Thanks again for recommending Pasta Moon. Four of us had dinner there last night.
Started with cocktails in the bar. Though we were a bit late arriving, the hostess let us take our time before proceeding to the dining room.
The atmosphere was friendly, quiet and casually elegant. The food was very good. Everything I tasted I was pleased with. We started with the Frito Misto (thanks, Melanie). Though it was not served in a cone, the crispy calamari and fennel shavings rested in a rich tomatoey sauce were light and flavorful. We also had the mussels, which arrived in a big bowl, topped with thin pommes frites and dollops of aoili (I think). The mussels were in a tomato sauce, as well. Very nice. The pommes frites were great.
My partner had the roasted beet soup. Beautiful bright red, with deep beet flavor, lovely. I had the frisee, toasted hazelnut and warm duck confit salad. Major yum! The duck came shredded (over 4 oz.!) under a lightly seasoned frisee salad, with halved hazelnuts sprinkled everywhere.
Entrees were the wood oven roasted chicken with cranberry beans, mesclun and shallot sauce; capellini with large gulf prawns; pizza of proscuitto and gorgonzola; and mine was the butternut ravioli in sage brown butter (a classic). The chicken was nicely smoky and juicy. The beans were tender, hearty and very flavorful. The prawn dish was ok. I just didn't pay much attention to it. The pizza was fantastic - very rich and about 13" in diameter. My ravioli's were a tad sweet, but I love sage brown butter. Samll portion in comparison to the other entrees, but thank goodness. It was likely eating dessert.
Speaking of dessert -- we split the tiramisu, which was SOAKED in rum (very moist) and the pumpkin shortbread cake (I can't remember all that was involved with this dish, only that we we all liked it).
I brought the wine. The waitress happily opened it and kept our glasses full. She was very nice and didn't miss a beat. We were mostly left to chat and enjoy our meals.
I was impressed. Not cheap, but well worth a visit.
btw - I told the waitress about chowhound and that Pasta Moon was at the top of the list of recommended restaurants in HMB. English is her second language. She heard chowhound and politely let me know that sometimes dogs are allowed to stay in the front entrance.
Once I explained, she was thrilled to know and said she'd tell the chef!