Isabella

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This south suburban eatery specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. Appetizers include a polenta torte with spinach and red peppers in goat cheese sauce, and grilled portobello mushrooms served on a bed of lentils with sun-dried tomato sauce. Pasta dishes include penne in porcini cream sauce and smoked chicken rigatoni with sundried tomato sauce. For dessert, try the mango-almond torte or chocolate zuccotto cake filled with white chocolate mousse and pistachios. Located in a converted home, the cozy restaurant features swing windows for open-air dining in warmer months. The dining room is decorated with painted antique tiles; walls are covered with murals of Italian streetscapes. Sibling restaurants include Cafe Borgia in Lansing, Ill., Lucrezia in Chesterton, Ind., and soon-to-open Cafe Magdelena in Elgin.