Bella Luna

our backyard is taking a break from our scheduled programming this week (continuation of our chicago trip) so that we can bring to you photos from restaurant week (you won’t regret it).

the greater cincinnati independent restaurants’ restaurant week happens twice a year (the fall season was just last week, 9/13-9/19). we’ve been participating since last year and take this opportunity to sample restaurants we’ve never been to. to some restaurants, this becomes a platform for their chefs to stretch their creativity, and to others, this event is a way for them to introduce themselves to the city just by being on the list. either way, a prixe fixe menu of 3 courses is crafted for 7 days at $26.10 or $14.10.

we chose to go to 2 restaurants this season; first up: bella luna.

this place is no stranger to us. we were here last year for the same event, but a different season (we went in the spring). the lamb and duck dishes they served were cooked and flavored so well, we salivated each time we recalled that dinner. we found out that those were not part of their regular menu. kudos to chef alfio gulisano, but for us, we had to keep hoping that they would serve those again at the next restaurant week. luckily, our wish was granted, and that bumped bella luna up on our list this season.

(above L: roasted root vegetable soup with pulled pork and fontina; above R: house bread and butter)

(above: raspberry poached pears, goat cheese with candied almonds over a bed of spring mix with blueberry vinaigrette)

(above L: bucatini with creamy tomato pancetta sauce: above R: salmon and ricotta stuffed ravioli with cream of saffron sauce)

(above: grilled lamb chops with olives, shaved garlic, roasted red peppers and portabella mushrooms)

(above: over roasted stuffed duck leg with italian sausage, pistachio and apricots topped with a dried cherry and pork sauce)

dinner did not disappoint (and we tried our best not to have any expectations). like last year, both lamb and duck dishes were cooked to perfection: tender, juicy, flavorful. and we applaud them for making the pasta in-house. they were very generous with their servings which did not leave us any room for dessert, but all is good, our tummies, and we, were happy.

an extra touch that we thought really classed them up, was when we called to make reservations, and the gentleman who answered addressed chubs by her first name, and welcomed us back. we met the gentleman when we checked in and realized he was the owner, harry stephens. he came by later on to check on our dinner and we could only give him praises.

he mentioned that they opened a new restaurant in the edgecliff building on victory parkway called view, and that we should check it out sometime. we feel confident that the food is going to be as good there. i guess we know now where we’re going for dinner next!

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