Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza
“Pizza is a great palette for whatever is growing locally and seasonally,”says Wade Luhn, proprietor of Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza, which opened its doors in December in the historic Livery Building in downtown Harrisonburg. Luhn should know. Having been a CSA farmer himself, he still pines for that different kind of back-breaking work. “For me, the next best thing to farming is doing a farm-to-table restaurant,”he says. With that in mind, he’s hired executive chef Colin Auckerman, who has a deep affinity for the eat-local movement, having spent time at some of the area’s best locavore restaurants: Palladio at Barboursville, Staunton Grocery, the Local in Charlottesville, and the Local Chop and Grill House in Harrisonburg.
The centerpiece of Bella Luna is right there in the name—the wood-fired oven responsible for the tender-crisp crust and the smoky flavor, both of which are hard to replicate with gas. Luhn even buys his firewood locally, currently burning cords from Willow Run Custom Lumber, which also crafted the restaurant’s tables using white oak from trees within 50 miles of Harrisonburg.
So what’s a farmer-turned-restaurateur’s favorite item on the menu? The prosciutto and arugula, featuring Edwards Surryano ham and greens from JMD Farm.