Staples of Naples

By The Editors
August 3, 2012 9:00 am

The Amalfi Coast — so romantic, it often inspires men to pursue the object of their desire with more frenetic élan than a handsy Silvio Berlusconi.

Bringing that passion to crudo: Isola, a verdantly chic, Amalfi-influenced trattoria opening tonight at the Mondrian SoHo.

Cheffed by a Todd English protégé, Isola is an airy, glass-ceilinged greenhouse of sparkling crystal chandeliers and Mediterranean tile floors.

Beneath a suspended glass sculpture, nattily-vested waiters ferry plates of bubbling pizza, house-made pasta and Isola’s specialty “crudos” (think Italian sashimi) – dishes like raw hamachi with salsa verde and avocado, salmon with charred ramps, and snapper with cantaloupe and fuji apple, among others. (behold the menu)

Behind the filigreed metal bar, mixologists shimmy up a rolling library ladder to fetch bottles for cocktails like the “Isola Bellini” with raspberry and white peach purée and the “Appian Way” with Hendrick’s, lemongrass and ginger, as well as Mediterranean-style “cañas” (short beers) and sweet vermouth on tap.

After dinner, adjourn to the open air wooden patio for dessert among the trees. It may not be Italy proper, but it will get handsy.


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