The Good, The Bad, and The Garlic: Sette Luna

Many local food bloggers (or general purpose bloggers) have previously sung the praises of Sette Luna, and I myself have enjoyed some delicious meals here previously, but this weekend a unique opportunity presented itself, and I decided to use the opportunity to blog about my experience.  I’ll provide links to other blog posts on Sette Luna (that I’m aware of) at the end of this post, so you can feel free to get several opinions, if you are thinking of making dinner plans.

Sunday night, Claudia and I had plans to get dinner and catch up while she’s on a break from school.  Coincidentally, Monday night, BD and I were planning a double dinner date with our pals Brianna and Kyle, and both dates ended up being at Sette Luna.  Between the two nights, I had an opportunity to sample several menu items, and I will share my experiences with you below.  A few notes before we get to the food:

1.  On weekends, this restaurant can get packed.  I imagine it only gets worse when the weather gets nicer.  They do not accept reservations, but they do have a call ahead list – the cozy bar is also not the worst place I could think of to pass the 30+ minute wait you are likely to face upon arrival.  On these particular evenings (Super Bowl Sunday and a Monday night), we didn’t have a problem getting a table, but be advised that you won’t likely have that privilege if you show up at 7:30 on Saturday.

2.  The service is spotty.  I hate to say it, but it just is inconsistent.  These were my 3rd and 4th visits, and so far the service as ranged from exceptional to mediocre to very poor.  On one night, our drinks were slow coming out, refills were never offered, the waitress could not answer questions on the menu and didn’t offer to check with the kitchen, and we waited over 30 minutes for a check after the dessert.  On the other side, I asked about meat in the dish I ordered, and after answering my question, out of courtesy, she clarified for my non-vegetarian companion that her dish was not vegetarian – a rare, but much appreciated courtesy – on that same occasion, the waitress carefully explained all the items on the menu and was prompt but not pushy with the rest of the service.  In any event, the level of service at this restaurant can sometimes be not at the same level of the food.

Apologies for the terrible photographs, the restaurant is very dark and I didn’t want to be rude to other customers by turning on my flash.


Cheese plate with four cheeses.  I can’t tell you what they all were, but my favorite was Bra Duro, which I liked enough to consider ordering from an online cheese shop.

The accompaniments to the cheese were candied quince, a strawberry balsamic type jam, and a black truffle honey.  I love cheese, and the opportunity to try new cheeses is rarely lost on me, but at $13.95, I didn’t really feel that impressed.  The cheeses were acceptable, and the accompaniments were acceptable, but the presentation definitely left something to be desired, and nothing was really outstanding, even the black truffle honey.

We ordered the bread to enjoy with our cheese and this was a $2 worth spending, IMO.  It normally comes with cheese and herbs and olive oil on it, but we ordered it dry on the waitress’ suggestion and got the oil on the side.  Yum!

Roasted Red Beet Bruschetta with goat cheese.  Those are like, 7 of my favorite words all in consecutive order.  Not a let down.

The Pizzas

The first time I went to Sette Luna, they had a pizza special which was a white pizza with roasted figs, goat cheese, arugula and balsamic vinegar.  Hello!  I would eat that pizza 3 times a week if it were available that often.  However, on this trip, pizzas were ordered off the regular menu.  The first pizza was a white pizza with artichokes, feta, and pine nuts.  The crusts on Sette Luna’s pizzas are to die for – thin and crispy with a ton of garlic and herbs.

Our non-dairy vegetarian friend ordered a pizza with grilled eggplant, red peppers, and onion and no cheese.  It was VERY good, and I think the next time I go, I might order this (with cheese).

This was a mushroom and gorgonzola pizza.  I normally don’t like gorgonzola anything, and am indifferent to mushrooms, so I was reluctant to try it, but the gorgonzola was not overpowering at all, and in fact this pizza was quite tasty.  Would try again, but would probably try to find something sweet to add on as an extra topping.  The artichoke pizza could have used something sweet, also.

