One of the best restaurants to open up last year was Isa, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Isa comes to us from Taavo Somer (Freeman's, Peels) and chef Ignacio Mattos (il Buco). The restaurant is very rustic and "woodsy", wood dominates the decor of the space. You can take a seat in the first room, and overlook the open kitchen, like I did last month, or sit in the adjacent room with the bar. The food at Isa is unique, very earthy, and great. Chef Mattos creates dishes with flavor combinations and textures that were new to me, and I loved his creativity.
One of the best steak tartares I've encountered was served to me the night I ate there (The menu changes daily). Served with a sunchoke puree and a disc of flax and rye seeds, the dish blew me away. Both texture and flavor were fabulous
A french onion soup encased in an onion, served in a duck broth was ingenious and fun.
A plate of different mushrooms looked like a garden. Served with a hen egg in the middle, I loved this dish. Earthy and spectacular. The one element I thought was unnecessary was a touch of citrus on the plate, that I felt was just put there, and really had no business being there. Too much. Nonetheless, it was a great dish.
A smoked duck dish brought some more earthiness to the plate. Sprinkled with what looked like and I believe actually labeled "dirt", a mix of cocoa powder and coffee, it was delicious. The duck was succulent, and perfectly cooked.
A grapefruit curd dessert was the perfect ending to a unique, earthy and great meal.