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Dine - Luna Rossa

857_dine~ Homemade pasta and more ~

A prerequisite for extracting me from my home to dine out on our lovely island in July is not just a restaurant with a reputation for good food but one with air-conditioning. Ristorante La Luna Rossa in Puerta del Sol in Simpson Bay checked both those boxes.

This modern, glass-encased restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating is brightly lit and pleasingly decorated with red and white furniture and fixtures. We were greeted at the door immediately as we entered and directed to a table by the owner, as I was later to discover. Menus were proffered, drink orders taken quickly and efficiently and we settled down to peruse our choices both from the menu and specials board.

The menu is typically Italian, which is one of the reasons we came here in the first place...well that and the air conditioning of course! Specials on a chalk-board included mussels, brazaolo (air dried salted beef) and carpaccio for appetizers at $18-20 while main course specials included osso buco with risotto, lobster with spaghetti and tagliatelle alfredo with shrimps ranging from $24 to $35. There is something for everyone on the main menu also, and even the pasta is homemade. Prices for appetizers range from $8 to $21 and include items such as soups, salad, calamari, shrimp cocktail and antipasti. Pasta dishes range from $16 to $25, meat and fish from $22 to $33 and desserts from $9 to $14.

My dining partner, hereinafter referred to as DP, started off with a Champagne cocktail whilst I enjoyed a glass of red wine. Homemade bread served with an olive tapenade kept us busy whilst we decided on our menu choices. For appetizers, I chose the brazaolo, which Maria the owner informed us was similar to prosciutto but made with beef instead of pork, whilst DP ordered the lobster bisque.

The thinly sliced brazaolo served with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of arugula looked, at first glance, large enough for two. Unfortunately for my DP, it was so delicious and light, I had consumed it all before she had a chance to try some. DP's lobster bisque was lightly flavoured, cheesy and somewhat salty, but nothing that ordering a glass of wine couldn't fix.

Our main courses were spaghetti with lobster (DP) and Red Snapper Livornaise (Moi). The spaghetti with lobster lightly enveloped in white sauce that was delicately flavoured with chopped parsley (a mainstay in Italian cuisine) was perfect for this dish. It cut through the richness and made the dish taste light and summery.

The Red Snapper fillet, smothered in a thick tomato sauce with capers, black olives and anchovy paste was "delizioso" and apparently brought out some Italian vocab I didn't know I had!

The young and efficient server's description of their homemade desserts made it difficult to resist at least trying one so DP and I decided to share. Tiramisu, Molten Lava Cake, Panna cotta with blueberries or Gelato vied for our attention; a close battle ultimately won by the cool, luscious, silky soft Panna cotta which we devoured with a bit more gusto than Miss Manners might have approved.

We were offered a digestif to end our enjoyable evening; one made with plums, the other with apples and much appreciated.

La Luna Rossa

Puerta del Sol,

Simpson Bay

Phone: 522-7075 or 544-2693

Open: 6:00-10:00pm Monday-Saturday

Closed: Sundays

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