July 31, 2019 By Shane O’Brien
A new restaurant serving Italian and Argentine cuisine has opened its doors near the corner of 11th Street and 44th Drive in Long Island City.
Go Nonna opened for business last week at 10-50 44th Drive and restaurant owner Lorenzo Garcia Di Leo says that he wants to build a family-friendly environment at the locale.
An Argentinian native, Garcia Di Leo has over 25 years of experience in the business and has previously owned restaurants in Tribeca and in the Meatpacking District.
The restaurant is currently open on a Monday-Saturday basis from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., but Garcia Di Leo plans to expand the hours as soon as possible and include Sunday service.
“We are currently in the process of looking for servers and cooks and when I get the right team with the right training, we will open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We are planning to open for breakfast at 8 a.m. and go all the way to 11 p.m.,” Garcia Di Leo said.
The restaurateur said he chose to open in Long Island City because it is an area undergoing enormous growth that offers huge potential for business.
“I like the neighborhood and I like the fact that it’s a family-oriented type of place. There’s a lot of families and we love to cater for families and we’ve made this place kid friendly.”
The restaurant provides crayons and coloring books to children, space for strollers and a changing table in the bathroom.
The restaurant’s 44th Drive location is also situated between Hunters Point and Court Square, making it ideal for deliveries, Garcia Di Leo said.
Go Nonna presently seats 15 people, but Garcia Di Leo said that he plans to have outdoor seating in the near future.
He also said that he has applied for a liquor license, but is unsure when it would be approved.
Garcia Di Leo explained that the restaurant’s fusion of Italian and Argentinian cuisine stems from his Italian ancestry. Garcia Di Leo has Italian grandparents and is one of the many Argentines who claim Italian heritage, which accounts for an Italian influence in Argentinian cuisine.
Garcia Di Leo said that Italians brought traditional recipes with them when they migrated to Argentina, but didn’t have the ingredients available several decades ago to make the traditional dishes, resulting in an improvised version of Italian food.
However, Garcia Di Leo said that he will also be serving traditional Italian food at Go Nonna as well the improvised version found in Argentina.
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