Atmosphere: Mezza Luna has a very great layout with a spacious dining room, a separate large bar area with ample seating and tables, and a nice covered patio to enjoy outdoor dining. It also has a pizza creation station to keep the kids entertained! The dining room is tastefully decorated with dark hardwood floors and formal white linen table settings. The entire setting makes one feel "at home" - its not pretentious even though the estabilshment has consistently been rated in the top 25 restaurants of Jacksonville!!
Menu: At first glance, the impression one gets from reading the menu is that the cuisine is Italian. However, its more than Italian - entrees are creative and eclective with a continental flair (click here to see the menu.) Mezza Luna's menu is progressive - the evening I was there, the specials featured fresh seafood from Hawaii. The seafood special was excellent and plated beautifully. For starters we had the calamari which I thought was fried and battered perfectly and was tender and flavorful.
For entrees we had:
Filet Mignon with cabernet sauce, truffle whipped potatoes, haricots verts, and braised shallots. Everthing on this dish was perfectly done. The filet was cooked to perfection and was soooo tender that it was cut by a fork! The sauce was reduced nicely and had nice color and flavor, the potatoes were excellent with a subtle hint of truffles and the haricots and shallots gave a nice textural contrast to it.
Harris Ranch Pork Chops with chipotle raspberry sauce, riz rouge & pan toasted corn. My pork chop was at least 1 1/2" thick and was tender, juicy and delicious. The accompaniments complimented the dish well - the sauce was interesting, good flavor with sweetness and the toasted corn was a nice touch.
Lasagna Bolognese rich beef ragout, layered with fresh ricotta & pasta sheets. If you like Bolognese, you've got to try this dish! The sauce was very good, heavy, and hearty - it was not salty ( a good thing) and was thick, allowing it to stick to the pasta. My table agreed that the Bolognese was among the very best in Jacksonville.
For dessert, I would recommend the Bread Pudding. Unlike many others (that may add raisins, cinnamon, etc.) this one is for the purists - simple, sweet, and satisfying!
The Service: The service was excellent. Despite the volume of diners at peak dining hours, our drinks and meal came out in a very timely manner. Our wait staff was extremely knowledgable of the entire menu and was able to answer specific questions and offer suggestions. Our water glasses were always filled as were our cocktails. Not once did we have to call staff over for service. When we needed something to be changed or replaced, it was done immediately without question. When we had our car pulled up by the complimentary valet service, in our car, the valets placed candy with a notecard "The journey is its reward" - I was impressed by this touch of service. All combined, the level of detail to the entire dining experience is without comparison. Kudos to the proprietors for a well trained staff, great chefs, and menu choices!!
I highly recommend Mezza Luna and I am sure you will enjoy your dining experienc there!
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