This was a white pizza with arugula and tomatoes.  A little disappointing because it only had four cherry tomatoes on it, and it would have been better if they had halved the tomatoes (so they didn’t fall off the pizza and onto the floor…), and maybe if they had lightly dressed the arugula with some balsamic vinegar.  But all in all, this is still a good pizza and so my feeling is that you can’t really go wrong with their pizzas.

The Pastas

Even though you can’t really go wrong with the pizzas, sometimes a pasta dish is what will hit the spot – and the homemade pastas featured at Sette Luna are quite satisfying.  The pasta above, though ill-photographed is the butternut squash agnolotti in a brown butter sage sauce.  Yeah, that sounded good to me, too.  Overall, I think this is a great dish, although I think the squash filling might need a bit of salt (or parmesan cheese) because it was so mild it flirted with bland.  Another note is that this dish is not truly vegetarian – there is chicken stock in it.  I did not allow that technicality to keep me from enjoying some.

The fettucini alla panna is a triumph of heavy cream.  The pasta was delicious and perfectly cooked, and the cream sauce was rich and smooth and not for the faint of heart.  I don’t think I could eat something like this more than once a year, but, like macaroni and cheese, it would be worth the once-yearly indulgence.

The Desserts

The four desserts I sampled during the past two nights were…. adequate, but my overall verdict would be, skip the dessert and go heavier on the appetizers or salads because its probably not worth it to save room for dessert.  I should note that although there are none pictured here, on past visits, I did have salads and they were absolutely fantastic – Sette Luna truly excels with salads, pairing ingredients perfectly and getting exactly the right amount of dressing to accent the dish.  On with the desserts.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta.  Probably the best of the options, but still nothing exceptional.

Crustless Cheesecake.  Light and Creamy.  Fine for the non-enthusaist cheesecake eater.

Chocolate Fudge w/ a ladyfinger and cream.  Just…. overwhelmingly chocolate.  I guess for some people that’s a good thing.

Tiramisu, good texture and consistency – the cream was delicious, but the ladyfingers were VERY espresso-y.  Too much for my tastes.

After all is said and done, based on all four visits to Sette Luna, my grade for this restaurant would be a B+.  General tips:

  1. go on a weeknight
  2. order the specials, as those tend to outperform the menu items, in my experience
  3. try not to get too stressed out about the service
  4. get a pizza
  5. don’t bother with dessert

For other perspectives, please visit the following links:

LV Eggplant (better pictures than mine)

Beyond Scrapple

LV InSite

The Fork City (Several Reviews, so Click Here, Here and Here also)

LV Transplant

Yelp (I have a rave review from my first Sette Luna trip on there)

4 Responses to “The Good, The Bad, and The Garlic: Sette Luna”

  1. 1 Erik February 10, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Thanks for the links. I agree about the spotty service – though i’m not sure i ever brought it up at The Fork City. And i love your pics. I have a lot of trouble with my pics at Sette Luna (and i refuse to use the flash). The shallow depth of field and moodiness are really nice. What kind of camera are you using?

  2. 2 Capri Roth February 10, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Thanks Erik, I think your pictures do the food much better justice… I’m thinking I’ll have to go back sometime during the summer and snag and outdoor table while there’s still daylight to try again. I use a Nikon D100, which is an older DSLR, I’m not sure what it would be comparable to that’s on the market now, I think maybe the D70.

  3. 3 LV Transplant February 10, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks for the link, Capri. I acknowledge the restaurant’s sometimes spotty service and long waits on weekends. We took my in-laws to SL this past weekend for Sunday brunch (it now starts at 12 pm). They could not stop talking about how amazing the food was. The Tuscan Benedict was popular, as were a special salad with blood orange slices and a beautiful frittata. For four huge, indulgent meals (big as at any diner I’ve seen), drinks, and two pizzas to go, our total was $100.

  4. 4 carolynmittens February 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    oh no i feel like a jerk using flash now! haha. thank you for the compliment. honestly my one visit to sette luna is something i will never, ever forget. and that’s not because the food was outlandishly memorable. it was the strangest, most aggressive service i have ever encountered, anywhere (and i’ve eaten at plenty “up for discussion” places.) sette luna is a bit of an enigma, i’m afraid.

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