Isa Bistro - Portland

4.9
248 Reviews
$31 to $50
Bistro
Isa is a small neighborhood bistro serving eclectic and seasonally driven menu. Reservations are available inside and we are still seating at limited capacity to offer additional space for guests and staff. Our private outdoor patio is available from May until mid October. We ask that you be mindful of your 2 hour time slot so we may accommodate all guests. Please provide 24 hours notice for cancellations or a late cancellation fee may apply.
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!

Experiences

  • Valentine's Day Prix Fix

    $75.00 per person

    Feb 14, 2022 only

    Join us on Monday 2.14 for our Valentine's Day $75 per person menu. Please be mindful of the two hour reservation slot as we are still at limited capacity to offer guests more space. Optional wine pairings available.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 248 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.9based on recent ratings
4.9
food
4.9
service
4.7
ambience
4.7
value
Noise · Moderate
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PW
PWMfoodie
New England
5 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Reliably good food & great service. But room was cold on frigid evening!
We’ll be back, maybe when weather is warmer.

SW
StacieW
New England
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a cozy spot with delicious food and excellent service. Highly recommend.

GT
vipGaryTheK
New York Area
38 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great neighborhood bistro, with creative cuisine and a well-curated wine list.

DL
vipDianaL
New England
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious- we had the roasted mushroom salad, eggplant lasagna and the pasta bolognese. We ordered the coconut cream pie and chocolate pie to go which was a delightful treat to eat at home in front of the fire. The bartender was fun and funny and attentive. I had only eaten lunch there (before Covid) and now it's right at the top of my list for favorite dinner spots!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food!

KA
KAnna
Naples
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this restaurant. Every time I am in Portland I make a point to have dinner here. The menu is fantastic! A few favorites are the burrita and the Caesar salad with white anchovies. Also a big fan of their fish and pork chop. Love the founders story as well, there is such care for the food. Make sure you end your night either with the tres leches cake or the coconut cream pie.

SQ
SuzanneQ
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Isa is a favorite - the staff is so professional, ambiance is like a neighborhood place in NYC's East Village, and the FOOD!!! Award winning bolognese, a must have along with the focaccia. And, the french fries with aioli are incredible. Mixed drinks are spot on and the desserts are stellar. Thank you Isa for EVERYTHING!!!

MH
MHEnright
New England
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Isa always delivers and delights, delicious food, great service.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
25 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Isa remains our “go to” place: in fact our only indoors dining spot in these parlous times. A varied menu of very well prepared, delicious dishes combined with warm, attentive service and socially-distanced seating. We would be bereft without it.

JB
JackB
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food at Isa was absolutely incredible. Everything we ordered, down to the bottle of wine was absolutely exquisite. Thank you for the wonderful dinner experience, Isa. We will be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service! We tell all our friends about Isa! Thank you!

DE
DanielE
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, well crafted cocktails, cozy atmosphere...what's not to like about Isa Bistro? And if that wasn't enough, the staff also understands service. One of the few places we've dined where service has not suffered in the wake of COVID.

KM
KfromME
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2022
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food and experience is always wonderful.

M
Marshall
New England
15 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2022
Overall4food5service4ambience3

It was cold the night I was there and the heavy drape to prevent outside air from entering the restaurant was only ½ closed. If the two top corners had been fixed the blockage of cold outside air would have been much better.
The menu is small but adequate. It has vegetarian, beef, chicken and seafood entrees. The quality of the food was excellent!!
The wait staff was attentive and willing to find answers if they didn't know.
Then noise level was moderate. There is parking behind the restaurant.

JG
vipJGNYC
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Small, but extremely well executed menu packed with flavors and textures to delight all taste buds. Lovely neighborhood place. Will definitely be back soon.

NA
NewellA
New England
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Was great. We all had different entrees and they were all fantastic. Only drawback is that there can be a bit of a draft coming off the street.

f
fishstickkitty
New England
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food…easy parking…excellent service and ambiance!!

WG
vipWineGuy13
New England
11 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food, drinks, atmosphere, and service. Isa Bistro, where have you been all my life?

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best meal by far in years!

DF
DavidF
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fantastic meal on a snowy night in Portland. We sat at the bar(best seats in the house) bartender (Brian?) was helpful with suggestions and the service was great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place!

LB
LauraB
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Charming place with excellent food and service.

