Moonrakers selected as Iowa City's best new restaurant

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 15, 2011 7:20 AM

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Moonrakers is the best new restaurant in Iowa City and is the city's first "gastro-pub."

The restaurant is the newest addition to the One Twenty-Six family, joining One Twenty-Six and Hearth.

The gastro-pub offers more than 300 different wines and 40 to 50 different beers, said owner Mathew Chackalackal.

"But the emphasis first is placed on good food," he said. "Everything we do is from scratch and often made in-house. We work hard to provide the highest quality food and still offer it at pub sort of prices."

Chackalackal said his favorite dish is the restaurant's signature dish, the pork or chicken tortas. The sandwich is prepared with the best cuts of slow-braised meat and served on a homemade bolillo.

Having been to Moonrakers a few times, I suggest the pulled-pork sandwich with guacamole for lunch or the gnocchi for dinner. The latter may be my favorite dish in Iowa City.

And when you go, read about how Chackalackal decided on the name "Moonrakers." I love restaurants with names inspired by British literature. Though this may be the only one I have visited.

— Jordan Montgomery

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