Bella Luna opened four years ago, and they have grown to establish themselves as an authentic Italian dining experience. They are family owned and operated and treasure being a part of the Navarre community.
The owner Guglielmo Ianni, head chef Vincenzo Saponaro and manager Pete Salvucci are all originally from Italy and carried their family recipes to Bella Luna to bring a little taste of Italy to Navarre.
The restaurant was named after the owners’ daughter’s nickname. Bella Luna means beautiful moon in Italian and that describes the ambiance of the restaurant to a T. As you walk in, the calming lighting and smell of Italian seasonings fills your senses and you “feel the authenticity.”
Typically, when people hear Italian food, they think of pasta, but “we have so much more than pasta,” marketing director Michelle Ianni said.
Bella Luna serves a variety of genuine Italian dishes, from caprese salad and eggplant parmesan to filet mignot and New Zealand lamb chops.
Another misconception is that pasta adds to the waistline, “but that’s not true. We cook our pasta al dente, which means it is not cooked as much as normal and makes the pasta easier to digest,” Michelle said.
Guglielmo has been cooking since he was a teenager in Italy. He made the big move from Rome to America in the early 1960s to start a new adventure.
“My husband, all he talks about is food. He really has a passion for it,” Michelle said.
The Italian authenticity is very important to Bella Luna. A lot of the restaurant’s ingredients are imported directly from Italy.
Guglielmo’s favorite dish he serves is the New Zealand lamb chops. The most popular dish Bella Luna serves is the linguine pescatore, a delicious plate of pasta served with an assortment of seafood including clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and fish with choice of red or white wine sauce.
“We really appreciate the local community. It’s because of them that we’ve been able to stay in business these past four years,” Michelle said.
Bella Luna plans to serve Navarre for years to come.
“We have extended our lease, so we will be here another five years,” she said. “We want to continue to grow alongside Navarre.”
Bella Luna will be open New Years Eve, but you should start booking reservations now because the restaurant will book up quickly for the holiday.
7289 Navarre Parkway
Open Monday – Friday 4 to 10 p.m.