More than 30 new dishes will be introduced, presenting a fresh interpretation of the restaurant’s style of Mediterranean and Latin inspired cooking, flavours and traditions. A more flexible approach to dining will see the restaurant veer away from a singular menu designed for sharing, to one that will now include a wider variety of fully plated options. Diners will detect a stronger leaning towards Italian cuisines, with a greater number of seafood plates and freshly made pasta courses. Vegetarian and plant-based dishes have a more central role on the menu, noticeably more abundant with ingredients and packed full of flavour and quality. The new menu also launches as the restaurant extends its opening hours from an evening-only service, to take back its lunch-until-late position on London’s restaurant and bar scene. Lunches will present a curated set menu of two and three-course options alongside the full À la Carte offering.
Pasta made in-house daily will include an agnolotti with spinach and ricotta, lemon, fresh herbs and pecorino romano; and a tagliolini dish with fresh crab, chilli, lemon and parsley. The salads stand out on the menu, not only due to their original and liberal combination of ingredients but also their rich and colourful appearance. The new menu also features a striking take on the Venetian classic, squid ink risotto. This is the first significant menu change since the restaurant opened on Albemarle Street in 2017 and positively embraces the new order for restaurants in a post-COVID-19 landscape.
Tom Straker was invited to overhaul and revitalise Isabel’s menu by the restaurant’s founder, Juan Santa Cruz. The pair first worked together in 2015 when Santa Cruz opened his original London restaurant venture, Casa Cruz, with Straker as head chef. Straker left the group in 2017 and has since been working towards opening his restaurant, ACRE, scheduled for 2021. Straker brings with him a deep knowledge of farming and quality, ethical, and sustainable food production that is evident in the development of this refresh.
Juan Santa Cruz, says:
“Having worked together a few years ago, Tom knows what we stand for, but comes back to collaborate with us bringing a freshness and a new viewpoint. I am convinced, more than ever, that we have to approach this uncertain future – especially the hospitality industry – with creativity and boldness. Myself and the team at Isabel are invigorated by this collaboration and by getting back to the job we love: looking after our guests.”