Over the Moon Cafe

Over the Moon Cafe
709 Opera Alley (Court C), Tacoma

Over the Moon Café, tucked away in Downtown Tacoma’s secluded Opera Alley, is an under-appreciated gem. Located in a historic building where Sarah Bernhardt once performed “Camille,” just blocks away from the Pantages and Rialto theaters, the Café naturally caters to the evening arts and theater crowd.

The artsy decor is a quirky mix of warm brick, colorful paintings and softly lit, rich lampshades and chandeliers (many of which were plucked from the nearby Ruby Collection store). Don’t let their self-proclaimed “unpretentious restaurant” label fool you. Over the Moon has a sophisticated palate, with a strong emphasis on fresh ingredients and French and European flavors. The crab cakes (available as a starter or an entrée) and the crab bisque were some of the best we’ve tried locally. The asparagus with blue cheese and balsamic sauce was simply decadent. Cilantro and lemon perked up the halibut cheeks with pasta in a light cream sauce. On a prior visit, we found the steaks to be perfectly cooked to order, and the Café’s choice of sauces (balsamic and blue cheese; port mushroom; or horseradish and dill) beckoned us to return and try them all.

Over the Moon is also open for lunch, serving up fresh soups, salads and sandwiches. Standards have been replaced by sandwiches with a refreshing, creative twist. We recommend the “Luna Tuna” (made salty as the sea with artichoke hearts and capers) or the “Not Your Ordinary Grilled Cheese Sandwich,” which consists of sourdough bread soaked in sweet white wine sauce, smothered in melted Gruyère cheese. Who says you can’t have wine and cheese for lunch?

Dea Finigan & Sarh Haushild