Monday, May 2, 2011

Conshohocken's Best Kept Secret: Isabella's Happy Hour

(left to right) Shrimp Croquettes, Dirty Martini, Dirty Martini
Extra, Truffle Frites, Calamari, 1/2 price draft beer
(May 2, 2011 - Philadelphia) On the back-way through Conshohocken to Philadelphia, known as the river route, a little gem called Isabella occupies the block of Elm Street under a red banner spelling out "ISABELLA." Stopping by after work, I found this charming little lounge to be a nice surprise in an otherwise sleepy happy hour town.
From 5-7 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, a delicious tapas menu worthy of Spain awaits you for only $3.50 for one of the five most popular tapas entrees: Shrimp Croquettes, Mussels, Truffle Frites, Drunken Figs or Calamari. While I have no idea what a drunken fig could be other than a pirate name/slur, the four other happy hora tapas were simplemente perfecto, not to mention the fresh bread and Spanish olive oil that accompanied them.

No happy hour is complete without some stirring drink deals and Isabella shakes a mean martini for only $5. Whether you like it dirty or you're just a cosmo girl, bartender Deirdre will hook you up with a delicious twist on the favorite - and if you stick around she may use you as a guinea pig for a new cocktail.* If Smirnoff isn't your thing, sip a half-priced draft or $4 house wine along with your discounted tapas - anyway you go, you can't help but feel a little more Mediterranean.

 Between the discounted tapas menu, 1/2 off drafts, $5 Martinis and $4 house wine, Isabella is the Main Line's best-kept secret - but not for long. On my second visit to Isabella (needed to make sure it was amazing any day of the week), I had the pleasure of meeting the owners, a father-daughter team, Tom and Elizabeth. Their story is nothing short of spectacular - Tom has been around the world and back again, and he helped produce a little film called "The Deer Hunter" - and they will stop at nothing to make Conshy and Isabella a must-go destination for Main-Liners. Tonight at 7 p.m., support them at the Conshohocken town meeting to zone the upstairs as a jazz club - your reward? The upstairs of Isabella, once welfare housing, will become a mecca for arts and music with open mics, jazz night and tango lessons.

View this slideshow for shots of the food drink, and me & my favorite bartender Deirdre!
*The bar staff at Isabella is constantly trying fresh, new recipes. Deirdre let me sample her most recent concoction, a very calorie conscious martini that I dubbed the Orange Flamingo. Made with fresh oranges and Splenda, it was definitely a guilt free happy hour for me - until the truffle frites. See if you can pick the Orange Flamingo out of my slideshow - first one to comment and cite the right picture gets a prize!


  1. A message on Facebook from the Executive Chef!:

    Lindsay, This is Michael Cappon I am the Executive Chef and Operator at Isabella. Thank you very much for your review and I look forward to seeing you at the restaurant again sometime soon.

    Michael J Cappon


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