Some six months after La Luna closed, the restaurant space at the corner of Queen Anne Ave. N. and Boston is back in business as Mediterranean-inspired Grappa. Its official first day is today, February 1st, following a soft opening over the weekend.
The 75-seat establishment's contemporary decor includes a large bar area that overlooks the dining room. A dozen grappas, Italian spirits distilled from pressed grapes, are available by the glass. Some cocktails are also made with grappa substituting for vodka.
The owners are Aleks Tona, born in Greece, and his Turkish-born business partner, Yekta Levent. The men, now in their early 30s, met as students at the University of Washington, where Aleks was studying microbiology and Yekta worked on a business degree.
The Tona family owns a restaurant on Lake Garda in northern Italy. Aleks got his start as a restaurant owner with a place called Tona in the Canyon Park business center. His next one, also in Bothell, is called Vivendo. Vivendo's chef, who will train the kitchen staff at Grappa, is Aleks's brother, Matias.
"Everything will be homemade," Aleks promises. "Gnocchi, risotto, bolognese sauce, bread." The full menu is available online.
For his part, Yekta turned his business skills in the direction of restaurant management, most recently as GM at Kukai Ramen.
"We've been watching this corner for years," Aleks says of the Grappa space. "We know how to take a location where a business has gone under and make it come alive."
Queen Anne Review notes that "the first week of service will be dinner only." When full hours kick in, expect happy hour 4 to 6 p.m. and again 9 p.m. to close.
2 Boston St., (206) 466-1027, website. Open Sunday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.