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
good food and atmosphere – I went here in the summer on a Saturday night and it wasn't crowded! Definitely not loud, which is a plus for me. The food was good and not too expensive, although some of the portions weren't huge. The calamari appetizer is actually small and very salty. The "grilled vegetables" served with the salmon consisted of 3 paper-thin slivers of squash, but I still liked it, especially since it was cheap for what I was getting. This place is located nicely in Downtown Raleigh, if you enjoy that kind of environment (and the feeling that you're not stuck in a small suburb).
Slow and inattentive service, average food – This downtown Italian restaurant is not worth the time or the money. I recently visited Caffe Luna, where I ordered a shrimp and linguini dish. The shrimp was rubbery and overcooked, the linguni tough, and when I asked the server to take care of the problem,
Avoid Avoid Avoid!!! – My husband and I love Italian food. We ate at Cafe Luna last night with a group of friends, and were extremely disappointed! My husband ordered the tortellini with mushrooms, and I had the ravioli with spinach and ricotta cheese. In both of these dishes, we couldn't taste the pasta or the filling because the tomato sauce was so extremely overpowering. It left the pasta seeming completely tasteless! Both of our dishes were extremely small, I think I counted 6 ravioli's! None of the entree's come with salads, and the bread they bring out is was horrible. It was hard, and bland.
The only good thing about our dinner was the dessert. I ordered the Tartufo, which was a chocolate and vanilla ice cream ball with dark chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and a cherry. It was great!
Oh...my husband ordered a soda, and they brought him a cup of ice and a can of coke. They charged him for each can they brought out, so no such thing as free refills, unless you get water. What kind of restaurant doesn't have a fountain soda?
The entire restaurant was so loud that we couldn't hear anyone speak. I made it through the majority of the dinner reading lips! The waiters and waitresses are also constantly reaching over you to refill your glass, or get plates off the table, and because they put the chairs so close together, you have to lean to the side to get out of their way! It didn't make for a very comfortable dinner.
We will never visit Cafe Luna again. The whole HORRIBLE experience cost us $45, and it was completely not worth it. I made ravioli tonight with homemade tomato cream sauce and parmesan breadsticks that tasted 100 times better than our dinners last night. I paid less than $15 for the ingredients to make the dinner, and it fed both of us with some leftovers. I cannot believe we wasted $45 last night!
DO NO EAT AT CAFFE LUNA!!!!!! – DO NOT EAT AT CAFFE LUNA!!!!!!!. To begin my date and I ordered an appetizer, the house antipasti. When served it came with a few substandard olives, six small slices of sopressatta which amounted to nothing more than glorified pepperoni, and a couple wedges of cheap parmesan. After eating this and downing our tiny glasses of terrible wine, we got our entrees. My date had pasta with scallops and spinach. The scallops were obviously fake, more on the order of stingray or shark fin. Their preparation was also terrible, as if they had been microwaved or boiled (two things of which you should never do to a "scallop") The spinach was obviously frozen and the pasta was swimming in a pool of water (I guess this kitchen does not have a strainer). She took two bites and was done with it obviously not liking it, and the waitstaff and owner showed no concern in this and did not offer to take it off the bill (they saw her take her first bite, make a horrible face, and from then on out that night avoided us like the plague). My dish was slightly better, but not by much. I had the pasta stuffed with spinach and riccota, covered in red sauce. There were about 8 of these tiny things on my plate (a $12 one) hardly stuffed and again the spinch was obviously frozen. The sauce tasted like crushed tomatoes and a little pepper and water as seasoning. After we left here unsatisfied we went to Applebee's and got food that was a lot better and a lot cheaper. DO NOT EAT AT CAFFE LUNA!!!!!!!
