On Friday, Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar, a coastal Italian restaurant inspired by the Amalfi Coast, will debut at Mondrian SoHo.
Native Sicilian Victor LaPlaca serves as executive chef. LaPlaca has spent the last 17 years working with Todd English. His signature crudos include tuna with white balsamic, compressed melon, and pine nuts; snapper with cantaloupe, Fuji apple and pickled red jalapeño; and fluke with Meyer lemon, radish, and olive oil. The entrée menu offers dishes such as burrata pizza with squash blossom pesto and roasted tomato, dry-aged Maremma steak on the bone with creamy mushroom polenta and truffled lardo, and branzino with braised escarole and limoncello sauce.
“The menu at Isola is an authentic reflection of the cuisine I grew up eating and preparing along the Italian coastline,” say LaPlaca. “We are using the freshest ingredients available and preparing them simply and honestly; the emphasis here is on clean cuisine and pitch-perfect flavor combinations.”
The 5,000-sq-ft (465-sq-m) greenhouse space features an iron-framed entrance with an outdoor garden, wooden benches, a two-person porch swing, and chandeliers. Artist Beth Lipman created the oversized hanging glass sculpture. Guests can pull up a plush leather seat at one of the high-top, dark wood communal tables or choose one of 11 seats at the zinc bar with a functional wine display.
Steve Olson curated the beverage program, which includes an extensive wine selection and a rotating selection of market cocktails and daily pressed juices; the bar also has traditional Mediterranean sweet vermouth on tap. Signature cocktails include the Isola Bellini made with prosecco, white peach and raspberry.