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My Moon

My Moon is a big-box restaurant that feels like it belongs in Hell’s Kitchen, rather than in Williamsburg, where most dining is on a much smaller scale.

There’s a large outdoor garden, leading to a converted brick-clad factory dominated by soaring double-height ceilings. There are booths on either side of the room, with strange curved walls, tilted at an angle that envelops you.

Do the crowds ever flock to this place? At 7:30pm on a Friday evening, we were practically the first to be seated. By the time we left, past 9:00pm, it was a bit busier but nowhere near full.

What opened in 2007 as a Turkish restaurant is now Spanish. The new chef, Ivan Vilches, claims to be an “El Bulli protégé.”

“We’re currently playing with smoke,” he told The Brooklyn Paper. “We smoke a sea bass carpaccio on oak in front of our customers… The waiter lifts the crystal bell that covers it, and the smoke billows out. It’s a lot of fun.”

We saw that dish come out at another table. It does indeed make a striking impression, at least visually. Alas, nothing we ordered—nor saw at any other table—was as interesting. Did we order wrong?

On the menu, there’s a long list of tapas (mostly $5–9), appetizers ($9–19), entrées ($19–25) and side dishes ($4–6). The server pushed boatloads of food, leaving us unsure how much to order. We’d had a snack elsewhere, so we decided to start with six tapas, and see how that went.

One tapa never appeared, which is just as well. The food wasn’t impressive, and I wasn’t dying to have any more of it.

Bread (resembling focaccia) came out warm. Wrapped dates ($6; above right) with almonds and bacon didn’t have much flavor.

The next two courses were the best. Grilled Squid ($7; above left) with parsley and garlic oil was on the bland side, but well prepared. Garlic Shrimp ($7; above right) had a strong, spicy kick.

The so-called Bomba Meatball ($6; above left) was bizarre, consisting of more potato than meat. A Peas and Bacon appetizer ($16; above right) was too salty, and flecked with ham that was too tough.

The wine list offers about two dozen bottles, most priced from $30–45, though selected without much apparent rhyme or reason from France, Argentina, Spain, and California. But I would sooner re-order the Luzón Crianza 2008 from Spain ($40) than re-try the forgettable food.

If you get one of the booths, this isn’t a bad spot to hang out and drink. In one corner of the large dining room, a DJ keeps the music going, but if it’s not my cup of tea, at least it’s not too loud. After we were seated, the server clearly hadn’t cottoned to the fact that we wanted to take our time: it seemed like he was circling back every 3½ minutes.

In all fairness to the new chef, he has been at My Moon for only a short time. Perhaps his best work is yet to come. But if he’s taking the cuisine in a more experimental direction, I’m not sure the big-box space lends itself to the project.

My Moon (184 N. 10th St. between Driggs & Bedford Ave., Williamsburg)

Food: Modern Spanish
Service: Perhaps we didn’t get the best server
Ambiance: Distressed industrial chic on a large scale

Rating: Not recommended
Why? After five years, this restaurant hasn’t found its soul

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