Moonlight takes on new meaning at LUNA

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 4            January 27, 2005

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Food and beverage manage Luis Tanaco, Director Shabir Walji, chef Keith Johnson, Director Firoz Lalji, and Director Munir Walji celebrate at the grand opening of LUNA.

A beautiful night sky sprinkled with twinkling, bright stars lit the way to one of the most amazing resorts on Ambergris Caye. Last Saturday, Journey's End Resort was exquisitely dressed as it proudly opened its picture perfect restaurant, Luna. Guests were treated to a night of glitter, sparkle and a spectacular array of exquisite tastes at the grand opening.

     Greeting guests and lighting the path to the newly constructed restaurant were tiki torches, which cast a romantic glow on invitees who were treated to a glass of wine, a mojito or Luna's signature drink – the Lunatini. The restaurant's open-air ambience made everyone feel at ease while they mingled before taking their places on the well set tables. A small glass lantern accentuated the crisp white tablecloths on each table. Luna boasted an atmosphere of relaxed elegance and style.

     Slowly everyone made their way to the buffet table. Next to each tray was a beautifully garnished plate of what was being served. The wonderful smells and aroma made all those waiting in line hungry as they anticipated what the first bite would taste like.

     Diners were not disappointed. With each bite taken guest were transported into total bliss. It was positively Palm Tree Cuisine (a fusion of Central American and Caribbean delicacies) at its absolute best!!! Everyone had their fill of Coconut Breaded Chicken Breast with a Mango Citrus Sauce (Heaven), Almond Crusted Grouper on Red Bean and Chorizo Ragu with Balsamic Glaze, Lobster Rundown with Bell Peppers and Onions in a Spicy Coconut Reduction, and the night ended perfectly with exquisite Rich Chocolate Truffle Cake and Coconut and Banana Crème Brule.

     The meal was expertly created by Chef Keith Johnson and the staff of this enchanting restaurant. Keith Johnson discovered his love of cooking from an early age and pursued his studies at Liverpool's Catering College. After polishing his talents, Johnson left England and moved to Boston in 1985. There he worked as a pastry assistant and later moved to Canada. In 2000, Johnson moved to the Caribbean to work as a sous chef in various island and prestigious hotels, such as Superclubs, Sandals Windham and is proudly now at Luna creating unique and spectacular dishes. Keith Johnson and Food and Beverage manager Luis Tonaco are truly an extreme pair. Tonaco has held positions at El Divino Steakhouse, and The Belize Yacht Club and began his career as a dishwasher. At age of 18, he worked in a Greek fast food restaurant in Montreal, Canada. Due to his hard work and willingness to learn, Luis has successfully climbed the ladder of success and has been a valued employee in several restaurants and Cruise Lines from North America to Europe.

     No guest beamed with pleasure more than General Manager of Journey's End Resort Ruben Muñoz. "I am so happy and excited that we are now able to offer visitors another good choice for a fabulous dining experience on the island. By offering them new and dynamic restaurants, not only will visitors will go back home and talk about their wonderful experiences in Belize, but also they will talk about the wonderful dining experiences they enjoyed. This will certainly attract quality visitors to our country. The more choices they have, the better it is for our tourism industry since we are now competing with other countries. With a professional chef and food and beverage manager, Luna is contributing positively to the tourism industry."

     Luna is now open nightly serving its inventive and magnificent cuisine nightly. For reservations to the latest trendy restaurant, call 226-2173.
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