Isa, the New Freemans’ Offshoot, Is Very Pretty and Probably Smells Nice


After months of preserving an air of mystery around his forthcoming “hippie place,” Taavo Somer has chosen to introduce his new Williamsburg restaurant to the world with a lovely and impossibly well-appointed photo montage on the T Magazine blog.

The restaurant’s name is Isa, which means “father” in Estonian. When it opens later this month, it will aspire to be a “melting pot of different foods and cultures,” according to its chef, Ignacio Mattos. Todd Selby captured Mattos cooking a friends-and-family meal for a group of fashionably disheveled guests including Zak Pelaccio and a smattering of chefs from San Francisco.

One of the restaurant’s walls seems to be composed entirely of firewood, suggesting that, along with the Northern California contingent and rustic yet impeccably composed food, Isa’s rumored hippie vibe will be less Burning Man than Big Sur weekend retreat. Either way, it will likely inspire some distinctly East Coast crowding.