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When the moon hits your eye — order ramen at Lunetta • Brooklyn Paper

When the moon hits your eye — order ramen at Lunetta

Whenever the moon is full, the otherwise Italian restaurant Lunetta on Smith Street transforms itself into a Japanese ramen shop, featuring noodle soup, Chinese long bean salad and sesame-crusted tempura shrimp.
Photo by Sara Zorn

Turning Japanese, Lunetta’s turning Japanese, we really think so!

But it only happens when the moon is full.

Chef Adam Shephard typically cooks Mediterrean specialties at his Smith Street restaurant, but fans of his former restaurant, Taku, keep hounding him for Asian fare — so he obliges them whenever the moon hits their eyes like a big pizza pie, swapping his regular menu for bowls of slurpable ramen noodles and yuzu-sauced chicken wings.

“I was trying to think of devices to hang the ramen pop-up on, and it came to me — let’s hinge it on the lunar cycle,” said Shephard. “I didn’t want to do it so often that it became something people got tired of, and the full moon concept works with the name, Lunetta. There’s a bit of a bridge there.”

Besides the classic ramen (which can be ordered with grilled braised ribs), moon-gazers can sample Shephard’s charred long bean salad with miso-tofu dressing ($7), crisp yuzu chicken wings ($8), sesame crusted shrimp with spicy QP mayo ($8), or tofu “fries” with QP and dried chili ($5). All are eminently sharable and ideally washed down with a glass of sake or a crisp and fruity koshihikari rice lager.

And make sure to order the Hanako Pickles pickled vegetables ($5). In addition to providing a welcome contrast to the parade of salt, fat, and pork, 100 percent of the sales go to helping Japan relief efforts.

For anyone that doesn’t have the lunar calendar app for their iPhone, Lunetta’s next full moon Ramen event rolls out on April 17. Shepherd hopes to sling around 100 bowls of ramen in four hours.

“That’s kind of the perfect amount for me,” said Shepherd. “I can’t make this an all-day thing. It’s a lot of fun, but I can’t put myself through the hell of serving spaghetti and meatballs as well as ramen and chicken wings all at the same time in the middle of a Saturday night.”

Lunetta [116 Smith St. between Pacific and Dean Streets in Cobble Hill, (718-488-6269]. Next ramen night is April 17, 11 am-2 pm.

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