Raleigh >Food & Dining > Caffe Luna
136 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC | Directions 2760135.778208 -78.637458
Monday-Friday 11:30-2:30 Wed-Saturday 5:00-10:00
Do NOT like the owner – In regards to foodlover, I had a similar experience in which the owner assumed I was from a different country and was extremely condescending. He treated me as though I had just stepped fresh off a boat. I will never go back to this place nor will I ever recommend it to anyone.
Also, their chicken parm is not all that great neither were any of the other dishes the rest of my party got. Also, a nice restaurant serves their soda products in a can without even opening it for their customers? Crazy
Disregard for what he customer wants!!!!!!!!!! – I normally don't write reviews but today’s incident has so enraged me that I think it deserves a mention. This was my 2nd trip to the restaurant; the 1st experience was pretty good. When I requested the waitress that since I don’t like tomato sauce could I get cream sauce in a particular dish she said that she will have to check. Out came the owner told me that they would make anything for me however, his judgment should be trusted and that this dish would taste very bad in cream sauce and made me order another dish (I had ordered the same combination the 1st time I went to the restaurant the waiter then was nice and got it for me. I even remember eating the leftovers the next day). He went on to presume that me and the rest of the party on our table were south Asian and insisted that his judgment in terms of food should be trusted. He went on to tell us about some south Asian dish that wouldn't go well with chicken. He went on to bad mouth an Indian restaurant that he had been to in town and how it was too expensive (completely out of place in this situation).Since the others on my table were hungry and I didn't want to spoil their mood I just ordered a small salad and left. Although everyone else on my table wanted to leave without ordering a meal due to the owner’s behavior, I told them to not cancel their orders; I tried not to make a big deal of it. However, I am surely NOT going to this restaurant ever again.
Beware-Disappointed – Went there with another couple at our suggestion because we had heard it was a special place.Service was great and owner was attentive. The rest was downhill.
Two of us ordered Shrimp fra Diavalo and both felt it was tasteless and lacked any of the hot spice this dish is supposed to have. My Veal Parmigiana was more like Breading Parmigiana with the veal totally lacking in flavor and too thin to offer any textural difference with breading. The sauce on the pasta was the same as that on the shrimp dish. The fourth person ordered Ahi and was served a dried piece of fish with a slight ribbon of rare running through it.
The menu is totally boring and the execution seems to be more in line with Wedding food.
There are too many good Italian restaurants in Raleigh for us to ever go back to Luna.
I don't typically write reviews, but we just had an excellent experience at this restaurant and I thought I should share. We stopped in without a reservation after viewing a movie at the IMAX. It was around 7:00pm and we were told they could put a table in the entry way, but that no other table would be available until about 8:45pm. It was too crowded with people coming and going and there was a cold draft in the entry way, so we declined and walked out to decide on another location. In about 30 seconds, the owner came out to tell us that the diners at one of their walk-in tables had gotten their check if we'd like to come back in and wait for that. We decided we would. While we were waiting, he offered us each a glass of wine. After a short wait, we were seated. The selections and prices were very good, the wait staff was prompt and pleasant, and everyone's food was quite good. When we received our bills, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the wine had been complimentary. The owner himself checked on us several times during the meal, and stopped by as we were getting up to leave to check a final time, thank us, and shake our hands. We were impressed with that attentiveness and the food and prices. We will return.
