It’s no surprise I like sugar. And The Food Network. So when The Best Thing I Ever Ate had an episode titled “Sugar Rush,” I was all over that. Sandra Lee’s favorite sugar rush, do-it-yourself s’mores at Luna Park just happens to be a stone’s throw from my house. Welcome to Birthday Celebrations That Revolve Around Food Post #2.
Much like my birthday lunch, my birthday dinner revolved around a dessert I just had to try. But I also had to order food too, since this was dinner, after all.
The interior is swanky bordering bizarre, and uber dark (almost as dark as BLD at dinner). There are a few tables along the back of the restaurant that are enclosed in draperies. Romantic…or creepy?
Once your eyes adjust and you settle into your seat at the Park, you get to pick a few dishes from a pretty yummy sounding menu. I went with 2 friends, and we ordered 2 entrees, 2 appetizers and a dessert to share (I’m always in favor of sharing. I get food ADD and get bored with my dish pretty quickly. I like a little bit of everything!).
The first entree was a Breaded Pork Cutlet Stuffed with Mushrooms and Gruyere Cheese, Topped with an Apple Cranberry Sauce and Served with Mashed Potatoes and String Beans:
Apple cranberry sauce…on top of a piece of pork sounds a little…weird. But it was a good weird. Definitely a good weird. Loved the sweet/savory combo. The sauce was more like a grown up applesauce and somehow, someway, worked with the pork. Although, I was a little bummed that I couldn’t find the mushrooms or gruyere cheese stuffed in the cutlet
The other entree was a Pan seared Mahi Mahi with Moroccan Cous Cous Salad, Hazelnuts and Grilled Bok Choy:
The mahi mahi wasn’t anything particularly exciting, but the Moroccan cous cous salad…wow. I’m still drooling over this one. There were pieces of (I think) arugula, spinach and possibly other greens, mixed with some tasty and buttery cous cous, dried cranberries and a surprising but DELICIOUS surprise: hazelnuts!!! Salads with an added crunchy texture are good. Salads with hazelnuts=my new favorite thing.
We had heard some amazing things about their mac and cheese, so we ordered a side of it:
To be quite honest, it was just…eh. And the broccoli in it didn’t quite “go” with the rest of it. It wasn’t as cheesy as I’d hope. In fact, I really couldn’t taste any real cheese in there. It was like eating plain pasta with breadcrumbs and broccoli. But at least the breadcrumbs on top were good.
The other appetizer/side we ordered was a Warm Goat Cheese Fondue with Grilled Bread and Sliced Apples:
Since all of our food came out at once, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to eat this last, since there was a little candle below it that I thought would keep it warm. Not so much. The itty bitty tealight under the cheese pretty much did nothing. The cheese, while still melted, cooled to just above room temperature. Oops! But the grilled bread and apples were still very tasty, and probably would have been a little more tasty if the cheese was warmer
Instead of sticking a candle into the s’mores, Luna Park celebrates birthdays by sticking candles into a gigantic plastic cake with an equally giant sparkler (although it had already burned through by the time we got this picture):
And for the real reason for this trip: do-it-yourself s’mores! We didn’t even ask for a dessert menu (would you really need to, knowing that these were an option?)
The homemade graham crackers are amazing. Totally blows the boxed stuff out of the water. The chocolate was yummy and dark (totally prefer dark to milk when it comes to s’mores). The marshmallows, while still hot and melted, were the epitome of gooey goodness. Unfortunately, much like with the goat cheese fondue, the little tealights didn’t do their job, and the marshmallows stiffened up fairly quickly, and the do-it-yourself aspect turned into me scraping the sides of hardened marshmallow from the cup with a spoon. There’s no neat way to eat this dessert. You get chocolate all over the table, marshmallow stuck on your fingers and s’mores smeared all over your face. Which, aside from the marshmallow situation, makes for the perfect sugar rush dessert.