Last Tuesday night, the Husband and I had the distinct pleasure of attending “Goodnight Moon” – a themed press dinner celebrating the launch of the new Fall menu at Bella Luna restaurant in Jamaica Plain.
The (complimentary) event included music, food, cocktails and a media-only candlepin bowling competition — downstairs in the Milkyway Lounge afterwards. We had a great time!
It was a cocktail reception setting and the music was provided by DJ Ghostdad — a Boston DJ and mix-master of Crunk, Death Metal and Disco House. The executive chef, Jacob Zachow, offered a sampling of many of the appetizers, entrees and desserts you can expect to see on their new fall menu now.
We met up with Pam, of Cave Cibum, and started our evening with a few martinis. Pam and I both went with the Caramel Apple Martini — Svedka Vodka, Butternut Schnapps and Organic Apple Cider (normally $9). All I can say is “Hello Fall and YUM!”
The Husband started with the Lux Martini — Belle de Brillet Pear Cognac, Ginger Brandy, Ginger Simple and Sour Mix (normally $10). While he absolutely loved this, I wasn’t a huge fan. It was a little too tart for my liking… but that could have been because I had just sucked down the sweet nectar of the Caramel Apple Martini!
Next came the passed mini-appetizers. We tried them all… and all were delicious! My personal favorites were the Shrimp Scampi with Tangy Feta — served with garlic butter, white wine, fresh herbs and feta cheese on top of grilled bread (normally $9 for an appetizer-sized portion). I also loved the Herb Crusted Goat Cheese — which was drizzled with Clove Honey. These were little bites of warm goat cheese that melted in your mouth. The cheese had a nice salty finish combined perfectly with the sweet honey.
The other appetizers included: Mediterranean Crab Cakes — with lemon, caper and an olive remoulade, served on a bed of arugula (normally $9) and the Pizza Bianco Flat Bread — brushed with garlic and olive oil and topped with broccoli rabe, ricotta and fresh mozzarella (normally $9, $13, & $17 for various sizes).
As tray after tray of appetizers passed by us, mini portions of selected entrees followed. The first to arrive was Pan Roasted Cod Ciopinno — Gremolatta rubbed cod filet served on tomato, paired with chunks of sweet potato and fennel made for a perfect comfort food dish (normally $18 for an entree-sized dish). I really enjoyed this. The cod was tender, sweet and paired beautifully with the savory sauce and the chunks of sweet potatoes.
Both The Husband and Pam tried, and really liked the Gingersnap & Basil-crusted Pork Tenderloin — roasted pork tenderloin encrusted with gingersnap cookies and fried basil and served on top of fried sweet potato, served with a roasted garlic demi glace (normally $17).
The last entree was the Portabella Black Bean Burger — a slightly spicy blend of black beans, grilled portabella mushrooms, cilantro and sweet chiles served on grilled brioche with cilantro cumin aioli (normally $11 and served with sweet potato french fries). Two of us like these, one of us thought they were only okay and all of us agreed that this was our least favorite of the entire evening.
We finished our dining with a choice of several desserts (see below — picture courteous of Pam) and of course we all tried each one. My personal favorite was the cannoli, The Husband loved the cheesecake and I cannot remember which Pam preferred.
The title of this even, “Goodnight Moon” was very fitting — if you have never been, get to this neighborhood favorite while you can… they are moving shop in April 2009. They will still offer the same great food and bar atmosphere as now; however, the bowling lanes will be no more! Don’t miss an opportunity to have a final game of candlepin before they turn out the lights. The food is delicious, the space is adorable and the downstairs lounge and bowling alley is a ton of fun. Definitely kid-friendly and a place not to be missed!
If you can’t get there before the move, then be sure to offer your patronage after.
Here is their Official Moving Statement:
“We are operating in our current location through March 2009, then moving and reopening at The Brewery Small Business Complex on Amory Street in Jamaica Plain in April 2009. We are re-locating after fifteen years on Centre Street due to an unmanageable increase in rent. We are moving both Bella Luna Restaurant and The Milky Way Lounge, just without the bowling lanes. We will continue to offer our guests a delicious affordable Mediterranean/Italian menu with Latin influences, fabulous cocktails, party packages for groups of 15 to 60, and smallscale entertainment such as DJs and live trios, and we’ll keep the fun and games alive with a skee ball alley. We will also have a fabulous seasonal outdoor patio around the base of the historic Haffenreffer smokestack. While we are deeply saddened to leave Hyde Square, we are happy to have a found a new permanent home in Jamaica Plain at The Brewery.”
Carol Downs, Co-Owner, General Manager
Bella Luna Restaurant, Inc.
Milky Way Lounge & Lanes