Bella Luna, JP
Last night we enjoyed dinner with friends at Bella Luna in Jamaica Plain. This is one of our usual places, but this time we were with a first timer and some friends who hadn’t been there in months. Between Dane and I we’ve tried a variety of things from the menu, and this time we both tried something new.
Bella Luna is a great neighborhood place. It has a cool vibe, and an ambiance that’s definitely characteristic of the eclectic and artistic community in JP where it’s found. The restaurant also has a lounge, called the Milky Way, that hosts DJ’s, game nights, jazz nights, and trivia. Bella Luna and the Milky Way have been in JP for 16 years. In 2009, the owners made a move from Centre Street (a location that housed Bella Luna upstairs and the Milky Way, complete with bowling lanes, downstairs), running through the center of JP, to the Brewery Complex (also housing the Sam Adams Brewery, a dance studio, Ula Cafe, and several other businesses). The Brewery complex is considered an up and coming area in Jamaica Plain, and Bella Luna definitely adds to the hip factor.
On this trip, I decided to get the Luna di Formaggio, Bella Luna’s version of macaroni and cheese. Dane got one of the specials offered, Lobster BLT pizza. I’m a sucker for mac and cheese and the rigatoni with “marscapone bechamel finished with a six cheese blend topped with Ritz crackers” sounded irresistible. Dane’s recent love of lobster (starting with his lobster bisque) made the pizza grab his interest.
I opted to add the broccoli and prosciutto that were offered on the menu. I’m really glad I did. I was hoping for the cheese, especially with a six cheese blend, to be more flavorful or sharp. The cheese sauce was very good, the pasta done perfectly, but maybe my love of cheese just lead me to feel they could have chosen more flavorful cheeses. To me, the prosciutto was a perfect addition because the saltiness of the meat with the cheese made a great combination. Not sure if I would get this again, but I did finish it all.
The pizza portions are definitely filling. A small makes a good personal size, but even then Dane had two pieces left over (which, if you know Dane, is surprising). Dane’s review was that the pizza was OK. He felt that it was a bit too oily from the cumin aoili. It seemed a little much, but was understandable given that there was no other sauce to keep the pizza moist.
Best part of Bella Luna? Sam Adams Boston Brick Red. This is a limited edition brew found only in certain bars and pubs in Boston. Dane and I first tried it when we did a tour at the brewery, and since then we look for it wherever we go. It has a great taste, much different from the traditional lager or any of the seasonal brews. It’s always my drink of choice when we go to Bella Luna.
My advice? Get some pizza and a pint of Brick Red. You can’t go wrong! Oh, and Monday nights are trivia night and Wednesdays always feature a jazz band. Perfect times to try it out!