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“Has potential...”

Isabella's Taverna & Tapas Bar
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Ranked #9 of 405 Restaurants in Frederick
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Families with children, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: We welcome you to visit and enjoy our restaurant in downtown historic Frederick located in the Hendrickson Building. We have selected the finest Spanish cuisine complemented with an exclusive wine list. In the heart of historic Frederick, Maryland, Isabella"s has become a favorite destination for local residents and worldwide travelers alike in search of a truly Mediterranean dining experience.
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Has potential...”
Reviewed July 16, 2014 via mobile

Isabella's came highly recommended by a co worker of mine. I just moved to Frederick and am trying as many restaurants as I can.

I dined on a Wednesday night and walked in at about 9:15. There was only a handful of patrons remaining. I sat at the bar as I always do when dining alone and was the only person at the bar. I asked the bartender for the beer menu. As an avid beer drinker, I was hoping for something better. While I appreciate drinking locally, your choice is Brewer's Alley and Brewer's Alley... I had recently tried a fill flight at Brewer's Alley and was less than impressed. I moved on to the martini list and signature cocktails. I asked the bartender about one of them and she was unsure what the main ingredient was. She allowed me to sample the martini which was appreciated. I ordered that drink and was very pleased.

I then asked for a good menu and what the signature dishes were. The bartender recommended the fried asparagus. The presentation was nicely displayed in a champagne glass with the dipping sauce in the bottom of the glass. The asparagus was cooked perfectly and the sauce was quite flavorful. My only critique was that the asparagus was cut too long and write tough at the ends. I could not chew through them and consequently pulled the asparagus out of the breading.

The bartender also recommended the special of paella which was served with crab and shrimp. She warned me that it would be up to 25 minutes wait. The paella actually arrived before I could finish my appetizer. I could tell that the rice was extremely overcooked before taking a bite. The shrimp were tiny and not cleaned with their fecal matter still visible. There was a nice portion of crab meat displayed on top of the dish. The peas were cooked properly as the were brought green and still with a bit of pop. There were brought colors and visually pleasing. However the dish as a whole lacked flavor and depth. The only flavor top the dish was the heat from the sausage.

I ordered a second drink with my dinner, a Hendricks dirty martini. It was not dirty and the olives used were smaller than a dimes diameter. They were pathetic.

There is promise for this restaurant; but you're only as good as your worst meal. And this one didn't invite me back.

Helpful?
2 Thank Brad F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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349 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    158
    135
    30
    21
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Montville, Connecticut
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Loved it”
Reviewed July 10, 2014 via mobile

We ate here for lunch on a weekday after walking by and seeing some people eating the asparagus fries out on the sidewalk tables. These are served in a champagne glass with the alioli sauce in the bottom. Great presentation. We enjoyed the special of 3 tapas for $10.99 (?). We enjoy tapas at restaurants as it gives us a small size of of different dishes. Service of delivering the dishes was perfectly timed as it should be when odering tapas. The asparagus fries were extremely delightful.

Helpful?
Thank Cindy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laytonsville, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Very disappointed and underwhelmed”
Reviewed June 28, 2014

My husband and I were looking forward to Isabella's tonight and ordered several different tapas. Their "fried asparagus" was touted as a signature dish and came out flavorless with a gummy crust and no seasoning. They offered to bring us a new order but we decided to wait for our other dishes instead. We ordered a skirt steak entree that was supposed to be medium - it came out well done. We told the waiter and he apologized and once again, offered to get us a new steak. At that point, we were so underwhelmed with our meal, we just asked for the check. The manager came over and apologized for the steak - he had no knowledge that we had also sent back the asparagus. The other dishes we got were just OK (goat cheese flat bread and anchovy bruschetta). We have followed Mike Isabella and really enjoyed his former restaurant in DC called Zaytinya and eat there frequently - Isabella's was a real disappointment. We were offered a free dessert but had already written off this dining experience. We were not offered any future credit nor were we comped anything other than the dishes we returned. There are other tapas places in Frederick that we will go back to - Isabella's is not one of them!

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, New Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
209 reviews
155 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Good value”
Reviewed June 21, 2014

Wandered into this place and had the 3 tapas lunch special with a draft IPA from their sister institution, a brewpub. Third tapa never arrived but after 15 min I asked for,it and it was brought. To my tastes the IPA was chemical tasting .

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank B F H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Market, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great food, awesome location.”
Reviewed June 18, 2014

Isabella's is a must if you live in Frederick, or if you're just visiting. The selection of tapas is great, plenty to choose from for all food groups. Make sure to order the Asparagus Fries, (I forgot the spanish name for them, I believe they're the first option under appetizers.) you will not be disappointed. I don't think I've ever ordered something from here that I haven't liked. Service is great, staff is friendly. If you can during summer, make sure to sit outside, the location is perfect in Frederick's beautiful downtown.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Electrotech11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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