Published March 14 2012
Mezzaluna restaurant opens in former Silver Moon space in downtown Fargo
The former home of the Silver Moon supper club opened last Friday as Mezzaluna, the latest restaurant and bar from local culinary power couple Eric and Sara Watson.
The Watsons, who also run Café Muse in the Plains Art Museum and until recently ran WF Maxwells in West Fargo, acquired the space last spring as a home for their catering business, Mosaic Catering.
Since then, they’ve been using it as a rental venue for events, with an eye on opening a downtown restaurant on their own. They sold their stake in Maxwells in West Fargo to focus on their new project.
“It’s where we’re supposed to be,” Eric Watson said.
Many of the elements of the Silver Moon, like the high-back clamshell booths and chandeliers, are still there. The dining room is a little smaller, the bar is a little bigger, and the restaurant sports a few new touches – trees for a street-café ambiance and artsy photos of the food by noted Fargo photographer John Borge.
“We were going for like the New York City sidewalk café,” Sara Watson said.
The bar menu – branded as “Mezzaluna on the Alley” in a nod to the space that links the restaurant with nearby Broadway – starts around $7 and ranges from the familiar (burgers, bruschetta, grilled cheese) to the fancy (Szechuan encrusted tuna, walleye and calamari).
The dinner menu is anchored by steak and seafood dishes – though Sara Watson’s been pleased with how well the duck confit is selling – and runs about $20 to $30 an entrée.
“This menu is really all Eric,” she said.
That the high-end Silver Moon couldn’t make ends meet in the same location a year and a half ago isn’t lost on the Watsons.
“It’s crossed our mind,” Eric Watson said. “I think most of the people we’ve talked to are really excited that it’s reopening.”
He and Sara are banking on a more accessible menu, a more casual feel, and a symbiotic relationship with nearby alley-access businesses such as Monte’s and Dempsey’s.
“We’re hoping to get some alley traffic going back and forth,” he said.
Mezzaluna’s grand opening is scheduled next month. To date, it’s the biggest chance the Watsons have had to put their own stamp on a restaurant.
“It’s our first real opportunity to do our own thing,” Eric Watson said. “We were just taking our time and waiting for the right opportunity. This is it.”
If you go
What: Mezzaluna restaurant and bar
When: Bar: 4 p.m. to close Tuesday through Saturday
Dinner: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Sunday brunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Happy hour food and drink specials: 4 to 6 p.m. and after 10 p.m.
Where: 309 Roberts St.
Info: For more information, call (701) 364-9479.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502
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