Grilled Steak with Corn, Mushrooms, and Gorgonzola; Linguini with White Sauce, Chicken, Sage, and Cranberries; Marscapone Cheesecake with Hazelnuts and Chocolate Sauce
Occupation: Director Sales Marketing
Location: Los Gatos
Favorite Restaurant: Pasta Moon
Reviewed Pasta Moon: Tuesday, July 20, 2006
Whether for an afternoon outing or an arrival just at sunset, Half Moon Bay usually rewards you with a pleasant drive up or down the coast. And now, add to your journey a wonderful, intimate, Italian restaurant, Pasta Moon.
Pasta Moon provides a pleasant combination of friendly, informative staff and a wonderful Italian wine list that is paired with food of unique blending and distinct flavor, all which is presented in a setting that is pleasant and comfortable. With a bar that is separated from the dining area, you can enjoy the company of your table in a conversation-promoting environment. The staff is ever ready to provide specific and detailed information on the entire menu range as well as the wine list. A huge plus with the staff is the tenure they bring. They absolutely know the restaurant, the food, and the wine. The owner is about and always available for input.
The main menu changes with the seasons and provides consistency of choice for frequent visitors. The "Chef’s Selection’s" menu changes almost daily, depending on the freshness of the ingredients available in the local market. If you are unsure of a particular wine selection, you are encouraged to share a glass before ordering for your meal. My wife and I usually enjoy splitting our meals to add to the variety. Here, too, you are accommodated without bother. The meal portions are usually sufficient to leave you satisfied with room enough for even the most ardent dieter to try one of the desserts. Here, again, sharing is understood.
As your meal ends and the bill has been paid, you will not feel taken advantage of. With the right amount of well thought-out and prepared food, an extensive wine list, professional service, and a relaxed semi-formal atmosphere, the value quotient at Pasta Moon is sky high.
Occupation: Management Supervisor in Advertising
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Town Hall
Reviewed Pasta Moon: Saturday, August 12, 2006
I hadn’t been to Half Moon Bay before, so I had no expectations of the town or the restaurant. We arrived half an hour early for our reservation, and decided to enjoy a cocktail at the bar. One doesn’t see Prosecco available very often on menus; I was stoked to order it, since I recently got back from Italy where I enjoyed it often (usually before noon in a cafe with the locals).
We were seated promptly in the main dining room; a charming room with beam ceilings, and large scenic windows. My companions and I were all discussing the menu feverishly when our waiter, Dana, arrived. I normally ask for server recommendations, so we ordered based on input from him. We ordered two appetizers (the fried asparagus and the tomato salad). Then, for entrees: two pastas and the steak. Though we didn’t specifically ask, our waiter served our entire meal "family style," which was perfect.
A funny story about the wine we ordered: I chose what I thought was a $30 bottle of wine (it must have been the glass price). Ha-ha, it turned out to be $150 bottle. We were all commenting how great it was, and only figured out the price discrepancy when we were going to order another. When we (obviously) ordered a less expensive bottle, our beautiful (and now empty) wine glasses were whisked away and replaced with barware glasses for our "cheap" bottle.
Is there a better way to work in a serving of your daily vegetables, than to eat them deep fried? I don’t think so. The asparagus was crispy with a perfect aioli and covered with plenty of Parmigiano-Reggiano. The tomato salad was simple. Good, not great.
Of the three entrees we shared, I am hard-pressed to pick my favorite -- the lasagna was delish and they weren’t kidding about the sausage, as it was jam-packed with chunks of it! (I have a special weakness for ALL Italian pork products). The pappardelle was delicate, with a nice truffle accent -- similar to something you would get in Italy.
Seeing as how we were ordering two pastas, we wanted to round out our meal with a meat dish. Normally, I wouldn’t order steak in a restaurant because I find it can be hit or miss. There were only three "protein" choices on the main menu, we ordered the steak on our server’s recommendation, and it turned out to be a wonderful surprise -- it was perfectly done and served with plenty of perfect summer corn, chanterelle mushrooms, blue cheese, a light demi-glace, and fries.
Besides the wine, we all agreed the desserts were a highlight. On a recommendation from a neighboring table, we ordered the chocolate molten cake with peanut butter (YUM!), and the cheesecake (I’m a big mascarpone fan). Both ROCKED, and despite being super full, there was not a bite left.
The portions were plentiful, and our server was friendly and attentive (no doubt based on the $150 bottle of wine!) I would re-order any of the entrees again, and there were plenty of other things I’d like to sample (along with an extensive "specials" list that I assume frequently changes). My only complaint would be that none of the entrees we ordered were served as hot as I would have liked them.
Occupation: Barista /Student
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Suppenküche
Reviewed Pasta Moon: Friday, August 11, 2006
Half Moon Bay is a bit far from San Francisco, but the drive down the coast is very scenic and relaxing. Finding the restaurant was easy, as was parking in their small downtown area. Upon entering Pasta Moon, we were greeted by the hostess with a weird look and asked if I had a reservation, which I didn’t, but we were seated right away. The table was very small and lodged in between two other tables, with barely enough room to squeeze through so I could sit down. The lighting was turned down and the noise level was low with the exception of a few kids. The overall ambiance was very relaxing.
The crowd was mainly nicely-dressed people in their forties and fifties. We were given an extensive wine list, which was a thick binder that must have over fifty wines, but strangely only five average beers were offered. After we ordered, the calamari arrived promptly, which was very good, especially the hand-made marinara sauce. About halfway through the appetizer I had evidently forgotten to put my napkin in my lap, so the waiter came over, took my napkin off the table, and proceeded to unfold it and place it in my lap. This was obviously quite embarrassing, in front of my date and the other parties beside me. After we finished the appetizer, the main dishes were served almost immediately. The lasagna was totally killer! It was a huge piece with homemade sausage, which was kind of sweet, accompanied by some sort of dry red pepper, which may sound strange, but it was balanced incredibly well. I have never had lasagna prepared like that. My date originally wanted the gnocchi, but that was unavailable, so she settled with something truly amazing: the linguini with some sort of white sauce and chicken prepared with sage and dried cranberries. Once again, I thought it sounded kind of weird, but it balanced out perfectly and the chicken could not have been cooked any better. The sauce was not too heavy, and they took great care to put the perfect amount of sauce on the dish, the cranberries also added a great zing to the dish. For dessert we decided on the tiramisu, which unfortunately was just average. Overall, I loved the main dishes with their unique flavor combinations, however I feel it was a touch pricey. I noticed another party sharing some pizza, it actually looked really good, so next time I’m itching to leave San Francisco, I just might head on down to the Pasta Moon.