Mike Isabella’s flagship restaurant—now one of a growing many—still draws boisterous crowds, especially on the neighboring Verizon Center’s busy nights. Service matches the frenetic energy, as does pacing—yep, that’s your pizza before the appetizers—but this isn’t a leisurely type of Italian. Enjoyment means giving in to the party vibe and relishing the bold flavors of Isabella’s Italy-meets-Jersey menu. We’d forgo meat/fish entrées for a tableful of antipasti, pillowy gnocchi with braised-pork ragu, and that ever-tasty “Countryman” pizza topped with truffle, fontina, and a runny egg. Moderate.
Also great: Grilled octopus with lentils and fennel; Caesar salad; “Goodfellas” pizza with meatballs; zeppole.