Welcome back, my friends! As promised, today’s Half Moon Bay – Part 3 post spotlights a wonderful Italian dinner that Maria and I enjoyed, just two blocks from our hotel in Princeton-by-the-Sea.
I’d done some restaurant research before our trip, and found out that one of our top choices, Mezza Luna, offered a Tuesday speciale for just $11.95.
When I found out that not only would we be in Half Moon Bay on a Tuesday, but the featured dish that night would be a luscious-sounding tubular pasta with lamb ragu, we made reservations on the spot. Mmmm!
Founded in 1993 by three globetrotting chefs, Mezza Luna (which means “Half Moon” in Italian) celebrates the area’s farmers and fishermen, and the bounty they bring to the table.
Maria and I started off by sharing a huge mound of fried local calamari – tender, sweet, and just crunchy enough in their fluffy batter.
A few squeezes of lemon, plus a glass of simple Pinot Grigio, kept us going back for more until we reached the bottom of the pile.
For me, the special pasta dish came next. It was every bit as delectable as I had hoped, with long-simmered red sauce and fall-apart nuggets of lamb.
Our simpatico waiter showered it with at least a quarter-cup of freshly grated, high-quality parmigiano, and I dug right in.
Maria ordered (and loved!) the scallops with lemon, butter, and white wine; a rich yet light preparation, as well as a gorgeous presentation with mixed seasonal vegetables.
Even though my portion was quite generous, I’d worked up a huge appetite during the afternoon – and I was really looking forward to the lamb pasta.
So I boldly asked our waiter if I could order another half-portion (at half the special price).
He checked with the chef, who okayed it; and while Maria looked over the dessert menu, I tucked in to a second helping of the delectable lamb ragu.
By the way, if you’ve ever made (or eaten) a Bolognese sauce for pasta, you would notice some strong similarities.
In fact, I plan to try my own “riffs” on this ragu – maybe using lamb shanks and ground lamb, with tomatoes and red wine – and I promise to let you know how it turns out.
Since Maria had taken a little break while I was enjoying my “seconds” on pasta, we started on our desserts together.
We’d both ordered the affogato, which means “drowned” in Italian. It’s simply a scoop of vanilla ice cream with espresso poured over, plus a thick cloud of whipped cream on top.
Before we leave Half Moon Bay, there’s one more dinner I’d like to share with you, plus an impromptu winery visit.
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