Isa Bistro - Portland
A husband and wife duo, Isaul brings his experience cooking French and Italian food to life with a splash of his Mexican heritage and his wife Suzie is the sommelier and face of the front. They showcase local farms and purveyors and offer craft beers and house specialty cocktails. The dining room is cozy and quaint with an original black tin ceiling. Request a seat in the outdoor patio during the summer months and you will forget where you are. The menu changes for Mexican Mondays and be sure to get the tacos, whatever they may be!
- Surfaces sanitized between seatings
- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
- Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
- Limited number of seated diners
- Extra space between tables
- Waitstaff wear masks
- Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
- Contact tracing information collected
Our in-laws flew into Portland at 3pm. We were so happy to see ISA open at 4pm. My father in law is not a seafood lover but he did try the octopus and loved it! Try the pork chop and the mushroom salad. I loved my Hibiscus Margarita (perfectly spicy for me). Amazing meal!!
We ate outside with chilly temperature, so a soup on the menu would have been great. Otherwise the food was super yummy, service a bit slow but we probably noticed it because of the temperature ! Ambience and noise level weren't too relevant since we were outside, maybe festive lights and a heat lamp or two would have bumped up my score.
Food and service were both exquisite! The atmosphere was relaxed and we very much enjoyed our experience
I loved my first experience at Isa! It's cozy and small. Feels local. And the food was wonderful. Perfect portions and a good value. The staff was very friendly and professional.
This charming bistro is off the main tourist area and was exactly what were looking for. Everything we tried was delicious! They are have an interesting wine list to compliment the food.
Great food and drink. Service was awesome. Friendly atmosphere
Best pork chop, maybe ever.
ISA maintains consistently high standards. Every dish on their menu is thoughtful and delicious.
Just get out of main o Portland to this spot. Staff was great, pleasant, knowledgeable.
Great food, service and atmosphere.
The service was excellent and the food was incredible. Very cool atmosphere as well. We will definitely eat at Isa again.
Amazing experience. We sat outside and were mostly alone for the evening (October in Maine, probably busier in the warmer months). Service was attentive but not pushy, and very knowledgeable. Exceeded my expectations
This place was so intimate and lovely. The food was absolutely fabulous for every single course. Definitely recommend!
We loved it!
Isa is fantastic - the food (thanks chef Isa), the people are so lovely, a gorgeous setting. We've been huge fans and regulars since it opened in 2016.
Food, service, and ambiance were impeccable. My fellow diner and I enjoyed a perfectly prepared octopus, fresh and crisp fennel salad and both had the halibut entree. I would not have changed a thing about the meal.
Something to think about, many restaurants in Portland have short menus, this one included. I recommend checking online before you go to make sure there is something that appeals to everyone dining with you.
Wonderfully high-quality dining in a small neighborhood setting. The quesadilla is worth having just for the amazing blue corn tortilla. The tagliatelle bolognese is satisfying yet surprisingly light - the homemade pasta is superb. A diverse, interesting and reasonably priced wine list (the chef’s wife is a somm) rounds out a lovely experience. Very busy on a Monday night (!) so book ahead.
Excellent place to have dinner on the back porch. Great ambiance and even better food.
The variety of food items across the menu was excellent. You aren’t confined to a single vision of flavors and food origins. Our meals were also just the right size! We weren’t overwhelmed by the volume sitting on the plates. Each dish was delicious! Incredible pasta dishes.Try the Amari after dinner. It’s not on enough menus and our server knew his subject.
Beautiful, calm, safe environment with welcoming staff & a talented chef. We sat at the bar which is divided into 3 dining areas with a fabulous bartender who advised us on our food as well as wine. We could look into the kitchen from there which was spotless and see Isa et al create their magic with a smile. I had the rabbit tagliatelle which was the best rabbit I’ve ever had & started with the mushroom salad with locally foraged mushrooms. My husband had the octopus starter & the Bolognese tagliatelle which he loved. We finished with apple tart tat-in which brought me back to Paris. The staff couldn’t have been nicer or more considerate. Highly, highly recommend!
The food here is clear prepared with love and passion. Isa is showcasing a fusion of his culture and his culinary experience in a beautiful result.
