seafood-based entrees. Luc describes himself as a seafood guy and claims the bouillabaisse and swordfish as his favorite dishes.
Pictured: Chef John Mahoney. Next
The desserts are made in house by pastry chef Ruth Armstrong, who is also a waitress at the restaurant. The walnut brownie sundae ($7) is made for those seeking something rich and chocolaty at the end of their meal. The brownies seem underbaked, in a good way, making them more like triangles of gooey fudge. They’re topped with vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped cream, a sprinkling of walnuts, and warm chocolate sauce.
Pictured: Walnut Brownie Sundae. Back to the beginning
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