The menu features traditional favorites from the southern region of Italy, with an emphasis on dishes from Naples (read: lots of seafood). For $35, you can have the Four-Course Dinner, with your choice of antipasti, house salad, entrée, and dessert (which is quite the deal when you consider that some of the entrées alone are in the upper $20's range), so we decided that one of us would do the four-course thing so we could split the antipasti, salad, and dessert.
With our strategy settled, we started with Cozze e Vongole Possillipo, mussels and clams sautéed with garlic and olive oil in a white wine sauce (a traditional preparation by way of the Possillipo quarter in Naples). The mussels and clams were plump and fresh, but it was the sauce that made me swoon with its heady marriage of garlic and brine. We were dunking the freshly baked bread (provided, gratis, with a pool of very good olive oil) like there was no tomorrow. A glass of Friulian Pinot Grigio provided a refreshing accompaniment to all that heady flavor.
Next came the house salad, most notable for its dressing, a balanced blend of tang and creaminess. I find many Italian dressings to be cloyingly tangy, but Luna Blu's is a welcome departure from the norm. For my entree, I chose the Seafood Fra Diavola, a heaping tangle of lobster, shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops and calamari sautéed in a spicy marinara sauce tossed with linguine. The seafood tasted incredibly fresh - a major perk of living so close to the water, I suppose - and the sauce brimmed with nice lumps of fresh tomatoes and Italian spices. The linguine, unsurprisingly, was perfectly al dente. Jason had the Farfalle di Cremona, bowtie pasta sautéed with shrimp, scallops, crabmeat and peas in a creamy alfredo sauce. I managed to swipe a bite of scallop, perfectly tender and enlivened by the not-too-heavy cream sauce.
For dessert, we had to try the tiramisu, the true standard by which an Italian meal can be evaluated in my book. I'm happy to report that Luna Blu's is a winner: a soft (but not soggy) cloud of sweet, moist espresso-y goodness. With its fabulous food and pretty marine decor (the place is outfitted in subtle blue tones), Luna Blu earns top billing on my list of recommended eats if you find yourself in our neck of the woods.
After dinner, we walked around downtown Annapolis, an area known as City Dock. I was glad to see what a vibrant scene it is on a Friday night! There were all kinds of people walking around, eating outside on restaurant terraces, and hanging out on their boats. It was really fun to walk around and explore, knowing that it is now "our" town.
So, mes amies, what was the highlight of your weekend?
(Alas, I forgot my camera, so I don't have any photos to share...)