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I packed a lot into my weekend (as usual), so come Sunday evening I was ready to just relax and have someone fetch me large quantities of food and alcohol. Thanks to the slight break in the heat wave, I blissfully anticipated sitting at one of Sette Luna’s sidewalk tables and sipping Nero d’Avola until closing time. Then we drove down to 3rd Street…

People everywhere! No place to park! Roads blocked! And cafés packed!

This was not good for my state of mind. I have a bad habit of setting up expectations and wigging out when things don’t go according to plan. Especially when it comes to food. I get grumpy when I’m hungry – most people do it seems. My wife worked as a hostess at a diner when she was in her teens and vividly recalls the contrasting moods between arriving and departing customers.

We swung around Ferry Street to see the crowd at Sette Luna and ended up parking in the circle near Valenca. We headed over to Ferry, past Pearly Bakers and saw signs for Heritage Day – that explained it! Then I felt bad about living in such a bubble. We get our info on Easton current events from the newsletter that accompanies the monthly utility bill. Not exactly “current.”

As expected, there was a long wait for a patio table but there was an indoor table for 2 ready immediately so we snagged it. Some Belgian beer, a little Italian wine and awesome food as usual. My wife had the pasta special – fettucini with their fantastic shrimp and fresh cherry tomatoes. And I had the pizza special – bianca with figs, goat cheese and shaved prosciutto. (I highly recommend you try sweet fruits/veggies on pizza – figs, squash, grapes. Caramelized apples and onions with gorgonzola is one of my faves.)

We heard some murmurings about fireworks and looked around to find that most of the packed dining room was suddenly empty. We quickly paid as we heard the first few explosions. To our good fortune, the corner of Ferry St. by the Post Office a few feet away was a perfect spot to watch the show. I’m guessing they launched from a barge in the river or along its banks. You can see how close we were from the huge wall of smoke.

We hadn’t gotten dessert at Sette Luna, but this ice cream truck looked a little (or a lot) too sketchy to risk the botulism. And I’m sure Marvel wouldn’t be thrilled with Spidey’s implied endorsement…as tastefully executed as it was.

It turned out to be a pretty good night. Maybe I don’t have to have everything go according to plan.

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We finally motivated ourselves to try Sette Luna’s jazz brunch this past Sunday. We were there the night before for my dad’s birthday so we had a chance to peruse the brunch menu and get fired up for it. Turns out there’s no live jazz as i’d assumed – just over the sound system. Just rechecked the website and it seems they have live jazz on the patio in warmer weather. I couldn’t care less either way. I just wanted some food.

It was great that their full beer list was available. The whole cereal grain aspect of beer makes it such a logical pairing with breakfast. I kept it light though and went with the raspberry lambic. Was it fruity, you may be asking? Quite fruity! How can you tell!? They currently have a Blanche de Brussels on tap – light and lemony with a hint of honey – that would have been great too.

My wife had coffee and fresh squeezed OJ followed by fresh peach nectar. They also offer apricot.

The menu isn’t extensive. And there are a maybe a disproportionate number of dishes with smoked salmon. But you’ll find a unique array of options and Sette Luna’s twists on classic breakfast fare. I went with the Tuscan Benedict – poached eggs, pancetta, and swiss chard on a split muffin with homefries and roasted grapefruit.

My wife had 2 eggs over easy with roasted asparagus and shallots. And homefries and roasted grapefruit as well. The roasted citrus had a nice flavor, though it was a bit awkward to eat with a knife and fork. Could’ve requested a spoon I suppose.

They start serving at 10:30 am. Not much of a crowd by the time we left around noon – i definitely expected some post-church business. I’m sure it’s a different story when it’s not 30 degrees out.

It’s been a while since we’ve been to Sette Luna down on Ferry Street – maybe 2 months? The problem with having favorite restaurants is that you can get bored with the menu really quickly. Their daily menu hasn’t yet changed, but we can always count on Sette Luna for some decent seasonal specials. Some massive shrimp and pasta for my wife, while i enjoyed another great pizza with figs, goat cheese, and prosciutto (added after it was taken out of the oven).