We checked out Caffe Luna tonight for the first time and wont be going back. My husband and I were seated next to a loud table of 25+ people. Trying to make myself heard over the noise, I asked the waitress if they would switch a tomato sauce with a cream sauce for my pasta. She stated that they "don't make substitutions" on weekends. Unfortunately, the luxury of time it must have afforded the kitchen by not making that substitution wasn't evident in the quality of food that finally appeared. The supposedly "fresh pasta" tasted rubbery and bland, and the serving size was small. My husband's penne with spinach and scallops was swimming in a sea of water and broth and required a spoon. At least, I think that's what my husband was saying when he shouted to me from across the table. Alas, the miniature glasses of bad house Chianti did little to improve the situation. Arrivederci, Caffe Luna!
Absolute Best Italian – Caffe Luna is truly authentic italian with pastas shipped over from Italy. There is a new special the staff tells me appears for several days in a row each month--Fiocchi. This dish is arguably the most amazing and delicious italian I have ever indulged in. It is small pasta dumplings filled with four cheeses and a bite of pear served in a sun-dried tomato creme sauce...oh my. Mouth watering heaven! The food has never failed to impress no matter what is ordered. The waitstaff is always friendly (though I can't say the same about the hostesses which is the reason I don't rate them a 10). There is a great wine list, the ambiance is superb, the prices are very reasonable, and the restrooms are impeccable (which tells me about their kitchen). Everyone in town seems to agree, so make a reservation a few days early or don't eat until 9 or later.
Delicious Food – The first time I had Caffe Luna was at a wedding. They catered the event and everyone absolutely raved about the food. I've never seen such a spread! The bride and groom also told me that the owner bent over backwards to accomodate them and that their prices were reasonable. So one day I checked them out for lunch and I am so glad I did. At first we were sat at a table next to a window and I was feeling a cold draft (it was December). I asked to be moved and the owner practically fell over himself to make sure we were comfortable at another table. A lot of managers would have been thoroughly irritated about that. I ordered a pasta dish that was really good, and our waitress was friendly and knowledgable about the menu. Our food came out quickly - a perfect workday lunch. I will definitely be returning to Caffe Luna.
Best Casual Italian Anywhere! – Caffe Luna is a Casual Italian diamond located in downtown Raleigh on the corner of Hargett and Blount streets. Of course, we dined the evening of the grand opening of Fayetteville Street so the place was packed. Reservations were at 7:30 and we're stuck in traffic, so I struck out on foot to secure the table while my escort found a parking place. I ran into our other dining campanions on the way and we collectively got the table. Parker Kennedy, the owner, sat us promptly. Parker is always the perfect host with his Southern charm and gracious manners. We start with bread and olive oil for dipping. Water is always served. The pasta is simple and homemade with perfect sauces, The Striped Bass was tender, as was the Veal Parm. Salads are fresh and wonderful, portions are good but not oversized. There is something about this place that just makes you want to stay for a couple of hours to watch the people and look at all of the paintings. They are all done by his wife, known area artist, Nicole Kennedy. These are also for sale. If you are in the area, do stop in and enjoy the food and ambience! Love it! The Social Light
Love the Chicken Parm - great wine list, friendliest place in Raleigh! – Some people have such silly pet peeves - the host is excellent, the food is great, priced right and service is excellent. The pace is perfect - if you want to be romantic, go to some fancy schmancy "upscale" French Bistro and get a 7 course meal. True, the menu is not enormous, but I would rather have a restaurant do 24 things right than 48 halfway. I have been going there for six years, never had a problem, and if I did, I would not hesitate to bring it up to the owner - because he will visit you 2 to 3 times in the course of your meal, and he will want your opinion.
Urban atmosphere and fresh Italian cuisine make this restaurant a downtown favorite. – In Short
Caffe Luna could be an ultra-trendy trattoria, but the atmosphere is too comfortable and the service too sincere. Arched doorways, picture windows and high ceilings, however, provide plenty of sophistication. Warm Mediterranean colors, wood floors and the backdrop of conversation feel instantly intimate. A simple Italian menu prepared well includes a paper-thin tuna carpaccio seasoned with zingy citrus and salty capers. The seafood pescatore is redolent with garlic and light spices.
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