Eclipse Restaurant is one of the true jewels of The Loop and the city at-large. Located on the ground floor of The Moonrise Hotel, the interior is sleek and modern, but with plenty of whimsical touches, thanks to owner Joe Edwards’ collections of space-related toys and memorabilia displayed around the space. In addition to its impressive aesthetics, the restaurant has a reputation for producing stellar food, as well. The recent change over to the fall menu got us back down to the Loop to see what the kitchen is up to.

Right off, we were impressed with the bread basket, which featured warm and wonderful house-made focaccia and corn muffins. It seems like a small detail, but if a restaurant gives that much attention to its bread, we think it’s definitely a harbinger of good things to come on the menu!

The Spicy Crab & Boursin Gratin ($8) from the starter menu caught our fancy. It featured rich lump crab with garlic and shallot boursin, topped with a light crust of parmesan bread crumbs. We liked the bread it was served with, but we had no problem eating it right from the bowl!

The Classic Caesar ($7) was a unique take on this venerable stand-by salad. Instead of regular croutons, it was served with warm polenta ‘croutons,’ and in keeping with the restaurant’s space theme, they were cut into little crescent moons. The salad also was perfectly dressed, so we could still enjoy the crisp romaine!

The Bonito Seared Tuna Steak ($24), pan-seared in a flavorful garlic chili sesame oil, was a real treat, seared just enough to lock in the flavor while still preserving the rare, red center. The steak was served with a crispy side of sweet potato frites that complemented the mild steak well.

After looking at a list of the ingredients, we initially balked at ordering the Vegan Curry ($15), because we thought the dish might prove to be too sweet for our taste. We were so glad we took the chance! The roasted root veggies, squash, zucchini, baby corn and edamame took on a new dimension with the addition of sweet potato, parsnip and banana. It had a certain vegetal sweetness but was anything but cloying. Of course, we completely negated the vegan benefits by adding an order of Grilled Shrimp ($4) from the ala carte section!

The Chai-Spiced Panna Cotta ($7) rounded out our meal, and it was superlative. The chai provided a delicate, subtle spice to the creamy panna cotta. It was served with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a trio of vanilla bean shortbread cookies that could easily stand alone as a dessert. Pastry chef Claire Robberson has always presented a superb selection, and her latest offerings are yet another success.

The fall menu change at Eclipse also encompasses the breakfast and lunch bills of fare. We’re already planning a daytime excursion to the Loop soon to see if they live up to the fabulous new dinner menu!

Eclipse Restaurant • 6117 Delmar Blvd. • 726-2222

More Food & Dining articles.