Producing pies that are comparable to New Haven’s Big Three, Luna Pizza’s wood-fired brick oven has been feeding the pizza frenzy in and around Hartford for over a decade. They make rustic thin-crust pies with crushed tomato sauce and only fresh, water-packed mozzarella, not the shredded stuff. The West Hartford store (Luna also has stores in the upscale communities of Simsbury, Plainville, Avon, and Glastonbury) has an art deco flair, right down to the pizza pan stands on each table.
Small pies increase one’s choices, and one small will satisfy a normal appetite. Though Luna’s white clam pie cannot compete with the freshly shucked version from Frank Pepe’s, it is a noble entry that’s covered with chewy canned clams, aromatic garlic, Romano cheese, and olive oil. The Margherita is a purist option with shallow pools of mozzarella, fresh plum tomatoes, basil strips, and garlic.
Luna’s sausage pie is also admirable with medium-sized knuckles of quality sausage, but their biggest hit is the veggie pie. Equal amounts of green and red peppers, onions, sautéed mushrooms, fried eggplant, spinach, broccoli, and artichoke chunks cover its surface, with mozzarella and sauce peeking out intermittently. In our experience, veggie pizza is almost always overwhelmed by one or two veggies (usually onions or broccoli), but this pie is perfectly balanced with no single vegetable dominating the mix.
Other menu items include calzones, Buffalo wings, antipasto, salads, and interesting grinders: the Mayflower features turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Make no mistake, though, that Luna is the place for pizza alone, and their brick-oven pies earn an “A” as they blur the line between where gourmet pizza stops and New Haven apizza begins.