By Donna Ward
Moonstruck, formally established as Ristorante DiLullo, is an upscale casual Italian restaurant located at 7955 Oxford Avenue in Fox Chase. From the moment you enter, the atmosphere suggests elegant dining. The main dining rooms are sectioned with mirrors and white trellises to keep the mood of the restaurant intimate. The lounge area and bar offer casual elegance for its patrons. Since the restaurant was established in May 1979, it has undergone some changes to allow for parties and banquets in its downstairs halls. The Barbara and Victor rooms are able to accommodate between 20 and 40 patrons. You can also request their upper dining area, the Philadelphia room, for a more secluded evening. The servers were friendly and courteous without over-catering to crowd your dining, and the tables were covered with white cloths and kept clean. The food was served warm and in a timely fashion. Moonstruck offers a set three-course menu that includes an appetizer, main entrée and dessert for $29. You are also welcome to purchase specified choices at a la carte regular price. For an appetizer I sampled Caprino Alla Mele, which is an herb-baked goat cheese with roasted apple over frisee salad and a maple cider dressing. The salad was fresh and washed, and the apples were crisp, making this a delightful start to the meal. For an entrée Maiale, a grilled pork scallopini with a lemon sauce was served with herb risotto on the side. The meal was delicious and seasoned nicely, but the portions were small for the set price. The spices and flavors used by Chef Donna Ewanciw and her staff complemented the meat and pasta dishes. Special Martinis are offered through the bar, and on Wednesdays Moonstruck offers B.Y.O.B. with no corkage fee. Reservations are not required, but are suggested for Friday and Saturday evening dining. The overall dining experience was pleasant, and Moonstruck offers upscale fine Italian dining with an intimate atmosphere and friendly staff. The portions are small but tasty, and the price is reasonable for the quality. Parking is available around the back of the restaurant and to the side. For fine quaint Italian dining I recommend Moonstruck for its atmosphere, service and quality of food. The restaurant is excellent for a romantic evening or intimate dining, and its banquet rooms are ideal for keeping larger parties personal. Reservations can be made at 215-725-6000, and you can view the menu and hours of operation on the Web site. Food For Thought is a NEast restaurant review column written by Donna Ward that runs every other Thursday.