Located off Ashford Dunwoody Rd in a small shopping center, Eclipse di Luna is tucked away where most outsiders can't find it. It has a warm and festive atmosphere, dim lighting, and a combination of vibrant colors that catch the wandering eye.
The various tapas range from fried yucca to spanish spare ribs, and they even serve entreees like the fried red snapper, all of which I sampled during my visit. The fried yucca was soft on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside and not doused in oil. Greatly paired with the various dipping sauces provided. My favorite tapa I have tried has been the spanish-style spare ribs. The meat is so tender that it falls off the bone and is dressed in a balsamic glaze that gives a nice tang to the flavor.
To my surprise, there was live entertainment the night I visited. A live belly dancer performed for about 20 minutes as people enjoyed their dinner and hookah.
Live entertainment, latin inspired dishes with hefty portions for tapas and reasonably priced, and friendly/ attentive staff.
6 diamonds out of 7
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar (TBV) is truly a masterpiece of craftsmanship that deserves to be protected.
The first major class of chemical you’ll find in TBV is sugars – in particular, glucose and fructose. It makes sense because balsamic vinegar is sweet enough to cook down and caramelize with only a few minutes of boiling. When you combine the amounts of those two sugars together, they make up about 44% of TBV by mass.
Funnily enough, organic acids make up the second major class of chemical compounds. You’d think they’d be #1, since it’s vinegar after all, but because TBV is made from cooked and fermented grapes, sugar gets the top spot. This is where the complexity of true TBV starts to come out: it contains six different kinds of acid (whereas regular white vinegar just has one). It’s mostly acetic (the usual for vinegar) and gluconic acids (3.75% collectively), with some added help from tartaric, succinic, malic and lactic acids (2.44% collectively). That makes TBV about 6.19% acid by mass, giving it a pH of around 3 or lower.
Once you get past the big players, TBV is also full of many different classes of minor compounds, like alcohols, aldehydes, polyphenols and other antioxidants. It’s what you’d expect given that it’s made from grapes, and all of their grapey goodness just gets concentrated as it is aged and condensed.
The density of TBV is, in fact, a very important defining characteristic. Your typical Loblaw’s-bought balsamic vinegar is a free-flowing liquid, about the same as water. But proper TBV is a more viscous (thick) liquid. It gets this density from compounds called melanoidins. They’re polymers (long chain molecules, like pectin) that are formed when sugars are heated with amino acids without much water movement to stir things up.
This is called the Maillard Reaction, and it’s the chemical process that’s responsible for browning food as it cooks (for example: the crust of bread, or the searing of meat). In TBV, it not only gives it the rich, dark brown color it’s so famous for, but also increases the density, making it more thick and silky.