I had been warned about the invisible toilets. They were my first port of call when I descended into Luna, the subterranean addition to Drury Street’s popular eatery Super Miss Sue.
My immediate inspection of the facilities was required by the weight of the growing person resting on my bladder. As predicted, I struggled to find the cubicles in the dark-wood panelled unisex bathroom so I resorted to waiting for another diner to emerge and hopping in after them.
The dimly lit interior is a feature of Luna, which models itself on a 1950s New York Italian-American bistro. The waiters wear plum coloured velvet tuxedos by Louis Copeland and our server was American, adding an air of authenticity. Despite contemporary background tunes, I half expected to see Sinatra and Dean Martin drinking martinis in one of the curved leather booths.
We booked last minute on a Saturday night after a booze fuelled rave review from a friend who said that the waiters were gorgeous and that she’d spent the night chatting to Bono, so we were quite happy just to be squeezed in at the bar where we could see all of the action.
Unusually for a new Dublin hot-spot, there was a limited choice of libations. There was a wine list (including somewhat gimmicky Prosecco on tap) and a Campari bar for aperitifs but no cocktails yet. (I think they have a cocktail list now though). My companion had a carafe of the perfectly serviceable on-tap Prosecco (€18.50) while I mostly abstained, just tasting his occasionally, for research purposes.
The comically oversized dinner menu is all in Italian but the staff helpfully explain each dish clearly before they take your order. We started with salume and sourdough (€14). It’s a generous selection of cured meats, including a particularly good five-week aged sirloin served in transparent slivers. My current condition means no cured meats so I tried three tiny but delicious lobster tortellini instead, swimming in a spicy ginger broth (€15).
My main course of truffle spaghetti (€30) was predictably rich and creamy but the tomato, n’duja and basil dish (€18) was the more flavoursome winner.
The retro styling allows dessert to be served from a trolley without too much pretension. The sweets make their way round the dining room as you eat. My companion initially declined dessert but while he was feeling his way around those toilets, I ordered him Italian style death by chocolate, a smooth layered creation of biscuit, mousse and ganache. Once again, his choice, albeit by proxy, was better than mine. My tiramisu was creamy and enjoyable with a coffee but a little bland.
Luna won ‘Best Restaurant in Ireland’ and ‘Best Customer Service’ at the Irish Restaurant Awards 2016, although we visited before that was announced. Of course, the gong for best restaurant is judged on more than just the food. The food at Luna is certainly good but in my view, the atmosphere and the service contributed strongly to its success. I can’t promise you the rat pack (although I’m reliably informed that Bono and his own pack of hangers-on ate there a couple of days before we did) but Luna is the place to see and be seen right now and it made for a stylish pre-partum date night.
Our meal including Prosecco and one decaffeinated Americano came to just under €115 (excluding service).
Luna at Super Miss Sue, Drury Street, Dublin 2 (www.supermisssue.com)
*Excuse the blurry old iPhone pics