RESTAURANT REVIEW: Italian fare at Mezza Luna far from outstanding

Being Italian, it is my opinion that pasta sauce is very subjective – taste-wise. My grandmother made the best sauce (or gravy as she would call it) that I ever tasted. She was a transplant from the “Old Country” and lived in the heart of Brooklyn, N.Y. – East 98th Street right next to the train station on Rockaway Parkway and Glenwood Road.

Mezza Luna Italian Restaurant and Bar is located at 243 Colony Blvd., right next door to the Peachwave frozen yogurt store.

When she was cooking her gravy, we all patiently waited around the kitchen with a piece of bread in hand, anxious for her to turn her back for a second so we could dip, or if she gave us the OK. And by no means was this a special dinner – we ate pasta most days of the week.

Nowadays, for me to replicate that recipe takes me so long to cook that the family just would rather go out to eat. So, off we go in search of the perfect gravy and meatballs.

A glance at the inside of Mezza Luna Italian Restaurant and Bar.

That search recently took us to Mezza Luna Italian Restaurant and Bar, located at 243 Colony Blvd., right next door to the Peachwave frozen yogurt store. There is parking in front of the restaurant and additional parking in the strip center’s parking lot.

When the four of us arrived for dinner, we parked right in front and were immediately seated inside in a booth. There is both table and booth seating, as well as bar seating. The restaurant wasn’t busy and there were only a couple of other diners there when we arrived.

Veal Parmigiana

Our waiter was overly friendly – too much so, to be honest. But he was attentive so we tried to overlook his overzealous personality. And it was actually kind of amusing that he tried desperately to properly pronounce food items in an Italian accent.

We were offered a complimentary “taste” of the house wine, which we all accepted. It was good table wine – average I would say. But it wasn’t good enough to purchase a bottle of it.

Chicken Piccata and Chicken Marsala

Then came the complimentary garlic rolls. They were very fresh, hot and generously doused in butter and garlic. They were very tasty and went quickly and we got another basket-full for dinner.

I ordered the Veal Parmigiana, which came with a side of capellini pasta. The breaded, fried veal portion was very large and was covered in just the right amount sauce and gooey melted mozzarella. It tasted fine – not outstanding by any means ($16.95).

My dining companion ordered the Chicken Piccata, which was sautéed in white wine lemon sauce served over a bed of angel hair pasta. The capers were plentiful, as was the amount of sauce. Again, if you’ve ever made this at home, yours was probably better. But it passed the test of tasting like it should ($16.95).

Penne Bolognese

My second companion ordered the Chicken Marsala, which was served with sautéed mushrooms, prosciutto and Florio Marsala wine sauce. Again, the portion was very large and she said she really enjoyed it – so much so that she took half of it home ($16.95). She also ordered a side of meatballs (three to an order) for her and her companion to share. They were actually seasoned very well and tasted great ($6.95).

My third companion ordered the Penne Bolognese, which is served with traditional meat sauce and cracked pepper. He requested they go very light on the sauce and they complied with his request. He, too, enjoyed this dish ($12.95).

Unfortunately, we didn’t care for any of the desserts, so we went next door to Peachwave for that.

Garlic rolls and a side of meatballs

So, in summary, we had Italian food. It wasn’t the authentic-tasting Italian food that I grew up on, but it passed the “I’m hungry for Italian food” test. It was served quickly, hot and plentiful. That’s about it. Nothing outstanding – not actually bad – just mediocre.

We have decided to give Mezza Luna another try – this time during the lunch service. We want to try the Antipasto Napolitano plate (prosciutto, salami, sharp provolone, fresh mozzarella, red roasted peppers, Kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts) and Brick Oven Flats.

You can check out Mezza Luna’s menu by clicking HERE.