Elegant Dining with an Italian Touch The Crepevine Restaurants

Elegant Italian cuisine on the coast

If you are looking for a romantic night out where the food and the ambience are elegant and understated, Pasta Moon is your place. The restaurant is in Half Moon Bay at 315 Main Street with easy street parking. It is set back from the entrance so that there are no street noises to disrupt your dining experience. The moment you enter this quiet, softly-lighted dining room, you will understand why Critics Choice selected it as one of the top fifteen Italian Restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area.

This is not a restaurant for the budget conscious. A modest meal for two with wine and no dessert will cost you well over $100.00 and that is a lot of money for two or three hours of gourmet dining. Still, it must be said that the food is carefully and delectably prepared and presented with style. No one rushes you or hovers over you while you eat. Chef Seth Bowden uses organic produce, hand cut pastas and seafood flown in from around the world. The open kitchen and wood burning oven bring the warmth and coziness of an authentic Italian ristorante to Half Moon Bay and the Italian wine list features almost fifty wines by the glass to soften the blow when you waiter presents the check.

The entire menu is a la carte. You can begin your meal with antipasti priced from $5.00 to a steamed mussel plate for $12.00. The salads are $8.00 or $9.00 and feature a cauliflower bisque, a roasted beet salad and the traditional Caesar. There are five varieties of pizza ranging form $15 - $18, seven varieties of house made pasta and main course combinations for the meat eater or the vegetarian from $19.00-$28.00 (a New York steak). You can add a cooked vegetable for $6.00 and a glass of wine for anywhere from $6.00-$14.00 ( a red Pinot Noir) or splurge and get a bottle for as much as $180. If you add all this up you will see that you can probably make several trips to Costco for what you will spend for your evening meal. Although you will not go away hungry, you will certainly not feel stuffed and your wallet will be considerably thinner than your waistline.

Pasta Moon has now begin a new Happy Hour that features half price wells, draft beer and $5.00 house wine. You can sit in the lounge just across the hall from the main restaurant and order a variety of starters, burgers and pizza.

The restaurant is lovely in every sense of the word and is the perfect choice for a special occasion. There will be a special Valentine’s Day menu for $80 per person that includes two antipasti choices, two salads, several main entrée choices and a light dessert. If you really love him, her or it, an evening at Pasta Moon is one way to show it.

For reservations, or more information, call 650 726 5125 or visit www.PastaMoon.com.

This is a small chain of restaurants that feature beautiful food, crepes, pasta, immense salads, sandwiches, scrambles, omelets, pancakes and gorgeous sides for unbelievably reasonable prices. You can find a location near you at www.crepevine.com. A good location is in Burlingame, but there are equally interesting versions of this lovely restaurant on Church Street in San Francisco and on College in Berkeley. These cafes are always clean and tastefully decorated. The portions are generous and the food artistically presented. The owners of this group of restaurants are three brothers from Jordan and they treat every customer with old world respect. They believe that we eat with our eyes a well as our taste buds. The kitchens are always clearly visible so you can see your food being prepared.

The specialty of each house is the magnificent house potatoes grilled with olive oil, garlic and rosemary. One of the nicest dishes is the Florentine Crepe with spinach, mushrooms, glazed onions, jack and cottage cheese for $8.50. The Tuscany crepe is a winner as well with chicken breast, mushrooms tomatoes, roasted almonds, provolone, feta and pesto for $9.50. If you prefer a salad, you can choose from nine varieties, each a complete meal. A popular item is the Bangkok, a generous plate of mixed greens served with ginger, curry marinated grilled chicken, red onion, mint, cilantro, roasted peanuts and lemongrass vinaigrette dressing-to-die-for at $9.95. Pastas are served after 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays. There are six interesting varieties that range in price form $8.95-$9.50 and you can add chicken beast or salmon for an additional $2.95. You order at the counter here but you are served at your table.

The staff is courteous and caring. They will give you endless refills of coffee and tea. The wine list is excellent and there is a wide variety of beverages, specialty drinks, a kids menu for $3.95 and yummy sides like home-made soup, bagels, eggs, cornbread and even oatmeal or fruit and yogurt. If you are hungry and are not feeling too flush, get yourself to a Crepevine and indulge. You will enjoy anything on their menu and feel satisfied when your meal is done.

The hours vary from restaurant to restaurant but most are open until 10:00 pm, some until 11 or even 12. You can check out locations and hours on their website www.crepevine.com.

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