Dec. 9, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
A new restaurant that specializes in Neapolitan-style pizzas and Italian pasta dishes has opened on 31st Street in Astoria.
Sotto La Luna, which means “under the moon” in Italian, opened today at a new food and beverage hall at 34-39 31st St. The restaurant has taken a 2,500 square foot space at the recently-constructed development known as The World Artisan Market.
The eatery is the first establishment to open at the hall, a repurposed warehouse, according to one of Sotto La Luna’s co-owners. The market has room for up to seven businesses in total.
The new restaurant is co-owned by five business partners including Valerio Marchi and Gina Mastrovito. The pair are business partners and are the proprietors of Sotto Le Stelle Pizzeria and SoleLuna, which are both located on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside.
Marchi, 40, a Sunnyside resident who is originally from Italy, said the new restaurant combines the menus of those two locations. Sotto Le Stelle Pizzeria is known for its Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas, while SoleLuna is popular for its Italian pasta and meat dishes, pastries and espresso.
The new restaurant also serves fish such as yellowfin tuna and oysters.
Coffee-flavored Italian desserts like tiramisu are also on the menu while the eatery will have its own range of gelatos in the coming months. The restaurant serves a range of wines and beer.
Marchi said the group didn’t have plans on opening in Astoria but were swayed after viewing the premises.
“We fell in love with the location, the place is beautiful with high ceilings and a big dining area,” Marchi said.
The space has a modern look with rustic and metal fittings as well as a number of plants. It seats around 50 people, he said.
The restaurant has a large dining area with low-hanging Edison-style light bulbs. It also has an open kitchen that is surrounded by a high counter and stools where customers can watch the chefs preparing the food and sliding pizzas into a big oven.
“We want people to come and have a fun experience. Nothing too fancy, just quality food and a very high standard of service,” Marchi said.
Opening hours are from noon to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, noon to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
The restaurant is part of a market that will feature a number of other eateries including a Colombian restaurant called Arepa Lady, a vegan restaurant named Urban Vegan Roots and a vegetarian bakery called Elevenses.
Among the other establishments set to open include Sala Astoria, a traditional restaurant offering authentic Spanish food, and an Asian fusion restaurant called Potlux Kitchen.
Additionally, residents will be able to learn how to cook Japanese-style food at The Yamato Noodle Company, which will offer classes when it opens.
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Good luck with that. A desolate corner with no foot traffic in the middle of nowhere and impossible to park.
I ate here on opening day and was very impressed! Delicious food—I had the plate of Italian cheeses and hams, which were all excellent (and a generous serving for one person), and pasta with lamb ragout, also excellent. Owners and staff are friendly and welcoming. Highly recommended!