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Lunetta - telling it like it is


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Lunetta - telling it like it is

kasiav | Mar 30, 2009 09:40 AM

My dining partner had been meaning to get to Lunetta for a while now, so we decided to take advantage of DineIn Brooklyn and check things out. I ordered off the fixed price menu but my partner didn't see anything that piqued his interest and ordered off the regular menu. In a nutshell: the food was good, but expensive for what was served (esp off the regular menu) but really the nail in the coffin was the service. With so many other strong Brooklyn restaurants, we won't be returning to Lunetta.

The Food:

DineIn Brooklyn Menu:
Arancini or Chopped Salad
Trophie(sic) w lamb meatballs or lasagna bianco w mushroom and spinach
canoli or gelato

I ordered:

Aracini - three golf ball sized fried risotto balls served freshly fried and piping hot. Crispy on the outside cheesy in the middle, this italian street food was a tasty starter. The very simple tomato sauce they rested in was very good, tasting mostly of tomatoes but had a subtle complexity in the background that made this sauce homestyle yet not something just anyone could duplicate in the kitchen.

Trophie (sic) w lamb meatballs - the fresh pasta was really good as was the touch of cream the pasta was tossed in. Small lamb meatballs were good, the lamb really came through, but nothing amazing. Would have liked the portion to be slightly larger, definitely an 'appetizer' sized serving.

Gelato - Three golf ball sized scoops (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry) by Il Laboratorio Del Gelato were presented without any description from the server. Funny, because in the low light my partner guessed chocolate, coffee, and vanilla, where I thought chocolate, caramel and vanilla. The chocolate was excellent, the vanilla totally forgettable, and the strawberry alright, but more like ice cream than gelato.

My dining partner ordered:

ginger ginny ($11) - small but strong concoction of fresh lime, mint, ginger syrup, and gin. A fresh tasting cousin of the mojito.

salumi plate ($14) - came with 4 tissue paper thin slices each of house made soppresatta, finocchiona, pancetta (extreeeeeemly fatty, I thought it was lardo) and one other cured meat. In the center there was a dish with a spoonful of cranberries that I think might have been pickled bread & butter style (with mustardseeds) that was really interesting as well as a small 3"x4" inch tasty cracker that tasted strongly of sesame. We felt $14 was frankly a rip off for the amount of food on the plate, though I just noticed looking at the online menu this was also supposed to 'come with bread & spread' which it did not for us. Maybe the cranberries were the spread? It is a mystery, since our server also did not tell us what was on the plate - I looked up the salumi types from the online menu.

linguini w littleneck clams & escarole ($19) - this dish had very nice flavor and complex brothy sauce that was scooped up alone after all the pasta was gone, but was light on clams. For $19 you are better off going to al di la for the $17 vongole to get the same effect, slightly larger portion, and 2$ leftover to contribute to a lovely dessert.

The Service:

Let's not mince words here. Service was terrible for an establishment of this pricepoint. It was over an hour into our meal before our main courses were delivered - note that the restaurant was not even half full. When the plates finally came, we were left high and dry without silverware, and had to flag down server 5 mins later to get utensils. It was very difficult to get the attention of any of the servers throughout our meal - most likely because they were all huddled in the back by the kitchen eating something (arancini?) with their fingers off of a plate in full view of the house. I am not a quick drinker, but I managed to finish my glass of water and watched it sit completely empty (while my partner drained his) before 10 mins later we finally got the attention of a server and requested more water.

ps, dear lunetta, (if you reeeeeally want me to nitpick) please try to get the correct spelling of a dish you are featuring - it's trofie (not trophie). I get you are keeping things casual, a neighborhood place type vibe maybe, but you can be casual and still provide attentive service. How you opened a second restaurant I will never know.

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