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by Bob McClain
(www.wordsmithbob.com)
08-25-05

Luna Rossa


Italian Spelunking

Ambiance is always a big part of eating out. It’s one of the reasons we leave home to eat. We want to feel we’ve left our own tiny world. It’s an hour long vacation from wherever we spend most of our time. Well, Luna Rossa offers a departure from home that is extremely rare in the Twin Cities. Luna Rossa sits in one of the old caves in the “Cliffs of Stillwater.”

While the restaurant is situated inside a cave, that is not what you see inside. A warm Tuscan décor suffuses the restaurant. The interior is broken up into four different spaces and they also have a banquet facility that can handle up to 100 people. However, I didn’t come here to sample the décor or to arrange a banquet. I came to enjoy the food.

Luna Rossa likes to refer to itself as a Steak House with Italian Specialties. After a quick look at the menu, I believe they are much more than that. There are, of course, many steak and beef offerings including Steak Cacciatore, New York Strip, and Filet Mignon, all offered at Market Price. But they have a wide selection of chicken, veal, pork and seafood specialties that generally run in the twenty dollar range. Their appetizers include Calamari for $7.50 and Bruschetta served with Roma tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil and olive oil for $5.99. Other offerings range from $7 to $10. Soups and salads come in large or small and average below $6. There is a huge selection of pastas of every style imaginable. These run from $13-$16. Pizza is also a large part of the menu. They are cooked in a wood-fired oven and include several very traditional Tuscan styles. The pizzas all run less than $10.

Luna Rossa is located at 402 South Main Street in Stillwater. Their phone number is (651) 430-0560. They are open from 11:30am -10:00pm Monday thru Thursday and 11:30am until 11:00pm Friday and Saturday. They usually have live entertainment Thursday thru Saturday. Valet parking is available in winter.