Here's Bar Luna, the casual Upper West Side wine bar that opened recently in the space formerly occupied by the Neptune Room on Amsterdam Avenue. There was a bit of a delay last month when owner Turgut Balikci, who cut his teeth twenty years ago with Bella Luna on Columbus Avenue, sent out an email canceling the opening because of a liquor license issue. But a source tells the Village Voice that the opening was actually pushed back because the chef, Sean Chudoba (who ran the kitchen at Balikci's restaurant AYZA) quit at the last minute. Bar Luna is now up and running with chef Jacque Belanger (West Branch), whom Balicki says is "better suited for the style of restaurant, and more experienced in the neighborhood."

So now you know. Anyway, the Bar Luna menu (below) is Mediterranean with an emphasis on "Italian specialties," and includes such dishes as Lobster Tagliatelle, Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Brandade, and the ubiquitous Grilled Skirt Steak, served here with Salsa Verde. The mostly Italian wine selection is available by the quartino, carafe, and bottle, ranging in price from $7 on up. As for the vibe, designer Glen Coben says he wants diners to feel like they're "sitting on a wooden sloop sailing the waters of the Mediterranean or Aegean," which explains the bright colors, nautical striped fabrics, and the weathered exposed brick. She seats about 90, and welcomes castaways aboard daily at 5 p.m. Peruse the menu below.

Bar Luna // 511 Amsterdam Avenue, between 84th and 85th Streets // 212-362-1098

To Share

Crispy Confit Duck Gizzards 7

White Truffle Pizza 13

Wild Mushroom Ragu with Polenta 10

Manchego and Tasso Croquettes 8

Burrata with Roasted Peppers 9

Marinated Beets and Goat Cheese Mousse 7

Beef Carpaccio 9

Clams and Chorizo 8

Fried Oysters with Saffron Aioli 9

Crostini

3 for 9, 6 for 15

Fava Bean and Pecorino

Cauliflower, Chickpea and Curry

Chicken Liver

White Bean and Ham

Ricotta and Artichoke

Tapenade


Soup and Salads

Yellow Gazpacho 7

Mixed Greens 6

Asparagus and Poached Egg 9

Salad Nicoise 10

Pastas

Saffron Risotto with Shrimp and Andouille 13

Lobster Tagliatelle 16

Garganelli Putanesca 11

Wild Mushroom Fettuccini 14


Entrees

Wild Striped Bass with Cockles 16

Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Brandade 17

Roast Chicken 15

Braised Chicken Leg, Green Olive and Preserved Lemon 16

Veal Milanaise with Rocket Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes and Parmesan 19

Grilled Skirt Steak with Salsa Verde 18

Wines by the Quartino and Carafe

Sparkling

Prosecco, Carpene Malvolti, Veneto N.V. 11

Champagne, Paul Goerg Blanc de Blanc, Vertus N.V. 17

White

Txakolina, Gurrutxaga, Bizkaiko 08 11 29

Picpoul de Pinet, Domaines Felines Jourdan, Rhone 07 8 20

Gewurztraminer, Hare’s Label, Lingenfelder, Pfaltz 06 8 20

Verdicchio di Castelli Jesi, Buscareto, Marche 08 9 25

Roero Arneis, Cascina Ca Rossa, Piedmont 08 12 32

Sauvignon Blanc, Menetou-Salon, Domaine Girard Millet, Loire 07 12 32

Trebbiano di Lugana, Zenato, Veneto 07 10 29

Chardonnay, Bourgogne Blanc, Cellier de la Chaume, Burgundy 06 7 17

Rosé

Touraine, Domaine Bellevue, Loire 08 7 17

Red

Pinot Noir, Cloudline, Willamette Valley 06 12 32

Valpolicella, Corte Rugolin, Veneto 07 11 29

Negroamaro, Pietraluna, Puglia 07 9 25

Garnacha, Evodia, Calatayud 07 8 20

Bordeaux, Chateau Bujeau, la Grave 06 8 20

Sangiovese, Locorosso, Pratesi, Tuscany 06 11 29

Grenache / Syrah, Costiers de Nimes, Chateau Bellafontaine, Rhone 05 9 25

Syrah / Bonarda, Crios de Susana Balbo, Mendoza 07 12 32

Cabernet Sauvignon, Peńalolen, Maipo Valley 07 12 32

Primitivo de Manduria, Felline, Puglia 05 10 26