Trattoria Isabella

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This West Loop Italian spot serves hearty portions of antipasti, house-made pasta, steaks, seafood, veal and fish, which arrives fresh daily. Must-try appetizers include fried calamari with spicy tomato sauce and mussels sauteed with garlic, olive oil, fresh tomatoes and white wine. Decisions get harder from there--it's tough to choose between house-made fettuccine and gnocchi, Sicilian-style risotto with sausage and peppers, grilled salmon with garlic champagne sauce or filet mignon with Barolo sauce. The lunch menu is lighter, with expanded sandwich and salad selections. Look for more selections in early February, when owners will install a wood-burning oven to kick out thin-crust pizza, roasted seafood, osso buco and more. The airy restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows, and there's a palatial patio with it's own bar (and flat-screen TVs) when the weather's nice.