Italian dinner at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side

Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!

 Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

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.

 Dining room at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Dining room at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

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.

 Wine bottles at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Wine bottles at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

 Glass of Pinot Noir from Italy at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Glass of Pinot Noir from Italy at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Bread with olive oil:

 Bread at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Bread at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Homemade meatballs (all beef): there were pretty good, with a nice density and texture, served with a delicious and thick marinara sauce.

 Homemade meatballs at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Homemade meatballs at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

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.

 Mezzo platter at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Mezzo platter at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

 Mezzo platter at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Mezzo platter at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

 Mezzo platter at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Mezzo platter at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

 Mezzo platter at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Mezzo platter at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

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.

 Linguine with clams at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Linguine with clams at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Jodi chose the eggplant parmesan that was good, served with pasta in a tomato sauce.

 Eggplant parmesan at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Eggplant parmesan at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

 Eggplant parmesan at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Eggplant parmesan at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

 Linguine with tomato sauce at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Linguine with tomato sauce at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Last was dessert. Of course, we could not not go with their homemade tiramisu that was very good, creamy.

 Tiramisu at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Tiramisu at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

And we also tried their mixed berries tart that gave me the impression I was eating something healthy as it was full of fruit...

 Mixed berries tart at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

Mixed berries tart at Bella Luna on the Upper West Side, NYC, NY

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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Bella Luna Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato