Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Luma Restaurant

Remember how I said I don't like Valentine's Day? Well, I don't - but I'll use it as a good reason to go out to a nice dinner! This Valentine's, SP & I decided to finally try Luma in Mt. Lebanon. We were amazed when we realized that our first attempt to try Luma was over a year ago, New Year's Eve 2009. We had made reservations a few weeks in advance, but once we found out that EPAS and her family were coming into town for a visit, we cancelled our reservation. Of course we'd rather see them - and we don't get to see them very often. Despite our best intentions of re-scheduling, somehow our trip to Luma did not happen until this past weekend.

There are two Luma locations: one in Aspinwall and one in Mt. Lebanon. I think one of the co-owners of Luma also owns Willow on Camp Horne Road, a restaurant at which we dined on New Years Eve 2007, and of course despite really enjoying it, we have not yet made a return trip! We went out for our Valentine's dinner a couple of days early since SP doesn't usually get home until around 7 pm (and Valentine's Day was on a Monday). Saturday evening we set off for Mt. Lebanon. Luma is on Castle Shannon Boulevard and it's right next to Cammie Sin's Tea Shop, which we visited a couple of months ago. There's a parking lot next to the restaurant.Our reservation was for 6 pm. We were seated right away. The interior is very modern feeling with bright red-orange lights. I tried to surreptitiously take a photo and the photo above is the result of me holding the camera slightly under the table and aiming at a wall, hoping to get a decent photo of the interior! Our server was very friendly and gave us some time to look over the wine & cocktail menus. She brought us some tasty bread:And poured garlic infused olive oil on top of cracked pepper & grated romano cheese:I didn't eat the garlic oil, but SP enjoyed it a lot. The bread was very good. A nice chewy soft interior and a substantial but not too substantial crust. We finally settled on a glass of sauvignon blanc for me and a glass of riesling for SP. We were tempted by the '22 bottles for $22,' but in the end decided that all we really wanted was a glass each, not 2+ glasses of wine each.

Several appetizers looked very appealing and it was difficult to choose just one. We finally settled on the Warm Duxelle Goat Cheese Puff (crimini & portobello mushrooms sauteed with Vermont goat cheese, marsala wine, and fresh herbs):Oh my gosh. This was so good. Here's an 'inside the puff' photo:
Lots of mushrooms, a really tasty sauce, goat cheese. We wished we had saved some of our bread to mop up the sauce because it was so good!

I knew as soon as I saw She Crab Bisque on the menu that SP would order it:The menu description is 'simmered hand pulled crab with hints of sherry and aromatic vegetables.' SP really liked it. I thought it was a bit too spicy and there seemed to be a strong red pepper taste in the tiny sip I tried. But SP likes spicy, and red pepper, so he thought this was great. It was quite substantial - not a thin broth with crab bits but a thick soup.

I decided to try the Luma House Salad (mixed greens with Roma tomatoes, roasted red pepper, cucumber, feta with a red wine vinaigrette):This was a very good salad. The greens weren't swimming in the dressing. The dressing wasn't too oily nor was it too vinegary - just right. Lots of 'good bits' (as I call the non greens parts of salad). The greens were tasty and fresh. I didn't finish it all but shared some with SP and he liked it a lot, too.

SP chose a special of the day for his entree:Look at that! It's flounder wrapped around a cornbread stuffing and topped with 2 shrimp, sitting atop a mound of spinach. So pretty! I thought it looked like a lighthouse!!! Here's a photo of inside the flounder:He really enjoyed his meal. I didn't try any since I am not a huge fan of flounder nor of cornbread food items - plus, I was trying to eat my huge entree:I chose one of the House Specialties: Stacked Chicken (layered with portobella, baby spinach, and feta with a light sherry cream sauce). The chicken was very juicy and flavorful - it had a very light crispy coating. The sauce was nice and light, not very creamy - tasty but not too filling, so I was able to eat all the chicken with spinach, portobella, and feta. My entree came with mashed potatoes, which were good, and a sauteed vegetable medley which included yellow squash, red pepper, broccoli, and green beans. The green beans were still nice and crispy. I ate all of the main meal and most of the potatoes and vegetables. There was definitely a lot of food on my plate!

After finishing his wine, SP ordered an iced tea. He reports that it is fresh brewed. After my meal, I decided to have a decaf coffee.We decided to share a dessert. The one that appealed to us the most was a dessert special. It was 2 cinnamon biscotti, vanilla bean gelato, and a sauce of espresso and amaretto (if my memory is correct):This was one of the best desserts I've had. The biscotti were nicely softened from soaking in the amaretto-espresso sauce, the vanilla gelato added a nice creamy touch. Very tasty. Of course, my love of cinnamon biscotti has been well documented on this blog, so it'd be pretty hard for this dessert to not taste good!

We both enjoyed our meal at Luma and would go back. Our server was very friendly and attentive, keeping iced tea and coffee refilled. SP signed up online to receive emails about their specials and in return received a $10 off coupon to use within 35 days, so we redeemed our coupon. I was just looking at our bill and either we were charged for 2 coffees or she charged for the refill, so that's not good, but it's our fault for not catching it.

In addition to the '22 wines for $22' I think Luma has half off Wednesdays, when wine by the bottle and by the glass is half off.

Luma on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know Luma was on Castle Shannon Blvd! Sounds like the Wednesday night deal would be a great little (and cheap!) week night event!