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Their pizza crust is seasoned perfectly, with just the right amount of chewy and crunchy, and is thin enough to let you appreciate the delicate combination of flavors. And even after i devoured the entire thing, i still had room (barely) for dessert. My wife was just going to have coffee, but i convinced her to go for the chocolate mousse. She was glad she did.

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I opted for the special: a blend of ricotta, whipped cream, orange zest and mint (it had a technical name but i couldn’t really comprehend the pronunciation) set in a pool of chilled rhubarb soup. Damn, this picture looks disgusting, but i’m a sucker for anything rhubarb. It was OK – some nice flavors but the textures weren’t that pleasing. Bolete’s goat cheesecake with strawberry-rhubarb consumée was much more successful.

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Besides getting a lot of work done around the house – inside and out – we made yet another visit to Sette Luna and took my folks to Touch of Thai.

Sette Luna had the sidewalk tables available but there was a chill in the air and it looked like rain so we chose the dining room. Started off with a quartino of Sangiovese and a glass of Belgian blonde ale (Carmelita i think it’s called). Light and smooth with warm spice. For appetizers, my wife went with the blood orange salad and i had the wood oven shrimp over a bed of marinated white beans. Sette Luna’s shrimp are amazing – perfectly cooked, meaty and smoky.

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For entrées, my wife had linguini with olives and anchovies, and i had the Norwegian salmon with white beans and spinach. Cooked medium-rare in their miracle oven, it was perfectly seasoned, smoky and moist.

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Our server (Gabrielle – one of their best) told us about a dessert special – Nutella rice pudding with raisins and hazelnut brittle. Sold. They did forget to put the whipped cream on top, but Gabrielle fetched a bowl of it in a flash.Getting it on the side was perfect anyway since my wife doesn’t dig whipped cream, and it avoided being melted by the warm pudding. We usually share a dessert, but this is one case where we could have easily polished off 2 (or 5) servings. Hope they have it again. And that they make it bigger. 😉

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I’ll post about our second visit to Touch of Thai within the next day or two. Spoiler alert: It was goooood.

This is the second in a series of general reviews of our favorite dinner spots – places we know we can go for great food, service and ambiance. These aren’t rankings – just the order in which I’m choosing to write them.

A block further down Ferry St from Easton’s Best #1, Ocean, you’ll find Sette Luna. Great Italian food with contemporary flair. When we first came to Easton, the building housed Moscato’s – also Italian food. The place seemed popular but i think they sold the restaurant to concentrate on the catering part of their business – not sure where i heard that.

When Sette Luna first opened, the menu was relatively limited and the food was great, but the dining room was too bright and noisy for our tastes. Their expansion into the other half of the building was a real turning point. The second smaller dining room, beautiful bar, wine cellar, and refined menu made Sette Luna more of an experience than just a place to grab an above-average meal. From the beer selection to the custom-made door handles, you really feel you’re being cared for by people with an eye for detail. That’s comforting.

Getting to the food, i have to start with the pizza. As a guy with a childish aversion to crust, I tend to view the usually flavorless rind as a “pizza handle,” eating it only so i can’t be accused of wasting food. But Sette Luna’s crust I crave. Their wood-fired oven, combined with the dough recipe and seasonings, creates a flavorful crust with the perfect blend of chewy and crispy. They offer maybe 15 pizzas on the regular menu – half white, half red – as well as a daily pizza special. They’re wonderfully thin and light so you can definitely finish the 12″ disk if you bring your appetite.

A pizza makes a nice appetizer as well. Speaking of which, there’s a nice selection of unique apps. We had an heirloom tomato salad that we loved (though it was likely a seasonal offering) and their risotto ball is amazing – a baseball-sized ball of risotto stuffed with Bolognese sauce, covered in breadcrumbs and fried, and served in a bowl of Marinara. Major comfort food.

