Friday, October 31, 2008

La Luna Bistro (Carlton Nth)

Melbourne now has a very large number of pubs and bistros serving food that varies from indifferent to excellent. Last night we tried La Luna which, I had heard, served most excellent rabbit. Unfortunately it was not on the menu.

We started with a squid risotto nero ($33.5) made from a fine small grain Australian arborio rice.

We shared this main course of squid risotto nero ($33.5) as an entrée and found it very very good in both taste and texture. Our waiter later told me they were more noted for their gnochi which was the alternative to the risotto! Too late. La Luna is particularly noted for its aged beef which they also sell to customers. If they have time the chef will also show you their cool room. 

It is stuffed with aging sides of beef, air drying prosciuto and other goodies.
We had a scotch fillet ($36.5 for 320 gm) cooked to perfection, in a red wine jus with mashed potato and topped with a large mushroom. Our second main was a shoulder of pork wrapped in crackling on a bed of cabbage with a few slices of carrot and topped with mash ($35.5) an excellent piece of meat tender and very juicy - I loved it.

This was also in a heavy red wine jus which had a slightly burnt taste. This is a large and 
very satisfying meal that I would recommend. We finished with a rich chocolate ganash ($14/5).

I have two minor criticisms – bread, which was a bit dry, and butter is happily provided but is not offered. You have to ask for it. Secondly the jus while appropriate for the steak was not a good combination with the pork. I think a butter sauce would have been better.
Price: Marginally dearer than some of its' inferior competition
Wine: They have a reasonable list by the glass. After a Marlborough pinot gris I very much enjoyed the Wanted Man Heathcote Shiraz
This is definitely at the top end of bistro dining and well worth a revisit and I don’t think I need to wait for the rabbit!
Score: 15.25/20


Helen Celerier said...

We dined at La Luna a week ago and we had a private room upstairs as we were 11 people. Food, service and dining space were all excellent. I have two negatives: 1. the vegetarian amongst us didn't have much choice other than the usual pasta as main course. 2. I asked for gluten free bread and was told they didn't have any. For a restaurant of this calibre and the prices they charge, I was very disappointed. All they need to do is buy a loaf of sliced gluten free bread, store it in the freezer and then take a couple of slices out to toast for people who make requests like me.

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Helen
Regretably it is nearly two years since we ate at LaL. but I continue to hear good things about their food.
I agree with your comments but they are generally regarded as meat specialists. Certainly restaurants should cater, at least a bit, for those on gluten free diets. You have plenty of company.
Also I noted it was a bit on the expensive side.