Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Keep an eye on the Luna

Last night I felt the need for Mexican. It could be because of all the talk on here and in the neighborhood in general, that Luna de Juarez is open and looking to please.
This Mexican (slightly fusion) restaurant has been open about a week now in the old Santorini spot on the corner of 28th Ave & Steinway St. The actual decor and ambiance of the place is quite nice, very comfortable and warm. They even have a chiminea at the entrance with candles burning it. The front of the place has a few bar tables mixed in with regular seating to create a very chill area. It definitely lends itself to a casual hang- maybe for the free wi-fi and/or a slice of cake and some coffee.
The most stand out thing to me from the get go and throughout the evening was the people. Everyone was so sweet and welcoming, the service was impeccable. I felt like royalty! If there was a lack for anything- they were on it right away. Our server for the night was Roosevelt- gotta love the name, and the guy was even better! He was so nice and patient and super informative and open to all my questions. The basic round up is- the cuisine is all authentic Mexican from Mexico City and most everything is made fresh in house.

Now for the food of course.
Since we are trying to behave with the overindulgence's while dining out- we decided to share everything. This is also a good way to go when you want to try several things. Right away I was intrigued by the table side guacamole making option on the menu, but since we were already noshing on chips and interesting salsa (its a much more mashed avocado with tomatillos and other peppers) we decided to go with the very interesting Stuffed Avocado (Aguacate Luna de Juarez $9.95). This is apparently a very traditional dish from the region and it did not disappoint. Be sure to have more chips on hand for all the avocado goodness! The massive appetizer is stuffed with shrimp, cheese, squid & corn and sits on a creamy wine sauce.
Next on our list was the Signature House Salad (Ensalada Luna de Juarez $7.95) tortilla strips & goat cheese on a bed of mixed lettuce with a guajillo pepper vinaigrette. It was fresh and tasty and I could have eaten alot more of it all by myself..
I love the smell of steak on the grill so I had to go for the Steak Fajitas ($16.95). They come with all the regular fix-ins, but the guacamole and the tomato salsa was really really spot on. The meat could have been a bit more seasoned in my opinion- luckily though, when you put everything together and wrap it up in the tortilla it all comes together in a delicious smorgasbord of flavors! We wanted a bit more kick so I asked Roosevelt if they had any hot sauce. He brought us what looked like the same green salsa that came with the chips but he told us it was just the hot part of it without the avocado. I'd call it mild tomatillo salsa, it added great flavor with minimal punch- it worked fine for me.
This alone filled my dinner partner and I up more then I would have imagined! Roosevelt would not accept that, he really wanted us to try the tres leches cake. He sent us home with a complimentary slice... that I am sitting here eating while i type this :)

Go eat.
This place has to iron out a few "taste" kinks but I have high hopes for these guys.
Authentic Mexican close to home sounds good to me!

Luna de Juarez
25-98 Steinway
Astoria, NY 11103


Anonymous said...

Great review. It literally made my mouth water. I'm going to check this place out soon.


Jenn said...

i am NOT a fan of tequila but everytime i passed by this cute place, i always saw a few customers with huge frozen margaritas sitting by the window.

my fiance and i went in and i ordered one for the hell of it. it was a m a z i n g.
peach margarita - try it.

Jukka said...

We LOVE this place. We have been going here every Friday night for Happy Hour for the past few months. It is family owned and run and they are the nicest people you'll ever meet. They have a great by-the-glass wine list and the margaritas are superb. Try the empenadas, I've never had better - they are out of this world. Happy Hour is every day from 5pm - 8pm, 1/2 price beer and margarita, you can't beat it. This place is a gem!

Anonymous said...

Perfect place to relax,there's no place like home.

Laby[dress boot]