They also serve their Bolognese as an entrée (with Penne i think) and i highly recommend it. Order a side of bread to enjoy every drop of sauce. (Yeah, you have to pay for the bread, but it’s worth it.) The menu isn’t loaded with pastas. You won’t find every conceivable combination of noodle and sauce like Olive Garden – they do a few dishes and do them well. When i’m not in a starchy mood, I go for the steak or the salmon. I think there’s an osso buco but i haven’t had it yet, though it’s one of my favorite cow parts.

Sette Luna has a nice selection of 3 different Belgian beers on draft, a long list of microbrew bottles (with descriptions -thank you!), and some great wines sold by the quartino – a small carafe holding the equivalent of 2 glasses roughly. I honestly can’t remember much of the dessert list, just the rich panna cotta.

The service has always been great. The manager, Josh Palmer, is always there to make sure everything runs smoothly – we’ve even seen him buss tables. The servers are all on the younger side – not the most polished in town but they do a solid job. We recommend sitting in the smaller dining room. The main room can be a bit noisy with the open kitchen and presence of families with children. You can wait for your table in the bar area. It can be a bit of a bottleneck based on it’s location between to 2 dining rooms so be mindful of the waitstaff trying to squeeze through. Take advantage of the call ahead seating on Fridays and Saturdays after 7.

Sette Luna offers lunch but we’ve never tried it. There’s also a Sunday Jazz Brunch that we’d love to try if we could get our butts out of bed before 10am.

Now that it’s starting to warm up, we’re really looking forward to grabbing one of the sidewalk tables for some al fresco dining. Ferry St doesn’t get much traffic so the air is clean and there’s minimal noise. Though the traffic is heavier, another great place for patio dining is Valenca in the NE corner of the square – my next “best.”

Cameras don’t work if their batteries aren’t charged (unless you have a disposable or your trusty camera obscura to capture your precious memories).

We just had a great meal at Sette Luna, and i was hoping it would be the first time i took pics for the blog. I was thrilled that i remembered the Canon on our way out the door, though it crossed my mind that the battery may not be charged. Not that we had time to charge it as we had called ahead for a table. I really have to do a post about “call ahead seating” at some point. I’d love to hear any opinions on it cuz we think it blowz.

When our appetizer came (Mozzarello al Forno – fantastic btw) i whipped out the camera, turned it on and went for the button that turns off the flash…CHANGE BATTERY PACK stared back at me with a slight smirk.

So no visual documentation. Sorry. Tomorrow night it’s Ocean and I swear i’ll have my shit together by then. Our entrées looked great, though you’ll have to take my word for it. I had the bianca pizza with goat cheese and beets topped with fresh arugula. My wife went with the linguini with clams – a little linguini and lots of clams. She said it was the perfect proportion. I went with one of several Belgian beers they have on draft. Smooth and citrusy with warm spice. My wife had a quartino of Nero d’Avola.

Another great experience at Sette Luna. My overall review will be up next week.

I’ve started to look a little harder for Lehigh Valley foodie blogs and discovered LV Eggplant. Some great info and a major reminder that I need to start taking the camera with us to dinner. This page is way boring right now.

Anyway, it looks like she had a weird incident at Sette Luna down on Ferry Street. We’ve never had any problems that I can recall. Nice to hear that the manager was so helpful – he seems really pleasant whenever we’re there. It’s also a reminder that the day will come when i blog about a bad experience and incur the wrath of a chef or some waitstaff. Joy.

Friends are visiting Saturday evening and we’re thinking of taking them to either Ocean or Sette Luna. Both have great atmospheres, service and menus. I’m leanin’ toward Ocean. I always do. In this case, it’s due to the uniqueness of the menu and the more urban feel. Sette Luna is a bit noisier, especially in the big dining room with the open kitchen. I love their bar though. When they took over the other half of the building they were able to add the bar, a cozier dining room and a wine cellar available for group dining (i think). It gets a little hairy when it’s busy as the bar becomes a bit of a bottleneck between the 2 dining rooms. I’ll save more details for my Sette Luna synopsis next week.

Gotta make the Ocean reservations tomorrow. M U S T R E M E M B E R.

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