Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
Yesterday, we were invited for dinner at Bella Luna, an Italian restaurant located on the Upper West Side, few blocks from the Museum of Natural History. In fact, we spent the freezing afternoon at the Museum before having dinner, a good way to whet our appetite. Located on the corner of 88th street, this restaurant is not totally new. The location is since January 26th of this year as they had to move from their original one, a couple of blocks away, because of a rent increase. I cannot compare the two places, but the new one is pretty amazing: high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows giving some good light to the whole place, and it has this old scenery carved on the back wall.
Food wise, we were there for a treat. Here is what we got:
For beverages, they do not have cocktails, so I went for a glass of Pinot Noir, Salvalai, Veneto, Italy, with a bold flavor that I always enjoy.
Bread with olive oil:
Homemade meatballs (all beef): there were pretty good, with a nice density and texture, served with a delicious and thick marinara sauce.
With the meatballs, we got their Mezzo platter that is composed of marinated mozzarella, eggplant caponata, olives, artichokes, marinated mushrooms, Tuscan bean salad, roasted peppers, beets and grilled zucchini. They offer it for two (what we had) or four people. Everything there was good, my preference going for the eggplant caponata, roasted peppers and bean salad. It is a great appetizer to share.
Then came the entrees. I was really looking forward to the linguine with clams (alle Vongole) that is made with littleneck clams, olive oil, parsley and garlic. Presentation wise, it looks nice with the pasta in the middle and the clams all around the plate. The clams were of a nice size and the pasta (not homemade) was perfectly cooked al dente, sitting on a good amount of sauce. I simply loved it and was glad it had a perfect amount of garlic so it would not overpower the dish.
Jodi chose the eggplant parmesan that was good, served with pasta in a tomato sauce.
Last was dessert. Of course, we could not not go with their homemade tiramisu that was very good, creamy.
And we also tried their mixed berries tart that gave me the impression I was eating something healthy as it was full of fruit...
We had a great dinner at Bella Luna and I was really surprised to see the place getting so packed as the evening went, apparently with lots of regulars coming to get some good Italian food. Well, after eating there I understand why and I would definitely go back there, this time maybe to try their pizza as well...
Enjoy (I did)!
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