With 993 Italian restaurants in NYC, how does one stand out enough to last 30 years in one of the toughest cities to sustain a living, let alone a business? Well, restaurateur Turgut Balikci, has a secret sauce that’s allowed Bella Luna to do just that. This upper west side brick oven pizza destination has been offering classic and traditional Italian dishes to New Yorkers and continues to deliver. According to the locals, new executive chef German “Primo” Angelo creates some of the best brick oven pizza in the area. From savory to sweet pies, Bella Luna doesn’t disappoint on creativity.
Though New York is known for its classic margarita slice that features red sauce, mozzarella and basil, Bella Luna decided to create its own classic, named after the restaurant that has an enticing blend of wild mushroom, onion and fontina, drizzled in decadent, umami truffle oil over a perfectly crisped crust. During brunch, an indulgent strawberry nutella pizza with ricotta and basil can be found on this menu. Rumor has it that you can also find a smoked salmon pizza combining smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and slices of red onion to play on the New York classic lox. It’s not on the main menu but they will make it if you ask.
In addition to pizza, Bella Luna also features a selection of fresh made pastas with classics including Penne Alla Vodka and Fettuccine Alfredo along with specialty pastas including Fettuccine Primavera that features fresh white and spinach pasta, seasonal vegetables, garlic, olive oil and Lobster Ravioli, dressed in a rich, cream sauce and fresh dill. The braised lamb shank, slow cooked and undeniably tender is served with creamy mashed potatoes and is highly recommended.
In addition to the pizza and classic Italian dishes, Bella Luna also offers a “Happy Always” happy hour that features $8 wines and $10 Moscow Mules all day, everyday when paired with any of their pies. Their dishes are also customizable allowing for easy sharing with people who have different dietary restrictions. They are open to adding meat on the side or removing dairy from any dish. For those looking to enjoy a slice while watching the snowfall, Bella Luna features an outdoor enclosed dining area for the winter.
By Brandy Cochrane, Plant Candy