Mezza Luna Italian eatery serves coveted dishes at gracious prices
Fast and fresh Lunch menu specials priced $6.95-$12.95 include fresh bread, salad and drink
Posted: September 15, 2013 at 6 a.m.
Quality of food, service most important
Owner and chef of Mezza Luna, Juan Barcenas, practices fundamentals of fine Italian cooking by creating simple, fresh and comforting dishes. Following the unspoken oath of soulful chefs, he starts with simple ingredients and makes as much as possible from scratch. The lasagna noodles, sauces, salad dressings, pizza crust and bread are a few of the items prepared in the kitchen of Mezza Luna.
“It is not just about the food,” Barcenas said. “It is the way we do things.”
Choosing to put the focus on food and service, decor and renovations to the restaurant have come in due time. That approach of starting with the basics and reinvesting into the restaurant as business grows has helped Barcenas keep prices low and quality high.
Many dishes found at nearby fine dining restaurants are served at Mezza Luna with comparable quality and portions, but at a lesser cost.
The sophistication of the dishes and presentation is softened by the atmosphere at Mezza Luna. The restaurant is relaxed, casual and family friendly.
Lunch menu specials include salad, bread, drink
A new special menu offered from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday is priced from $6.95 to $12.95 and includes fresh baked bread, a house salad and a soft drink.
The Siciliana Pasta is among the $6.95 selections and presents penne pasta tossed in a white wine cream sauce with Italian sausage, spinach, roma tomatoes, garlic, basil and crushed red pepper.
Several chicken plates are offered for $8.95, including Parmigiana, Cacciatore and Marsala.
The popular three-mushroom risotto with a mascarpone cheese and truffle oil is a mid-day delight at $12.95.
The special menu is crafted to offer a fast, affordable meal that is made to order.
“We don’t precook anything. When you order the chicken or salmon, we put it on the grill,” Barcenas said.
The full lunch menu features pasta, lasagna, pizza and salads.
Gourmet pizzas and calzones are cooked in a stone-oven and offered at both lunch and dinner. With a choice of more than 20 toppings, guests can create their own combination of toppings or order a specialty pizza off the menu. Pizza sizes range from 10 to 28 inches.
Evening menu expands entree selections
A few changes on the dinner menu have expanded selections to include a marinated eggplant and mozzarella appetizer, linguini pasta tossed in a spicy, white wine marinara sauce with shrimp and asparagus, and a grilled salmon fillet paired with crab meat and a sherry wine cream sauce.
To start off the meal, there are selections of antipasti, including crab and artichoke dip, beer-battered calamari and sautéed mussels; insalate including Caesar, Greek and caprese; and house-made soup.
Entrees include a 14-ounce New York strip steak or rib eye, each priced less than $20 and served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables. There is also pork scaloppini, lamb ossobuco and chicken picatta.
Pasta selections include seafood risotto, house-made spinach fettucini, penne with pesto and tri-colored tortellini.
Mezza Luna also has a kids menu that offers grilled cheese, chicken tenders, spaghetti or cheese pizza — each for $3 or less.
Pizza and all menu items are offered as take-out. Customized catering services are also available.