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Luna Sur is small and cheerful in its dcor, although we are starting to glaze over at the sight of glazed walls in every recently decorated restaurant. Glazing has become to present generations what checkered tablecloths and plastic grapes had been to previous ones. Wall sconces in various retro shapes are the only design elements relieving the amber glazing. While the overall effect is pleasing, a few softening touches like paintings or candles and/or flowers on the tables would certainly enhance the ambiance Ñ as would some noise abatement measures. Noise levels can be a problem when the sounds of boisterous diners bounce off the unadorned walls and tiled floors.Upon arrival, we were served a basket of fragrantly fresh, chewy sourdough bread accompanied by a dish of extra virgin olive oil suffused with minced sundried tomatoes and garlic for dipping. We correctly saw this as a harbinger of good things to come.The menu is small but well conceived, balancing creative options with the comfortingly familiar. We began with an interesting salad of artichoke hearts, mesclun, avocado and shaved Parmesan. This is a rich salad with just the right piquancy.We moved on to veal ravioli with pancetta, truffle butter and sage. The flavors meld harmoniously. Straddling two seemingly contradictory categories, this pasta can only be described as "luxury comfort food." The entres we chose were both elegant. The veal filet mignon with black truffles, porcini mushrooms and spinach melts in your mouth. The combination of earthy flavors with the veal made this dish almost perfect. It would have come even closer to perfection if they could have spared a couple of little roast potatoes. You could probably have ordered them as a side dish, but you shouldn't have to.Our other entre was a special, broiled lobster gratineed with herbed bread crumbs and served over spaghetti with sliced, sauted garlic and oil. The dish was generously garnished with fresh basil. The lobster was fresh and tasty, and the pasta was a garlic-lover's delight.We completed our meal with a hazelnut crme brulee. The crme brulee arrived buried in fresh berries Ñ a lovely touch.The credit for this deliciousness goes to chef Jorge Aldana. He comes to us from the inner borough across the river by way of Sette Mezzo and Baranda. Their loss our gain.The Bottom LineThe dcor may be a little too understated, and the service still a little rough around the edges, but the quality of the nuovo-Italian cuisine more than compensates for those minor shortcomings. This eager newcomer is going to give some of its more established neighbors a run for their money. They were not serving alcohol and did not accept credit cards when we dined there, but we have since seen a sign in the window announcing "now serving wine." Luna Sur98-04 Metropolitan Avenue Forest Hills, NY718 544-4223Cuisine: Italian Setting: Small, cheerfulService: Friendly and accommodatingÑcould use some polish Hours: L & D daily Reservations: couldn't hurtParking: StreetDress: CasualChildren: WelcomeTakeout: No menu-askCredit cards: Cash only Handicap Access: YesRecommended Dishes:Artichoke salad...$6.50Veal ravioli w/ pancetta truffle butter & sage...$10.50Veal filet mignon w/ black truffles porcini mushrooms & spinach...$22.50Broiled lobster over spaghetti...$25Hazelnut crme brulee...$5.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
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