This past Friday Megan and I ate at Pasta Luna on Southside for dinner. It had been over a year since we had been back due the last time being a horrible dining experience from the service that was horrible to the rigatoni that tasted like it had a pound of salt on it.
We recieved a coupon in the mail that offered a free entree and let us know about a new menu for fall. We figured that was enough to give them another shot. We were wrong.
Well that is a little harsh, our service was a lot better and for being as young as she was our waitress Cecilia was very good, a welcome change. We ordered a bottle of Rufino Aziano Chianti Classico Frescobaldi for $36 which was very nice. The wine had good cherry fruit aroma, tobacco, leather and blackberry flavor on the finish. A comment on their wine list, it has been shortened since the last time we were there and is now way overpriced with limited selection.
We ordered the Insalata Gorgonzola to start which was pretty good, but they could've used a lot less dressing in our opinion. For the entrees I ordered a porcini mushroom stuffed gnocchi with a roasted walnut cream sauce. The entree is supposed to come with a lobster cream sauce but since we are vegetarian I switched it up. The sauce worked out well and the gnocchi which was okay but slightly bland, with the porcini filling deserving better seasoning. Megan ordered the asparagus and tomato tortellini with brown butter sage sauce. On sight the butter sauce looked closer to my cream sauce than anything else, and upon tasting it there was no real evidence of sage and it was way to creamy for our taste. The tortellini itself was definitely premade, which they do say on the menu that it is imported from the finest italian chef, Bertolli for $3.99 tastes better. The most odd part of Megan's meal was the fact that it had nothing in it that resembeled asparagus or tomato and in fact it tasted like sweet potato. We let our waitress know this and aksed if there was another tortellini that we may have gotten by mistake. In fact that is the only tortellini on the menu and that she had had it before and thought it did taste like sweet potato or pumpkin. She did apologize for the dish not being what we expected.
For dessert we had the Tiramisu which was actually really good, as well as ordered 2 cups of coffee that took a while to come out. When the coffee arrived it was definitely burnt, a nice carmalized, cooked on the bottom of the pot taste, very dissapointing.
When we got home we checked the menu on the website to see if they had another toretllini that the waitress didn't know about. In fact they have a pumpkin tortellini with butter sage sauce but not the pasta that Megan ordered with apsaragus. GO FIGURE!! If they are going to update the menu, make sure the kitchen knows about it.
After this "great" review and our experiences in the past I really wonder how they keep being rated the best Italian in all of Richmond, which they proudly display on a sign outside of the restaurant. Is it the location on Broad street that is winning all of the awards? There are quite a few Italian restaurants in Richmond both casual and fine dining that blow away Pasta Luna on flavor of the pasta dishes. Now we are vegetarians and don't eat the meat or seafood dishes, so maybe that is where there excellence lies.
Overall our dining experience was fine but the meal coming in at $72 with our free entree before tip wasn't worth it.
Those of you that have a great experience, enough to garner it the best Italian in Richmond, please post your comments.