Isabelles is one of those places you go with good friends. The ambience, the coziness and the food all call for an excellent bottle of wine and even better company. Just a quick tip here, Isabelles allows you to BYOB and pay a corkage charge of W20000 per bottle. Last year around this time I went there with my one of my favourite foodies and good friend Michael who gave me a huge pat on the back or choosing the spot and this time was no exception with my friend Alfred in tow.
One of my absolute favourite things about Isabelles is the epic bone marrow. My first foray into the world of bone marrow was at Minetta Tavern with my friend Hyun where I ate too much, drank too much an inevitably ended up on the Wall Street bull sometime past midnight but that’s a story for another time. So, of course when given the opportunity to slather on some of that fatty goodness onto a slice of bread I am all up on that like white on rice.
This time around, we opted for the porterhouse (for two) which really is the best of both worlds and also reminds me of another time in New York where I ended up having wonderful dinner with two lovely gay men who kept me company while my date was outside on the longest work call of his life but once again, that’s another story for another time. I guess I really need to do my New York post soon! But I digress… I think the porterhouse is the best of both worlds with a bit of the tenderloin and a bit of the New York strip. If you’re not that hungry, I suggest the chateaubriand which Michael said was as good as the steak he has in Los Angeles and the boy knows his steak.
What I think sets Isabelles apart from the other steak houses is that it has that tinge of Korean-ness despite being a very western steak joint. The thick slab of bacon for example is pretty much samgyupsal with a different type of smokiness and they also offer chongak kimchi as your side pickle to cleanse your palate.
I’m not much of a dessert person and I’m not saying the dessert here is terrible by any means but I’d skip dessert and head over elsewhere to grab a scotch… maybe Speakeasy Mortar or Off instead of having dessert at Isabelles. We’ll just let them handle the meat.
Isabelles the Butcher
630-21 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu
Seoul, South Korea
T: +82 2 518 9825