Our goal during Restaurant Week is try somewhere we've never eaten - a 'new to us' restaurant. We definitely hit the jackpot this year at Luna Bistro. Located at 621 Des Moines Street, Luna Bistro is not right "in" the East Village, but close enough to have a pre-dinner drink there, which is what we did.
The restaurant is a cozy and comfortable spot for dining. Loved the artwork and open feel to the dining room. We called to make a reservation earlier the same night, and they were very polite in accomodating us, even though they were solidly booked.
So, the menu. WOW, the menu! Just look at the choices available for the $25 per person Restaurant Week Prix Fixe. Amazing. We were so happy to see that they were not offering the usual chicken, steak, fish options you find at other restaurants during Restaurant Week - but a well thought out and creative menu.
We started out with a glass of Zonin Prosecco to accompany the truly awesome La Mie bread served with a fragrant and fruity olive oil. The crust on this bread has such texture and chew, I always eat way too much and absolutely love it.
Grant's choice for a starter was the Le Petit Dejeuner - a quail's egg in a basket (that lovely toast) with house made sausage and fried potatoes. You can't see it in this photo, but the chevre and mustard fondue really made this dish. Creamy and mild, it was the perfect complement.
I chose the Grilled Romaine House Salad. This was seriously my dream salad - bacon, white cheddar, tomatoes, onions, crushed croutons and dijon vinaigrette over slightly warm and smokey romaine. It was creamy and crunchy all at once, and just look how beautiful it was!
Grant's first choice for an entree, the Duck Meatballs, were unfortunately sold out, but he was perfectly happy with the Flank Roulade. The horseradish crust added so much flavor to the seared steak, and the fried potatoes soaked up that lovely sauce. I must admit, I had to beg for more tastes of this dish.
I selected the Baked Potato Gnocchi for my entree - beautiful, perfectly chewy gnocchi was served with house made pork belly, grilled sweet onions and chive cream fraiche. The flavors melded together so well, and the different textures were simply delicious. In fact, the first thing Grant said when our dinners were served was "don't eat all of that pork belly" - he didn't want to miss a bite of one of his favorite tastes. This was a knockout dinner.
For dessert, Grant enjoyed the Banana Pot de Creme. Served with carmelized bananas, the creme brulee was creamy and sweet with a mild banana flavor - and was also beautifully served.
I chose the Chocolate + Peanut Butter - a molten lava cake that was seriously decadent. Of course, the combination of chocolate and peanut butter is divine and this dessert was a perfect example.
The wine list at Luna, while not extensive, gives you a nice selection of carefully chosen wine, and the price points are right on. We had a bottle of Bouchard Aine & Fils Pinot Noir that had great flavors of cherry and fruit, with a little oak on the finish. Thoroughly enjoyable.
The service was also impeccable - even though it was her first night (she had just interviewed that afternoon!), our server was professional and competent, friendly and informative. On a very busy night, we were very pleased with the service.
Chef Kris Van Tuyl also stopped by our table to ask about our experience - such a personal touch is really appreciated by these two old foodies that have been in the business for so long. After talking with Kris for quite awhile, we're sure that Luna Bistro is well on it's way to great success.
If you're looking for a special restaurant that serves creative, innovative food with passion - you're looking for Luna Bistro. We will definitely be back to try all of the menu items we missed this time around. Luna Bistro also caters, so keep that in mind for your next event.
We'd love to hear about your experience at Luna - please leave a comment and let us know what to order next!
Luna Bistro + Catering
621 Des Moines Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Monday - Friday 11am - 3pm
Wednesday - Saturday 5:30pm - Close
Menus and more information at www.lunabistro.com