Caffé Luna - Dinner Under $20 Inside the Beltline

Posted May 22, 2007
Updated May 24, 2007

Question: What’s the difference between a dish of noodles and a plate of pasta?
Answer: About ten bucks.

And if that plate of pasta is from Caffé Luna, consider that ten bucks money well spent. Where else in the Triangle can you dine in what feels like a Tuscan villa decorated with original artwork (courtesy of owner Parker Kennedy’s talented wife, Nicole), hobnob with the rich and famous and still keep your tab under twenty bucks?

You can do some serious carb damage here and still get change back from that twenty dollar bill; the most expensive pasta dish is $14.95, so go ahead and order a salad or appetizer to get started.

The least expensive appetizer on the menu is also one of the most satisfying; fresh mozzarella blanketed with meaty, roasted red peppers is a beautiful and satisfying play of textures and flavor. Antipasto Rustico, an authentic line-up of imported Parmesan cheese, Sopressata Toscana & black olives is equally enticing.

Gorgonzola cheese, Italy’s contribution to the “blues” is too delectable to pass up, so if you’re going to order a salad, Insalata di Gorgonzola is the way to go.

Pasta with seafood is simply the best of both worlds and Caffe Luna’s menu features seven different options - everything from a simple but succulent linguine with crabmeat to the decadent Fantasia di Mare, fresh black taglierini with grouper and diced shrimp saute in garlic & oil with tomato. There is lots to keep vegetarians happy, too; how about capellini primavera or fresh spinach pasta stuffed with ricotta?

Landlubbers and heartier eaters should check out the entrée section which features grilled chicken, ribeye and veal parmigiana. Again, well under twenty dollars.

Since Caffé Luna is a popular destination for a business lunch, your dollars will stretch even further if you visit at the noon hour. Pasta selections that time of day range from $6.95 to $8.50.

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  • johnway Jun 12, 2007

    This is a great place to eat for lunch, and a good spot when taking in a show at the Progress Energy Center/Memorial Auditorium.