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Restaurant Review: Isacco Kitchen

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Restaurant Review: Isacco Kitchen

After several recommendations, and hearing the love story journey that brought Italian-born Chef Isacco Vitali to open his restaurant in St. Charles, I felt somewhat obligated to choose Isacco Kitchen for my first restaurant review.

After checking the calendar and realizing that I would be eating there on St. Valentine’s Day Weekend, I decided a reservation may be in order.  I called on the Wednesday night prior to find out they were already booked between the prime time of 7pm to 8:30 pm.  A good sign. They were very apologetic and offered me the choice of 9 pm or 6:30 pm. I chose 6:30 pm. So now, with good word of mouth, evidence of solid patronage and a unique background story, I’ve got to admit my expectations going in were high. 

After arriving with my wife on the Saturday night of Valentine’s weekend, I gave the last name for our reservation and we were promptly seated.  Looking around, we were surprised by the size of the dining room.  My guess is that it seats less than 40.  The tables were very close together but we didn’t feel cramped. 

The waitress quickly came over to our table and greeted us with a big smile, introduced herself, handed us each the one page menu and asked us if we would like to get any drinks before ordering.  I inquired about recommending a house specialty drink and she said that they had just put together a small drink menu.  She hurriedly went to retrieved one.  We selected the Italian Manhattan and Grapefruit Martini. 

While looking over the menu and waiting for our drinks, I was surprised by the choice of music coming from the lounge area, a sorted mix that included the talking heads.  Some soft traditional Italian or classical music would have gone a long way in setting a better mood to match the candlelit setting. 

The drinks soon arrived. The Manhattan seemed a bit small for the price, but tasted just fine. The Grapefruit Martini, however, was outstanding. It tasted just like a fresh grapefruit, yet had plenty of vodka and was just right for sipping. 

The waitress gave us the proper time to enjoy our drinks and review the menu before taking our orders.  We selected diver scallops with roasted garlic cream, vegetables ratatouille and shallot jam as our appetizer. For the entrees, my wife ordered the Pork Scaloppini a la Parmigiana with mushrooms raviolini and cream of carrots, while I chose the hand-made Agnolotti Pasta with meat & parmesan stuffing, sage and drawn butter.  

The 3 large diver scallops arrived about 10 minutes after ordering and they were cooked just right.  They were tasty, but it wasn’t the scallops alone that made this appetizer appealing.  I’ve been accused of being too “meat and potatoes,” and I admittingly am not a vegetable fan.  So I couldn’t believe I found myself moving the odd numbered scallop out of my way to get more of the delicios vegetables ratatouille.  

The main courses arrived promptly after our appetizer plates had been cleared.  My wife enjoyed her pork scaloppini, but wasn’t “wowed” by it.  After viewing the table next to us, she wished she had ordered one of the seafood dishes that were served to our fellow patrons. I, on the other hand, was ecstatic over my pasta, which was served in a European-sized portion - a slight disappointment, since I was left wanting more. For dessert we had Vanilla Crème Brulee and Chocolate Souffle.  (The waitress warned us that the soufflé would take at least 10 minutes, but would be worth the wait.)  The crème brulee was pleasant, but fairly average.  Our waitress wasn’t wrong on the soufflé, however. The rich chocolate of the soufflé was perfectly complimented by berries and a smooth creamy mango sorbetto. 

I give Isacco Kitchen an 8 out 10.  The service was prompt and attentive.  As a whole the food was very good and I’d recommend it to any frequent Fox Valley area diner as a stop they should add to their restaurant rotation.  I will be back to mix and match several of the other tempting appetizers, try other entrees - and of course for the grapefruit martini!

Location: Downtown St. Charles, IL - 210 Cedar Street 

Cuisine: Contemporary Italian.  Menu is changed and updated regularly.

Décor: Sleek and pristine with white painted walls, white tablecloths, simple silver and red chairs, ceramic flooring. Similar styled lounge area area with a stainless steel bar lined with black chairs.             

Reservations: Recommended.  Essential for special holiday weekends.

Price: Entrees are between $18 and $24. With appetizer, appropriate paired wine or drinks with and dessert, dinner could be approximately $40 to $60 per person.

Seating: Main dining area seats less 40.

Hours: Lunch   Tuesday – Saturday: 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. / Dinner   Tuesday & Wednesday: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Thursday - Saturday: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.; Sunday: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Monday – CLOSED

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