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
The owner was rude and embarassed me in front of my family and half the restaurant for entering his fine dining establishment wearing a "chapeau" (hat). I had to refrain from addressing the issue for the sake of my brother-in-law, who hosted the outing and recommended the restaurant. Having a dress code is fine, but there are ways to implement one without mortifying your patrons. Not to mention the fact that it comes across as pedantic when the small sign hidden behind the hostess podium reads, "Please gentlemen, no hats or sleevelss shirts." No sleevelss shirts! We're upscale now!
On top of that, the ribeye was thin and mediocre at best. Everyone else's pasta was great, but my appetite was ruined by the embarassment. I learned later at the hotel that my wife and mother-in-law both had their dinner ruined by the experience as well, though like me they put on a brave face for the sake of our host.
I wouldn't put money in the owner's pocket if he had the best food on the planet. It's pathetic when you try for class and you come up with pretension.
Had a wedding to go to at Cafe Luna on Saturday afternoon. I was looking to get some directions to the place and ran into the reviews here on CitySearch. Oh boy! I was hoping the reviews were bogus because Brian and Wendy didn't deserve having their nuptuals in a place with horrible service and food.
The reviews I read cited horrible service and worse food but things couldn't have been more different. The service was awesome, servers were very nice, and they payed attention to all our needs. The food was absolutely incredible! The Italian was well above average, the sea food delicious, and everything else was cooked to perfection.
I highly recommend this place and know we'll be going back.
Great disappointment! – We had a terrible experience at Café Luna.
The place is located in an "OK" space with decent lighting and layout but the ambiance suffers as most of the patrons are NOT smiling (I wonder why) the staff are grumpy and management idiotic. In any business endeavor the way the employees behave always comes from the head. We and the couple next to us felt like we were not wanted there, we were a burden, and they were (from the su-chef, to the manager, to the hostess, to the server) too important and too busy to see us. My wife and I have been to many excellent high end establishments, from the Capital City and Cardinal club to Ruth Chris, Sullivans, and second Empire where you expect outstanding service but you will have a much better time at Napper Tandys pub then wasting your time at Café Luna. The food was simply poor the service terrible. The server when asked about their Caesar salad had this to say, "It's a mediocre Caesar, you know..., like we don't make our own dressing."
The BEST Tuscany Italian restaurant in Raleigh is Brio, hands down. Excellent tasty food, attentive service, and great ambiance (happy smiling patrons too). After our event (IMAX 3D Movie) we stopped at Sitti for a night cap around the corner from Café Luna and were greeted with a smile from everyone. The hostess was cordial, the bartendress attentive and very pleasant. We'll be back for dinner.
There are many choices in Raleigh for a good to great dining experience. Café Luna is NOT one of them. You can discount reviews by delirious brides and anonymous overly bubbling individuals. If they really had a meal there and are not the owners or employees they couldn't be that happy. The truth is in the other reviews which are predominantly 1's (Poor) if the biased data are eliminated. Usually a restaurant will not have that many 1's ratings unless people are extremely dissatisfied.
Hope this saves someone from a poor dining experience.
Normal Noodles – Poopy mussles, lightly chilled bread, something that resembled frozen ravioli, and thin flat tasteless steak on a bed of little hashbrowns.
Every mussle was full of a big glob of poop! No wonder why they were on "special"!
Atmosphere was good, great location but we will not be going there again.
Don't go here if you are celebrating a special ocassion – On March 3rd my wife and I went to Cafe Luna for our anniversary. We choose Cafe Luna based on reviews we read on City Search. I learned a valuable lesson. Don't beleive everything you read.
From the very beginning the experience was a disappointment. Upon making the reservation we were told that we would be given a nice table. The first table they tried to sit us at was in a corner behind another couple and the only way in was to squeeze past the other dinners. We settled for another table that was next to a large party and nothing special about this table either.
Next our server came to the table and handed us the menu's, and I use handed loosely, mor e like thrusted them at us. She was not friendly or helpful in the least and acted like she was doing us a big favor by waiting on us.
We placed out entree order and before I could say I wanted a salad she was gone. I did get to order an appetizer of calamari which tasted a little under done. When out entree's arrived they were set before us and the individual delivering the food was a little more cordial. During our meal our server never came to the table to ask us how our meal was or to ask if we needed anything.
