I get a lot of good deals on Restaurant.com, which is the main reason that we use it, but about 8 times out of 10 the restaurants we see are ones we've never heard of. I've had my fair share of problems using gift certificates from this site (such as bad food, closed locations, refusal to take a gift certificate, etc.) so I've come to expect mediocrity. Don't get me wrong - I find a good restaurant now and again this way, but when it happens, it usually comes as a complete surprise.
And to be honest, I don't think my family could have been more surprised by the quality of the pizza at Isabella's.
Appetizers:As usual, hubby had to order the calamari. He has an obsession with finding the best calamari and has become hard-to-impress due to the fact that he has ordered and consumed this dish from (literally) hundreds of restaurants.
As soon as we saw the calamari, we knew that it would be delicious. The batter was very light in color, and I mean very light, which generally means it was fried in good oil. The squid was wonderfully tender and had a nice mouth-feel. The sauce that it came with had a nice balance between sweet & robust, and the texture was just right for dipping. Spectacular.
The Pizza:I've had pizza in just about every corner of the country. I'm not a pizza-expert by any means, but I know my way around a good pie. We ordered two different ones (partly so that we could use up our gift certificate) and ended up choosing the pepperoni and the buffalo chicken.
If I had to choose pizzas for that day over again, I would have skipped the pepperoni and gone for two of their specialty pizzas instead.
It's not that their pepperoni pizza was bad - it was a standard pizza - it was that the specialty pizza was so good. For the record, we did think that the sauce on the pepperoni pizza could use a bit of work. It wasn't our favorite, but it wasn't bad either.
The buffalo chicken, on the other hand, needed no tweaking at all. As a matter of fact, I think I might be a bit worried if I were to find out that Isabella's was trying to improve whatever perfection they delivered to our table that day. Never in my life have I had a pizza that I have thought back to for so long. The toppings ratio was perfect, the sauce - I have no idea what kind of sauce they even used! - was divine. We devoured that pizza in short order.
For The Parents:Pizza is a perfect go-to for a family-style meal, and although the restaurant was relatively empty, the staff didn't mind our children's natural noisiness. As a matter of fact, the waitress was fantastic with them & even humored our four-year-old's request for his own menu!
Something I Found Odd:A thought that is still bothering me is that the restaurant was so empty the day we went. Were we there at a strange hour? Are they just in a bad location? They aren't going to go out of business are they!??? This is far and above some of the best pizza I've had in my life (if you discount the pepperoni), how is it possible that the restaurant wasn't packed to the gills? Other than us, I only counted three other customers in & out during the time we were there.
Deals:Ah, deals. The cornerstone of finding new restaurants. I was able to find Isabella's on Restaurant.com to snag about half-off my purchase that day, it's worth a look-see to check if they're still offering a discount through them. I've also seen them on GrubHub, which is a great site for getting a quick percent-off discount now and again. (They give new users a $5 discount, just check out my button on the sidebar to the right to collect!) My only problem with online ordering? At the moment, the chicken buffalo pizza I love isn't listed on their GrubHub menu. (Or any other website menu I can find. Believe me, I spent about an hour looking last week!)
Connect:Ready to try the pizza I can't get over? You can find Isabella's by checking out their website at www.isabellaspizzapasta.com or connecting with them on Facebook!
Have you ever been to Isabella's? What pizza did you try?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers!
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post and, as always, my opinions are purely my own.