Friday, January 13, 2012

A Beautiful Dinner At Bella Luna

Not often do I find an Italian restaurant that has vegan options, especially in the Boston area. I was surprised to discover Bella Luna and Milky Way Lounge, a lovely space that doubles as an elegant dining room and at night, transforms into a lounge/dance club for college students to get their drink on. I first heard of the restaurant through the Boston Dining Cards, which they offer a $10 discount, but have also seen various Groupon deals. I had one of my last meals here during my recent trip to Boston and am happy to report that the food and service was top-notch. My hope is that they will expand their vegan options, since the dishes we tried were very delicious.

We started with the Mediterranean Mezze Plate ($8).

This was a lovely assortment and a healthy way to begin the meal. The hummus was a little thicker than I am used to, but still had a wonderful, decadent taste and was very creamy. The eggplant escalavida had a slightly tangy flavor and was very savory. It was thinner than the hummus and spread more easily on the pita bread. I am a huge fan of olives, so I was pleased to be able to eat these oil-soaked goodies. They left a fantastic bitter flavor in my mouth, which was a perfect contrast of my entree. 

For my entree, I ordered the vegan special of the day, which was a Butternut Squash Risotto ($16).

This dish was amazing. The risotto was perfectly cooked and had a soft, doughy texture. The butternut squash gave the dish a sweet flavor and each piece was so juicy. There was a wonderful mixture of spices and basil to contrast the sweetness of the butternut squash. The sauce was slightly creamy and had a subtle taste of white wine.

Unfortunately, Bella Luna did not have any vegan desserts, so the meal felt a little incomplete. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the meal. Everything was so flavorful and well-prepared. Bella Luna also offers vegan pizza with daiya cheese, so I'm hoping to try that on my next visit. With the dining card, we saved $10, which is a pretty significant discount.

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