Had our server showed an interest in how our food was we woul have told her that the salmon my wife ordered was dry and tasteless and that my linguini pescatore was over done. The lingini was was way over cooked and tasteless. The seafood was adequate but nothing to praise. My wife actually took the some of the sauce from my dish and put it on her salmon so she could eat it.
When my wife finshed her meal and I was done picking at mine the server came back and took our plates and never asked us if we wanted coffee or dessert. Trying to salvage the night I asked for a dessert menu, however, after a discussion with my wife we decided not to chance anymore poor service or poor food and took the check.
I attempted to tell the young lady at the hostess stand about my experience and it became instantly obvious that she did not care either.
My wife and I went to Babymoon Cafe and had a night cap, coffee and dessert and it saved the night that Cafe Luna tried to wreck.
I have seen some very reviews of this restaurant so I am hoping that the staff was new and the chef was having an off night.
I was so dissapointed that I will not go back and give it a second try. I would have if I thought anyone cared because I believe in giving second chances when they are merrited.
Great Italian cafe experience! – I had a great meal here, rigatoni with chicken and spinach in a cream sauce. A big portion, enough to take home for another meal! Service was excellent, very attentive and friendly, even a perfect wine suggestion. I would definitely return.
Recommended Downtown Raleigh Italian – Pros:
Taste - The food is wonderful. Great taste and menu variety. What was supposed to be hot was hot, cold was cold. Great tasting Italian dishes.
Value - The value on events and dinner is pretty good. I say value is good because the food is much nicer than an "Olive Garden" but does not charge a premium.
Event service - The events manager and service is great and easy to work with.
Wait staff - Very attentive, informed, and experienced.
Atmosphere - Trendy and classic styling. A tiny bit loud due to the wood floors, but very nice.
Book keeping - They made a minor mistake on a final event bill. We were on our honeymoon and had to go back/forth on the error. I thought it was tacky to push so hard for the difference to their positive. It's not my responsibility to do your book keeping.
Owner - Owner went into detail on the book keeping error about how I as a customer was hurting his business over the book keeping error and how the small error meant a lot. I was asked very matter of factly "why do you think you feel wronged". Simply tell me, "I'm sorry sir, but I simply can't honor your request." Don't lecture me as a customer. Judging by other comments on Citysearch, this appears to be a common theme.
OMGosh!! The food was excellent, and also had wedding – Well, first off, I had my wedding and reception at Cafe Luna, and the service, food, and staff was excellent. The price is ver. reasonable to have a wedding and/or reception at Cafe Luna and the atmosphere of Cafe Luna is wonderful. The dark, rich hardwood floors are beautiful and the details of the rooms are beautiful. Ryan and the other staff there were very nice and planned my event without a hitch. A few weeks after the wedding Cafe Luna sent us a 50.00 certificate so we could come back and enjoy a dinner. The food was excellent, the server was very nice. I got the Fiochee, four cheese stuffed pasta with pear sauté, and it was the best pasta I ever ate. It was rich, creamy and very tasteful!!!
Hosted my wedding – I can't say enough good things about this place. Ryan is the events coordinator there, she was wonderful. She answered ALL of my questions via email and phone up until my big day. She was very flexible in accommodating anything I wanted.
On the day of my wedding, the staff set up everything. All I had to do what drop my decorations off a couple of days before with directions. They also served the food, and I'm still hearing about how good everything was from my guests.
The staff was so pleasant and above par. They cleared everyones' tables and offered refills. They cut our cake, and did most of the clean up (the only reason it wasn't all of the cleanup is because the rest was stuff we had to take home). I was so pleased.
Brides, if you want a smooth day to sit back and enjoy your big day, Caffe Luna is for you!
Bad Experience – My colleague and I went for lunch today and experienced good service, but bad food. We both ordered the lasagne, which was made with poor quality meat, was soggy, and left us feeling ill. The bread that was brought out before the meal had to be sent back because it not only tasted stale, but had mold on it. This I could excuse, because I buy that type of bread at times, and it has no preservatives, so it goes bad quickly. However, when I mentioned this discreetly to the waitress, she said "where?", and I had to show her. Not someplace I would visit again.
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