ER
ElizabethRHPortland
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Isa Bistro continues to be one of my favorite restaurants in Portland - and if you know this town, that's saying a lot! Every time I bring friends here, they ask why don't we hear more about this place? I have no idea. Every meal I have had here - dozens over the years - has been mouth-watering and delicious. The flavors and textures are always unique.

I find myself trying to create them at home and never quite get there. They are miraculously able to provide the same quality when you order the dishes through curb side pick up, so I never have to create them myself.

They are wonderful people and the design is beautiful, so go ahead and enjoy the neighborhood vibe while you are there.

WS
WineSimpleton
New England
39 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Isa Bistro is a lovely, comfortable. informal, down-to-earth experience offering pretty darn exceptional food. Striving to be a high-concept neighborhood bistro, they have certainly succeeded. The limited menu and limited seating both mean they can - and do -deliver consistently high-quality renditions of well-conceived simple but elegant dishes. I laud them for that.

In spite of Portland's vaunted reputation as a restaurant city, my wife and I seldom come out of an area restaurant without feeling vaguely to very disappointed with our meal and/or the experience, especially now that the tab is always exceeding $100 (with wine & tip).

That was definitely not the case at Isa Bistro. From the absolutely delicious grilled mushroom salad and the beet salad to the cod fritter and meatball appetizers we tried, to their gorgeously crispy frites, everything was pretty darn near close to perfect. One of my standards is whether I could have made a dish better than the restaurant. The only item I could possibly have said that about was the meatball appetizer (a touch dense and a little dry - try the 177 Milk Street Polpete recipe to see the difference).

The wine list is really funky - but fun. (For instance, I'm a real wine student/fan, but I had never before heard of the gaglioppolo grape). Like the food, the list is short, but so thoughtfully selected.

Isa Bistro may not be for everyone, but for now it has joined an exceedingly tiny group of local restaurants where we can be confident of an exceptional meal and a special time in an exceedingly comfortable setting.

KW
vipKW1022
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience4

My only issue was it was really cold inside. Our server turned up the heat and then all was good, but then another server turned it back down and it was cold again. Several people had their coats on. I wish the staff would worry more about the comfort of the customers instead of themselves!

MC
MichaelC
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time visit to Isa.
If I had to describe our 2 hours dining experience………….AMAZING!!

TL
vipTimothyL
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great

TW
TriciaW
New England
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was pleasant about this experience. We had the pork chop which was cooked to perfection and the burrata / mushroom linguini was delicious. Caesar and fennel salads were both yummy.

EN
vipEmilyN
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was delicious! Every dish was incredible!

AC
AlexandraC
New England
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The entire meal was lovely. Our server was very knowledgeable about the wine list and gave us great recommendations. The pork chop dinner was absolutely delicious. Our only complaint is everything was so good that we didn't have enough room for dessert so we have made another reservation to go back in three weeks to test the desserts.

RD
RebeccaD
New England
6 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific food, great vibe, super service. Would definitely recommend.

AM
AmandaM
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Isa was amazing from start to finish! Drinks, apps, dinner, dessert, all were delicious. The hostess and waiter were so friendly. Easily one of the best meals we have ever had! We were highly recommend adding this perfect little restaurant to your evening in Portland.

NM
NicholasM
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great staff and great food! This was one of the best dining experiences I have had in the Portland area.

CN
CharlotteN
New England
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this little place! Food was great, waitstaff so friendly and accommodating. Menu was small and approachable. Superb pasta dishes tonight. Go there!

MB
MichelleB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very cute small bistro. Excellent service. Nice presentation.

C
Chumly
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good ingredients. Wonderful cocktails. Fantastic fine dining.

GC
GeisaC
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was perfect the food so delicious the beverage as well love it

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great cocktails and deliciously creative food

DS
DianeS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the best meal of any restaurant in Portland! Everything was delicious. Atmosphere was relaxing. Will return to try other options on the menu. The octopus was tender and tasty, best I’ve had since Italy! The mushroom salad and pasta dish were exceptional. Bravo Isa!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Jacksonville
13 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved this restaurant! We visit Maine annually and had not been here. The ambiance is wonderful- small and intimate. The service was spot on and the food absolutely delicious. Booked one more night before we have to go back home. It’s now high on our priority for our next visit.

FAQs

Isa Bistro - Portland offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (207) 808-8533.

Isa Bistro - Portland is rated 4.9 stars by 248 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.