Dull & Boring: Unsophisticated Downtown Relic – What a mistake we made in going: all six members of our party walked away disappointed. The only thing great about this place is the ambiance and location. I was here years ago, and clearly time has forced the owner to reconsider his business plan: reduced quality, less food, higher prices. The menu is completely boring. The choices appear exotic, but all come out looking relatively the same. The food portions were OK only for pasta dishes; grilled meats, fish and vegetable sides were tiny. Fish was very overcooked. My "grilled vegetables" consisted of three slices of very thin zucchini with grill marks on it. The grill marks were misleading; it wasn't cooked and was actually cold. The "house" salad dressing is largely olive oil with no flavor. When we asked for alternative dressings, we were told: "Why don't you order a Caesar?" And don't consider bringing a child; the menu has no child-friendly options. The clientele has shifted considerably in recent years and the portion sizes and limited menu reflect this. The average age of the customers when we were there (7PM) was about 60. No judgement here - I look forward to 60! - but not exactly the kind of place you hope to go for hip, chic or trendy downtown dining. All said, Caffe' Luna was in its prime 10 years ago, but is clearly in decline. I'm sad to say I won't go back. None of us will. Perhaps the expanding Raleigh restaurant scene with upscale and innovative menus (and clientele to match) have relegated Caffe Luna as an outdated relic of Raleigh's less-sophisticated recent past. What a shame.
Stay Away – Had heard good things about the place when moving to town. Since we love Italian we were looking for a regular (weekly basis) Italian place. Food was average at best. The thing that turned me off completely was that I ordered a bottle of Chianti that turned out to be the color of old brick and tasted like dirt. When I tried to send it back the owner came over to inform me that there was nothing wrong with the wine and that I just must not know much about wine since Chianti was supposed to look and taste like that. I informed him that I did infact know a good bit about wine and that the bottle had obviously gone bad, I would pay for it and he could do what he liked with it but I wasn't drinking it. So for the cost of a $30-$35 bottle of wine he lost 2 regular customers and I tell everyone I see to avoid this plac.
Great food but disappointed – We visited this restaurant one night without a reservation which wasn't a problem. We were seated within 10-20 minutes. We had heard/read about this restaurant a lot and were very excited to finally dine here. The atmosphere of this place is excellent with Nicole Kennedy's art work on the wall (which are beautiful by the way). I think the menu is affordable and there are quite a few to choose from. The portion size was big and everything tasted fantastic. Although I was very disappointed with the service. We were seated at a table right by the door because the hostess informed us that that was the only table available without a reservation until about 9pm (We were there around 7). But then when people came in after us without reservations they were seated inside the restaurant (and we were freezing because we were right by the door). Then our waitress seemed to be very inexperienced as she hardly ever came to our table and when it was time to bring us the check, she brought a several over to figure out which one it was. She had no idea what we even ordered!! So overall, great food but bad service. But maybe it just wasn't our night.
Absolutely Delicious! Highly Recommended! – Pay not attention to people on here who obviously have a negative view on most anything in life and want to take it out on someone. Try Caffe Luna for yourself - between the delicious food and great service (the owner personally goes through the restaurant to make sure you have a great experience), you too will love it! I've been there enough times to know this is really delicious Italian and there must be something really wrong with the people who have nothing but negative comments!
Wonderful!! The Best!! – My husband, I and our three children have had some wonderful dinners at Caffe Luna over the years, and Parker is a super host. We always go there for my birthday as I love the great food plus the attentiveness to every detail.
My office goes to Caffe Luna for lunch at least twice a month and I can say unequivocally that this is the BEST restaurant in Raleigh!
There are definitely many reasons it has been voted Best Italian Restaurant for several years in a row!
Cafe Lunacy – Be sooo glad you checked with Citysearch and did your research-I wish I did. My husband took me here for my birthday. We are always glad to try new places, but kicked ourselves for not doing any research on this place. First, we ordered a bottle of champagne. They had no champagne flutes! They bill themselves as a wedding venue and have no champagne flutes. It was hard enough to drink champagne out of a wine glass for my birthday, I think I would have left my own reception if I had to drink out of one on my wedding day.
Second, we ordered a starter to share and then two entre salads for our main course. All of the food arrived at the same time. Since it was a very hot evening, by the time we turned to our salads, they were wilted and warm.
Third, we split a dessert. There was no asking if we wanted coffee, the bill arrived with the dessert as if they wanted us to take our dessert to go and get out right then so they could fill the table yet again. I am completely puzzled by the level of business such a mediocre restaurant does. I will never be back.
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