THE CUISINE SCENE

Brenda

Hill


Isabella’s Ristorante Italiano

Calimesa, CA

Tucked in a small plaza in Calimesa, Isabella’s Ristorante Italiano surprises and delights diners. The soft lighting, exquisite paintings, and comfortable sofa and chairs suggests an upscale experience with a romantic flavor.


Family-owned and operated by the Felix family for over twenty years, Isabella’s offers a traditional Italian menu accompanied by a wine lounge and cocktail bar. 


Chef Joel Felix prepares authentic Italian dishes to delight the palette, which includes pastas made in-house, fresh wild caught seafood, and fresh, crusty bread.

Joyce Melton and I were pleased to try several dishes prepared by Chef Felix. Entrees are served with a choice of garden salad or homemade soup, sautéed vegetables, herb-roasted potatoes or Pasta Pomodoro - a light pasta dish.

We began the meal with the staple, Minestrone soup, and the soup of the day was Cream of Broccoli, all vegetarian. $5.95.

Scampi Al Diavola included four large shrimp sautéed in a mildly-spiced lemon garlic sauce, light enough to complement and not overpower the delicate shrimp. $13.94.

The thinly-sliced veal in Marsala Con Fungi was tender and sautéed in a sweet marsala wine and a generous amount of sliced, sauced mushrooms. Roasted potatoes and tender green beans accompanied the veal. $20.95.

Linguine Alla Pescatora is for seafood lovers. Tender in-house prepared linguine topped with shrimp, calamari, mussels, and scallops in your choice of marinara, cream, or a sauce of olive oil and garlic, all accompanied by crusty freshly-made Italian bread. $21.95.

One of my all-time favorites was Melanzane Alla Parmigiana, baked eggplant in marinara sauce, topped with melted cheese, served with fresh sautéed green beans. $15.95.

As much as I loved the eggplant, Joyce and I agreed the star of evening was the Fettuccine Viviana, a new dish for me. Sliced herb-grilled chicken breast, fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and just a splash of pinot over fettuccine, was something I’ll return for again and again. The chicken was tender and sweet, and each ingredient had its own unique flavor, yet they blended well for an enjoyable, delicious dish. Kudos to Isabella’s. $17.95.

Kelsey, our server, brought two special desserts to top off the evening: Crème Brulee and Tiramisu. The custard in the Crème Brulee tasted creamy and light, and I especially enjoyed the crunchy sugared topping. Joyce liked the mild coffee-flavor of the Tiramisu, the mascarpone cream, and the shaved chocolate. $7.95 each.

If you have a favorite not on the menu, ask the server. The chef is happy to fulfill your request if at all possible.

They’ll also honor your preferences for gluten-free pasta, whole wheat pasta, vegan, and vegetarian dishes.

Reservations are not required except for holidays. Call ahead to be sure. They’ll do their best to provide seating for you.

Calimesa

534 Myrtlewood Dr


Calimesa, CA 92320

(Across Myrtlewood from Stater Bros)

Dinner hours only - Tues-Sun 4:30-9:00

(909) 795-3700

Redlands

330 North 6th Street Suite 112

Redlands Plaza

Redlands Ca 92374

909.792.2767

Hours

Lunch Monday thru Friday 11am - 2pm

Dinner From 4:30 every night