I recently celebrated a good friend’s birthday, and she wanted to honor her day of birth by trying various rooftop establishments that we’ve never been to before. As such, we waited in line for the Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar at The Conrad. Then, we traveled to Brooklyn for L’isola.
Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at 128 Metropolitan Ave, L’isola is a gastro bar that touts its wood fire pizza and features both indoor and outdoor seating–both of which were highlights in this small Italian restaurant.
L’isola offers what seems to be a typically traditional Italian menu with a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, pasta dishes, flatbreads, and an array of small and large pizzas. Since my group had traveled to L’isola specifically for the pizza and rooftop seating, we all ordered our own pizzas.
Many at the table opted for the Bianca side of the pizza menu, specifically the Bianca Neve (white garlic pizza with ricotta and mozzarella cheese). Though some of my dining companions chose to various extra toppings like roaster peppers or Kalamata olives, I decided to stick with the simple white pizza as is and was very happy with my choice.
I will be the first to admit I’m a sucker for a good white pizza (there’s just something so much better about extra cheese and less sauce), and L’isola’s Bianca Neve is quite possibly one of the best white pizzas I’ve ever eaten. The crust was thin and crunchy, as is expected from a wood fire pizza, and the pie wasn’t lacking in ricotta, which can be a problem for when eating white pizza.
Despite its extensive menu, I would return to L’isola again and again simply for their Bianca Neve pizza. My only complaint about the order was that the personal size is a little too big for me, but may be perfect for someone else.
L’isola’s drink menu features an abundance of wine and beer along with a small menu of specialty cocktails. I decided to go with a sweet rose (they had both sweet and dry), while my companions ordered a variety of beer, mixed drinks, and cocktails.
Although I was pleased with my wine, and those that ordered beer or a mixed drink seemed happy, my two friends who ordered off the cocktail menu were incredibly disappointed. I tried my one friend’s mango margarita and I had to agree that there was far too much tequila and it didn’t taste properly mixed.
With such a diverse wine and beer selection, there’s no reason to select a cocktail from L’isola’s menu. But, if you’re craving something stronger than wine or beer, I suggest sticking to a simple classic, like a Jack and Coke.
L’isola’s outdoor seating is on a second-story terrace above its main floor, and is decorated to honor its Italian theme. The space is a bit small, with very little room between tables, but it’s certainly not as cramped as other establishments in New York City. All in all, it felt cozy and comfortable.
The service at L’isola was a little slow for my taste, but our server was friendly and originally from Italy. However, it took so long for the server to take our orders that we ordered our drinks and food at the same time. Then, rather than bring the drinks out as soon as they were ready, they arrived at our table almost immediately before the food.
Because of this, I barely drank any of my wine before eating and most of it was left when I finished my pizza. This was such a strange occurrence that my friends and I speculated if it was a mistake in serving, if there had been a problem, or if it was simply due to L’isola’s Italian mentality.
All in all, the food and environment of L’isola were perfectly fine. But, with so many places in NYC where you can get similarly delicious pizza, it’s difficult to say why you would choose L’isola over a restaurant with better drinks and faster service.