Eve’s Wine 101: There is a “Moon Bar” at Lunetta?

Posted on: 08/10/2018 00:00

Oh yes. There is most definitely a bar at Lunetta, The Moon Bar, and it’s open, with very convenient parking, in the heart of Santa Monica, an eclectic menu and - the cocktail menu is both inspired and unique.

Our very own Michael Perlis reviewed the dining and wine-ing not so long ago…but I went for the booze...err…to review the new cocktail program!

The cocktail menu includes a page of single spirits, followed by another page of cocktails, wines were listed as well but I was focused on spirits alone. Each of these cocktails had a very modern twist – using several local fresh Farmer’s Market fixings - on the classics. (You can see photos of the menu, drinks and some bar bites here.)

The cocktails I sampled were the Fig Manhattan, Salted Butter, Blackberry Smash and the Tired But Wired. Of those, I gravitated more towards the two-whisky based drinks, as I tend to prefer brown spirits in a cocktail made with both spicy and slightly sweet qualities. Those were the Fig Manhattan and the Salted Butter.

I watched the bartender Thaddeus make both cocktails – filmed him too – and was equally impressed with how the drinks tasted and the effort put into making them.

The fig jam in the Fig Manhattan was stirred just long enough in ice and rye to completely dissolve the jam. The addition of amaro Montenegro – instead of sweet vermouth – reminded me of the Black Manhattan I make at home. But adding in that fig jam, and finishing it off in a coupe with a garnish of sliced fig…damn fine.

When Thaddeus made the Salted Butter using Japanese whisky, grapefruit bitters, and other items I wasn’t so familiar with, I was getting anxious. The finishing touch, a pinch of smoked sea salt over the large square cube in the serving glass, was an excellent flavor I could enjoy for a long time as the cube slowly melted.

Chef Raphael Lunetta, Beverage Director/Sommelier Kristine Bocchino and the bar staff all seem to be on the same page (cocktail menu page!) in creating interesting cocktails using more interesting ingredients than most in my humble opinion.

These are just some of the items that were used in creating their cocktails: grapefruit tonic, figs, fig jam, black coffee liqueur, green chili vodka, coconut cream, grapefruit bitters, lemongrass, ginger, chamomile-turmeric syrup, blackstrap bitters, brown sugar, fresh basil, smoked sea salt and firewater bitters. And of course I realize other bars are using ingredients like this, and even though this is just a slice of what they have, it’s an impressive slice.

From the Press Release

Creating The Moon Bar look and feel of comfortable but lush beach city cocktail bar is De JONG & Co. For the interior, De JONG & Co. employed contrast and drama as the timeless navy blue of the exterior is carried through The Moon Bar. Cached in the richness of the elements, walnut, soapstone and satin brass accents lend a density to the environment that is at the same time sophisticated and cozy, with custom plush green velvet furniture in a sea of green and teal encaustic tile, and custom designed shelving to showcase all that The Moon Bar has to offer. The details on its casework draw the eye up to a wall-to-wall ceiling treatment of ornate foliage, as though the ocean of the walls rise up to the forested sea floor. A skylight centers the room, with a single exposed beam cutting through like a ship’s mast, and tasteful brass lighting serve as portholes in this stately ship’s cabin. Funneling into the adjacent Lunetta Dining, the night sky is revealed in the constellation-inspired tiling laid out by the firm’s principal designer Ruth De Jong. Look closely and you can spy the Big Dipper.

Warm in attitude while relaxing in composition, The Moon Bar at Lunetta is a new sultry getaway in Santa Monica where you can sip a handcrafted cocktail by a fireplace, meet up with friends, or unwind with your own thoughts at the bar!

The Moon Bar at Lunetta is open every Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm, and every Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

The Moon Bar (Behind Lunetta Dining)

2424 Pico Blvd.

Santa Monica, CA 90405



Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a "certification in first globally-recognized course" as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 15k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com



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