I had the pleasure of dining at Lunetta this weekend, as I have many times since its opening, and I was very happy with the experience. I have consistently found their food to be excellent, prepared with creativity and care, with a friendly, cozy, down to earth atmosphere.
This weekend I started with a fairly basic salad of greens, perfectly dressed. Although I almost never prepare gnocchi at home, nor do I usually order it when out because it just seems so bland and boring, when I saw a plate go out to the table next to me, I thought I'd give it a try. Chef Dave Sclarow really brought out the textures and flavors in the dish and these simple potato pastas became a rich, decadent treat. I also shared an order of juicy meatballs. As far as I know, Lunetta's meatballs have featured raisins for as long as the dish has been on the menu, but never before did I really appreciated the subtle sweetness they bring out in the meat. While at home I prefer my meatballs very browned in oil prior to immersion in sauce (that's how my mom does it), I find myself craving Lunetta's version from time to time.
After the meatballs, I tried the featured panacotta. This was exactly as a dessert should be - it satisfied by providing sweet, not leaden, closure to the meal. The light, smooth custard combined with the crunchy, toffee-like sprinkles gave it a surprising mouth feel as well.
Lunetta can get very crowded, but it's definitely worth the wait and the close quarters. I will be back soon.