Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mezza Luna Restaurant in Half Moon Bay

Mezza Luna is walking distance from the sea front at Half Moon Bay. I was excited to learn that the Circolo Trentino di San Francisco was organizing its spring get together here. For a restaurant whose name is the Italian translation of the sea front town where it is located, I had high expectations. So did it live up to my expectations?
First of all I would like to say that the Circolo Trentino di San Francisco get together is never disappointing in itself.  It is a wonderful opportunity to spend some fun time with the young and old. The age range of the members who attended this year was between 1 and 90 years of age. So this is a gathering where you never feel too young or too old – everyone fits right in. My comments only reflect my honest personal opinion of what I thought of this restaurant as a group lunch venue from the logistics and culinary perspectives.

Since my general ratings of this restaurant was very mixed, I'm itemizing my opinions:
The great:
the dessert. They called it torta alla strega. The cream tasted like a zabbaione with strega liquor. It was really excellent.
The coffee. OK I had to make a special request but they did produce a real Italian espresso.
The good:
the starter: A green salad with a house vinaigrette dressing
the first course: Gnocchi al Pomodoro
the fish: cod cooked alla livornese. The fish was fresh and well cooked. I was a little disappointed that it was cod though. Being down by the sea I was hoping for some fresh local fish as the dish was called, "pesce del giorno"
the service:  the manager and waiters were all very courteous and friendly. They did not mind the accordion playing and sing along, and were very accommodating to all our needs.
the not so good:
Bracciola di maiale which was a pork wrap with artichokes. My husband rated  this one; he did not like it, I did not taste it.
the wine (which was kindly offered by the club, was way overpriced for the quality). 
I found the restaurant was totally lacking any resemblance to an Italian seaside restaurant. The table layout was also not the best. We were unnecessarily crammed into a small part of the room with rectangular tables organized in such a way that you did not feel part of a larger party, and could barely move your arm without sticking it into someone else's plate. I think that round tables work much better for large groups.

So to answer that question, well I won't be answering it, because the staff were so nice and the food looked like genuine home food you'd make at home,  and so nicely presented... I think that was my problem ... I had placed my expectations a little too high. Funny how you always tend to like something better when you start off with low expectations. Does that ever happen to you? But to end on a positive note we did all have a wonderful time.


  1. Hi Chris, I like the way you've divided your review into the great, the good and the not so good. I think I'd go straight for that dessert on your recommendation. Sounds like a wonderful evening despite some niggles.

  2. Glad you enjoyed your visit. Nice well rounded review. I feel that your expectations are as they should be, that's is what raises the bar.

  3. Having high expectations will throw you off, certainly. The dishes have very nice presentations, and love your critiques. Some things I never would think of, such as table layout :)

  4. I, too, like how you mentioned the table layout. Ever so important, but I never think to mention it on my reviews (mainly left on Yelp).

  5. A fair review. The food there looks quite good to me. I think I would love to dine there too.

  6. I love that this was a fari review. I like honest opinions. Looks great too!

  7. A very balanced review...yes I guess sometimes high expectation can lend to a bit of a let down, but I too would have expected more from a fish dish given the location.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  8. I like the care you took with the review - honest and thoughtful and accentuating the positive. The photos of the food certainly entice!

  9. You are so right about expectations! A let down in some areas can color the entire experience. I do think that you delivered a balanced review, though.

  10. Waiiiit! I didn't know you live around here. :-) My husband just did the restaurant review on Navio (Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay) on my blog too! I'm so happy to find you are in the Bay Area! Thank you for your honest opinion on the reviews. I know what you mean. It gets hard when there are good things and not so good things... I can't wait for your next restaurant review too. I'm sure it'll be very helpful for me. ;-)

  11. @Nami, hey isn't that a coincidence, we must have both been there on the same day!

  12. Hi, this is my first time on your blog and I loved it. I am happy that you wrote honestly about the good and the not-so-good aspects of the restaurant. Loved the pictures and looking forward to visit your blog again! Happy cooking!!

  13. All dishes look delicious!! Lucky you!


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