Walking down 9th ave between 40th & 41st you will likely notice a sudden patch of lush greenness with some appetizing lobsters, pork shank, and cheeses dangling in the window. In one of those funny hiding in plain sight ways, you still might not notice that it's a restaurant or ever think to go in. But if you do choose to step through the greenery and over the threshold where a water fountain and more plants greet you, you will quickly leave the hustle bustle of the city behind you.
Right past the entrance are containers of homemade grappa of at least a dozen flavors and a couple of jugs of the house sangria, one red, one white. All of which is very good and you should order when you are seated. Someone, very likely Isacco himself, will show you to your table and go through the extensive list of evening specials. The regular menu is pretty straight forward so you'll want to pay attention. If you ask a question such as "How is the lamb prepared" you are likely to get an answer such as "The best!" accompanied by a song or a story. Isacco is a larger than life personality always eager to welcome people into this little Italian haven he has created. When he's not being a restauranteur, Isacco spends his time impersonating The King. In fact, the television set in the back is frequently playing old Elvis DVDs and if you are lucky you may hear Isacco sing a bar or two.
We passed by it many a time, until one evening when we were looking for a place to eat and decided to be adventurous. Now we've been back on several occasions because of the relaxed, warm atmosphere. It's a tad pricey, but the food is high quality and you can always get a seat. Just be sure to leave yourself well over an hour for your meal as the pace is distinctly relaxed and European.