Dining Downtown- Grimaldi’s a Winner, Luna Lounge a Loser
Since I live and work in downtown West Palm Beach, I have at my doorstep some of the best restaurants ever.
I haven’t tried all of them yet, but I plan too.
For an evening meal, there are a number of possibilities, in a number of price ranges.
Recently, a friend and I tried the new Grimaldi’s pizza at the end of Clematis, near the waterfront.
Although we are both from the Northeast, neither of us had been to a Grimaldi’s, which has locations throughout New York and New Jersey.
I have to admit, I am a pizza snob – I’m from New York and New Haven, two cities known for great pizza. It takes a lot to impress me, but Grimaldi’s absolutely did.
The atmosphere is classic Italian restaurant ala Billy Joel, with red-checkered table clothes and wine bottle lamps. The service was impeccable, and the food was divine. From the plentiful salad to the personal pizzas and the sinful cannoli for dessert, I was in complete restaurant heaven. The meal was affordable, and the view of the water magnificent.
Grimaldi’s is a fine place to bring your friends, your parents, your kids or your date. I will definitely be back.
Last night, that same friend and I decided on a place I have been eager to try since they opened, Luna Lounge on Clematis.
Luna Lounge advertises its offerings as Turkish cuisine. Well, I’ve never been to Turkey, but I worked at Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant in New Haven, and I grew up in the Greek section of Long Island, so I have a sense of some of the region’s delicacies.
When my friend and I walked in, the staff pointedly ignored us, although we were not dressed any differently than some of the diners already there, and the restaurant was not busy.
Finally, the girl who was functioning as both hostess and server came and greeted us in the most unusual way. She said, “How can I help you?”
How can I help you? What a strange way to greet guests in a restaurant at dinnertime! Do you suppose we might be there for… dinner?
When we asked to be seated for dinner, she ignored the fact that there were many empty tables in the dining room, and sat us at an uncomfortable table in the bar.
She had to be prompted to tell us the evening specials.
Even before we had our first bite, we knew we would not want to return. No matter how good the food might be, no one wants to pay money to be treated like crap.
As it turned out, the food really was quite good. The arugula salad was magnificent, although the server did not know how to pronounce “arugula.”
I am on a continuous search for falafel that might rival the amazing falafel of Mamoun’s in New Haven and New York. I have to admit, the falafel at Luna Lounge is interesting – different than any I have had before, and quite delicious. But, my search continues.
Overall, the atmosphere at Luna Lounge is nice, the food is good, if pricy, but the lousy service left nothing but a bad taste in my mouth. I won’t be back.