La Mezzaluna Restaurant Review

La Mezzaluna is a beloved Italian restaurant in the center of Princeton, New Jersey. They pride themselves on serving authentic Italian cuisine with fresh seasonal ingredients. We visited La Mezzaluna to get a taste of what they had to offer. We ordered three entrees: the chicken parmigiana, the branzino filet, and the vodka rigatoni. Complimentary sourdough bread with olive oil was served as well. 

All photos by Emma Coyer

Upon entering the restaurant, we immediately took note of the ambiance. It was very clean and the decor was minimalistic, yet classy. The lighting and the real flowers added a nice touch. We were seated quickly and our waiter was very friendly. He cracked jokes and sang in Italian. He performed a beautiful rendition of “Happy Birthday,” opera style, for another table. Water without ice (just the way we like it) and free bread were offered promptly.

The bread at La Mezzaluna is fresh from a local baker. It was warm and steaming when brought out. There was more than enough for our whole table. The bread had a hard crust on the outside, but was very soft and fluffy on the inside. It had a great flavor and texture. The olive oil on the side was an authentic addition. All this earned the bread an average score of 4.25/5 across the judges. Our food arrived quickly, but a family who ordered after us did get their food first. 

Our favorite entree was unanimously the vodka rigatoni. The sauce was very creamy and cheesy. The pasta was al dente and had a bit of a chew to it. It was delicious, and in my opinion, one of the best vodka rigatoni dishes I’ve ever had. With the highest score of the day, the vodka rigatoni received an average rating of 4.8/5.

The branzino filet was also superb. The fish was cooked to perfection. It was moist, soft, delicate, and flavorful. It had a lemony flavor and melted in our mouths. The risotto complimented the fish excellently. It was flavorful and had a great texture. The risotto was a tad over-salted, but overall, the branzino filet was an exceptional meal that definitely made our visit noteworthy, earning it an average score of 4.5/5.

The weakest entree in our opinion was the chicken parmigiana. It was still very good, especially the chicken cutlet, which was crisp on the outside but soft and juicy inside. The melted cheese on top tied the dish together, and the pasta was al dente. However, the tomato flavor was a little too strong for our tastes. The dish was also a little bland, and the presentation was a bit messy. Even though this was the weakest entree, it was still enjoyable. It just doesn’t compare to the other phenomenal dishes at La Mezzaluna. Thus, this dish received an average score of 3.6/5. 

It is also worth mentioning how easy it was to pay. We were allowed to split our bill between four cards, which can be a bit of a hassle, but our waiter completed the transaction for us with no hesitation. 

To conclude, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at La Mezzaluna. It is a great, authentic restaurant that has definitely earned its high reputation amongst locals and travelers alike. The staff were friendly, the service was fast, and most importantly, the food was delicious. We look forward to returning.