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I recently posted a review of one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the city.  I only recently found out that one of my favorite NYC brunch spots is a part of the same restaurant group.  Isabella’s is an upscale Zagat-rated Mediterranean restaurant on the Upper West Side.  Adjacent to Central Park, it’s a sophisticated restaurant which apparently has many celebrity visitors (though I’ve yet to see any!).


Outdoor dining at Isabellas. (Photo courtesy of their website)

When my sister lived in the city, it was a go-to spot when the whole family came to town on Sunday mornings.  Now, even though it’s a bit farther for us, the food and atmosphere make it worth the trip uptown.  The sidewalk seating, right across the street from the park, gives it that gorgeous upper-west-side feel but without the ridiculously priced menu.

Although it’s technically Mediterranean, the menu isn’t restricted to just seafood.  Whether you’re in the mood for an omelette, sandwich, or chicken, you’ll find a gourmet version of whatever you’re looking for.

We usually get the fresh fruit plate to start. The egg white omelette is my favorite – with wild mushroom, tomatoes, and Muenster.  Of course you’ll have to pair it with a bellini or mimosa (I had both…).  My family loves the bloody marys (although they’re not for me).

Isabella’s also serves their complimentary bread with their signature strawberry butter.  In my most recent visit, I was able to snag the recipe and wanted to share it here!

Isabella’s Strawberry Butter

Isabella's Strawberry Butter

Isabella’s Strawberry Butter (Photo courtesy of their website)

  • 1 lb softened unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 oz. fresh strawberries
  • pinch of salt
  1. Combine strawberries, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  2. Toss with a spoon and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Put softened butter in a food processor & whip until smooth.
  4. Add strawberry mixture to food processor and continue to whip until smooth.

Spoon strawberry butter into a small ramekin and serve immediately with Irish Soda Bread, or a bread of your choosing.

Check out Isabella’s and try their specialties for yourself – located at 359 Columbus Avenue.