Overall great spot and would go back. We had the octopus and mushroom quesadilla appetizers to start. The octopus was great but the quesadilla lacked a little flavor for my liking. I had the carbonara which was quite good but honestly, I'm not the biggest pasta fan so I shouldn't have gotten this dish. My husband had the pork chop over apples which was honestly to die for and was a huge portion. The chocolate cake as others have mentioned was the best I've ever had, so so good.
Wine list was quite good. We sat at the bar and the bar tender was professional, friendly and working hard.
I think if they dimmed the lights and added a few more details to add some more ambiance it would really be a home run.
The food quality was great and I'm looking forward to going back.
Truly fabulous food and service. Unfortunately, it was freezing inside the restaurant because they kept the door open between their indoor and outdoor dining spaces.
Sweet little place with a menu full of temptations. We had the seared duck breast, French fries with a fabulous aioli. Sat at the bar and had great service from Alice. Owner Isa and his brother are chefs and were hard at work. Highly recommend!
Stag were friendly and the food was outstanding. We shared the Lobster app. My husband had the pork chop and said it was the best he ever had. I had the Rabbit, it was delicious. We are so glad we found this wonderful restaurant.
Great food and great atmosphere. A little cold with the door open to outdoor dining which made our meal chilly after requesting indoor dining to avoid a cold dining experience. Food and service was awesome.
First of all, this was only the 5th time since the beginning of Covid that I have dined at a restaurant ( except for outdoor seating at local breweries ), so this particular evening was a special occasion for that reason as well, as I So long for meals prepared by imaginative Chefs of all backgrounds.
I have never felt as comfortable and safe in the confines of a restaurant as our party was at Isa. From the front of the house to the kitchen sink, everyone was masked. The tables were well separated and the bar was only sparsely populated. Our server, Abby, was masked and gloved - and, of course, courteous and efficient. All recently vacated tables were thoroughly wiped down, chairs included, before being reset.
Isa has a comfortable bistro feel with simply appointed black and white decor, and the menu was diverse and fun to browse. We shared taquitos and a burrata and arugula salad. My MO, which I strongly advise, is that when burrata is on the menu order it! Isa’s did not disappoint. For entrees we shared halibut, duck ragu, and rabbit tagliatelle. The featured pasta dish of the evening was locally foraged Maitake mushroom pasta , which out of deference to wild mushrooms I should have ordered, but when there is duck on the menu … ( if only we were 4 instead of 3! ). Dessert wasn’t necessary but Isa’s Tres Leches cake is a classic. However, the highlight this visit was the Apple Tarte Tatin with local apples, and so very good.
My advice: Eat there, and tip well!
Isa is fabulous. Great food and cocktails, beautiful presentation, friendly, knowledgeable, efficient staff, great atmosphere. In this times of plague, I particularly appreciate the outdoor seating, but inside is cozy and quite charming.
A must try. Simple ingredients made to perfection.
Thanks for making a birthday celebration special! Wonderful food, excellent service!
For a hybrid New Yorker-Downeaster, Isa Bistro is one of my favorite places for dinner in Portland. On our second visit recently, we sat inside and felt comfortable with well-spaced tables and carefully masked wait staff. The staff here is true PROS, for whom we all are increasingly grateful. Crispy potato-stuffed taquitos let the chef show off his chops with a flavorful sauce. Grilled octopus reminded we were sea-side. And pork chops and rabbit stew entrees emphasized the autumn season. My Brooklyn-born companion gave a thumbs-up to the creamy cheesecake.
Lovely small restaurant that is always a pleasure
Wonderful service and incredible food with a very approachable and peaceful atmosphere.
Enjoyed our dinner. Great service!
Excellent food, pork chop was perfect. Best chocolate desert ever!
Wonderful meal, exceptional service.
Everything is fabulous! The wait staff is very knowledgeable, so use it!
Fantastic food at a good cost. Lovely service. We went once and returned the next week.
Isa is simply an outstanding gem in the great restaurant city of Portland. Pound for pound Isa is the best restaurant in town and their consistency and quality is simply amazing
Great food and drink. Fabulous staff. A great place to celebrate something special — even if special is the end of a work week.
Isa Bistro - Portland offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (207) 808-8533.
Isa Bistro - Portland is rated 4.8 stars by 190 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.