When one door closes, another one swings open. Which is a good thing when it comes to pizza and focaccia.
After Carla Fernandes and Colón Solis purchased Vito’s of Port Jeff this spring, they shuttered that business for a weekslong metamorphosis, and on May 18 reopened it as Luciana’s Pizzeria + Ristorante.
The 65-seat Luciana’s, named for the couple’s goddaughter, still dishes out pizza and red-sauce classics, but the two dining rooms are brighter and airier, with more space between the tables. They also added a bar and a handful of outdoor tables.
“We wanted to give a sense of formality to the pizzeria,” said Fernandes. “That’s the twist.”
Solis is a lifer in the hospitality and restaurant industry, and worked all over the south Florida restaurant scene before heading north to manage Besito in Huntington, where he spent four years. He and Fernandes also co-owned Margarita’s Cafe & Cantina in Wantagh.
Luciana’s is loosely based on one of those south Florida restaurants, Carpaccio in Bal Harbour. “We kept the concept with a little bit more of a modern take,” Fernandes said. Solis’ brother Rafael Solis served as consultant chef, and former Besito sous chef Edwin Serpas helms the kitchen. Their menu includes dishes such as mussels marinara ($11), chicken Campagna ($18) and linguini del mar ($24), as well as calzones ($7), pastas ($11 to 24) and pizza ($12 to 22).
Slices of Luciana’s excellent rosemary focaccia are offered complimentary to dine-in customers, but the bread can be purchased whole for $14. There are daily lunch specials, including a hero menu, and daily happy hour deals at the full bar.
Luciana’s is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Luciana’s Ristorante + Pizzeria, 4747 Nesconset Hwy. #16, Port Jefferson Station, 631-642-8555, lucianas.co