November 22, 2019 – Pacific Grove’s newest Italian restaurant launches a sparkling Sunday brunch this weekend, with creative menu items and aperitifs unlike anything else on the Central Coast.
Mezzaluna Pasteria & Mozzarella Bar—the latest restaurant to be helmed by chef Soerke Peters and partner Amy Stouffer—debuts a menu featuring dishes such as tater tot waffles, Italian eggs benedict and lobster mac and cheese on Sundays only from 10:30am to 2:30pm.
Playing up the classic Italian tradition of gathering around food and drink on Sundays, Peters and Stouffer are creating a multicourse pranzo filled with food, family and laughter. Making this brunch even more distinctive are light, bubbly Italian spritz cocktails specially crafted for the meal.
Mezzaluna has been a hit since opening last spring—even more so than Peters and Stouffer anticipated.
“We’ve been busy right from day one,” says Peters, who puts the emphasis on sustainable and organic fare. “It was a shot in the dark, really…we really appreciate the support we’ve received from the Pacific Grove community.”
As with Peters’ other restaurants, past and present, the freshest, locally-sourced, organic ingredients are front and center at Mezzaluna.
Frittatas served in mason jars are a stand out on the innovative brunch menu. Peters layers one version with kale, sweet sausage and yams and another with wild foraged mushrooms and Fontina cheese.
Other menu highlights include the aforementioned Tater Tot Waffles, a savory version of this brunch favorite, served with smoked salmon, mascarpone, chives and cucumber-radish salad, as well as Shakshuka Puttanesca, a delicious take on the North African egg dish using stewed San Marzano tomatoes, capers, Taggiasca olives and anchovies, along with baked eggs from Glaum Egg Ranch.
Local bounty gets a starring role on the seasonal toast menu, that includes ricotta (housemade using Schoch Family Farmstead milk) paired with olallieberry jam, which the chef makes from Gizdich Ranch fruit; avocado toast with pea shoots; and wild foraged mushroom toast. A seasonal hash is also on the menu—currently a mouth-watering combination of seared pork belly, sweet potatoes, sautéed spinach, and an Olinday Farm poached duck egg.
Peters puts a Mediterranean spin on his brunch bennie with the Italian Benedict, made with a Glaum poached egg, sautéed spinach and prosciutto, topped with avocado hollandaise and tomato jam. Gluten-free buckwheat waffles and decadent lobster mac and cheese round out the menu.
Mezzaluna is known for its creative cocktail program and the Sunday brunch will have its own refreshing assortment of perfectly paired drinks, such as Sgroppino, which combines a housemade sorbetto with Humboldt organic vodka and prosecco, and Sbagliato Rosa, a mix of Cappelletti, Cocchi Rosa, sparkling rosé and grapefruit.
Peters is excited about further enhancing the offerings at Mezzaluna, where he’s recently updated the menus and is promoting to-go food items and wine.
And he is proud that Mezzaluna has just received its Green Restaurant certification. As with the Carmel restaurants that Peters founded—Basil and Etats-Unis—Mezzaluna follows sustainable protocol: food ingredients are sourced sustainably and locally, energy and water consumption are reduced, waste is recycled or reused, and disposable containers and utensils are minimized.
“It’s the first green restaurant in Pacific Grove,” says Peters. “We’re on top of it.”
Mezzaluna • 1188 Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove • 831.372.5325 • www.mezzalunapasteria.com
Kathryn McKenzie, who grew up in Santa Cruz and now lives on a Christmas
tree farm in north Monterey County, writes about sustainable living,
home design and health for numerous publications and websites.