Isidora: dine and admire the port in Punta del Este
At Isidora they want to please you without any molecular or gastronomic fuss. The food is genuine and tasty, which is the opposite approach from its neighbouring restaurant (no naming here), where we were sent by our hotel (Fasano) concierge at first. Either the concierge does not understand good food or the owner must be his friend.
Dismayed, we peeked into Isidora and were immediately greeted by a friendly waiter who seated us to a table of our liking – that is what I call attentive and pleasant service! The choice is wide and vegetarian-friendly.
You can start with a hearty plate such as the Fried cheese served with a small green salad and sweet chutney. The Italian style cheese from a local farm was delicious, tender and gooey enough, so it was very amusing to watch the happy face of my fiancée wrapped in the sticky strings of this surely delicious cheese. I had a taste and must confirm it was like my favorite childhood dish (and of many Czech kids and still of some adults), the “Smažený sýr“. My mum was harassed every Saturday, since it was the one day of the week we could choose the items of our lunch (Sundays we were tortured with a rabbit that to our father’s disdain me and my sister despised), to make this delicacy for us.
The Panfried squids with spices and vegetables were also tasty. Not too chewy, but rather cooked just enough to be enjoyably munched by our youthful strong teeth (I am not sure how I would manage them having my grandmother’s teeth). A lovely dish, ideally paired with a refreshing and fruity Albariño by the popular Uruguayan producer Bouza, that we ordered.
Another great choice from the main courses was on the olive oil Pan fried local fish served with fresh herbs and grilled vegetables. It is a healthy choice, although the fish is big so fills one up noticeably. The white fish was similar to a Mediterranean sea bass or sea bream. It had a soft texture, was not flaky, but also had quite a lot of bones. The later took so much of my effort that I felt like I have worked the calories from the fish out leaving some space for something sweet.
My chocolate addiction widened my pupils when I peaked at the deserts offer. The Dark Chocolate Volcano is like a spell for me, I don’t care if they serve it with an ok ice cream or fresh cream, unless my plate contains the rich cup-shaped cocoa cake exploding with liquid dark chocolate once your spoon dives into it. I should write a poem about this passion of mine mentioning the best edible volcanoes I have relished so far. I might post it once my creative fluids overflow with chocolate. Nevertheless, at Isidora the chocolate sweet heaven was perfect and I would recommend it to any choco-obsessed maniac like me.
The atmosphere is casual, friendly, comfortable and red all around you. Red walls and chairs add a jolly and festive feel to this spacious restaurant. Young, old, families and couples – anyone dines at Isidora ( just oligarchs probably swam across the Atlantic). You can wear jeans and t-shirt and you will be fine. Enjoying the food and friendly service with wine seems to be the main mission of this restaurant.
Drinks: The wine list is interesting if you are eager to explore the local wines. We went for a bottle of well-priced Albariño 2010 from Bouza, one of the most popular and reliable producers ow wine from Uruguay. It was quite low in alcohol, fruity, aromatic and ideal with seafood, fish as well as on its own as a cocktail.
If you rather prefer something proven, then go for a bottle of white or red Malbec from Argentina. The later is great with meat and accomplishes the Chocolate Volcano perfectly. The prices at Isidora are very reasonable so do not hesitate to order any wine your palate desires since the mark-up is not bad.
Cuisine: International, seafood
Visit: December 2012
Price: Medium (Convenient location in the town centre that does not just “milk” tourists but serves good food with amiable service).
Opening hours: Daily from 11am. Open even off-the-season.
Address: Harbours Rambla & 21 st. street, Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Contact: Tel: + (598) 42 44 96 46; email: email@example.com