Lunetta's Deluxe Full-Moon Ramen, on Smith near Dean in Boerum Hill
Photo by Kimberly Lee: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51109884@N06/with/5720561862/
To be fair, we showed up to Lunetta, on Smith Street near Dean, at 6:20 p.m. – prime toddler time for any semi-kid friendly restaurant in Carroll Gardens. To be fair, the restaurant was packed and the wait staff limited to three. To be fair, there were nine tables, one island, and 20 children, of whom some were screaming, and one mother’s stroller almost tripped a waiter piled high with dishes. Still, Lunetta’s “full moon” ramen night was very disappointing.
Ramen is trendy. I’ve had ramen all over New York City. It is probably what I eat most. It is probably why I’ve gained so much weight since moving here. I’ve had it between 6 p.m. and 4 a.m., for $6 to $20 a bowl.
At Ippudo in Manhattan, the ramen is $15 to $25, and worth every penny.
Lunetta is an Italian restaurant. It used to be a Japanese restaurant featuring ramen, and named Takku. Takku was well-regarded by critics and loved by many in the neighborhood. So when Lunetta chef Adam Shepard launched a ramen night, to be held each night of the full moon, people were excited. So I went to check it out.
There’s six things on the menu: ramen and appetizers. Lunetta’s deluxe ramen is $15. On this past full moon Monday night, the deluxe featured braised ribs, tender and delicious, a quality cut of meat. But the noodles were overcooked and the broth was bland and salty–brown as if saturated with soy sauce. We added garlic chili and then it just tasted like salt and garlic chili sauce.
We ordered chicken wings and charred long bean salad. The chicken wings were $8 for five. They were under-cooked and rubbery. Undercooked chicken is just… not… kosher. The sour cream, cucumber, and ginger sauce was pretty good, but again, bland. How can one use ginger and produce a bland sauce?
The long bean salad ($7) was delicious, with crumbled tofu and miso dressing. The tofu looked like cheese, it was melted and lovely. The tempura shrimp were also divine (eaten by my associate).
We paid $5 for pickled vegetables. The $5 was a donation to the Japanese relief fund. Our server informed us when we ordered that the person who makes the pickles was driving them over. They arrived at 7:30, when we got our check. We ate them while we signed. They were decent. Pickled radish, carrots, cucumber, celery and cabbage. I couldn’t believe they charged us, but hey, the money was going to the relief fund.
Finally, the server. Let me say, I have been in and out of the serving industry since I was 18. I’m a terrible server. I’m chatty, lazy, and slow. I get it. But, I like a nice server. Ours decidedly was not. She was grumpy and seemed miserable and a tad angry.
If you are looking for ramen in the neighborhood, I suggest Zuzu, in the Gowanus area. In fact, go to Zuzu and then take all the money you would have spent at Lunetta and spend it on a day pass at Brooklyn Boulders down the street. You will have a better date, a firmer butt, and pretty decent ramen to rave about. Get the hot and sour. It’s $10, packed full of shrimp and the broth is complex and tasty. And, the servers smile.
173 4th Avenue (corner of Degraw, Gowanus)
116 Smith Street (between Pacific and Dean, Carroll Gardens)