As the late, great Tom Petty once sang, the waiting is the hardest part. This spring, after a 15+ month wait, Maplewood will finally welcome its newest restaurant, Luna Stella. Owned by Max Kian and operated by Executive Chef Humberto Campos, the restaurant is named after Kian’s grandchildren, Luna and Stella. The familial connection is appropriate since Campos, who is also the acclaimed chef and owner of Lorena’s, which happens to sit across the street from Luna Stella, envisions a casual, family-oriented restaurant. But don’t be fooled by the casual talk though – Campos will be offering up some seriously fresh Italian fare made with ingredients sourced from farms and businesses located throughout New Jersey. Pastas and desserts will be made daily from scratch and Campos also plans a robust offering of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes. With a liquor license in hand, Luna Stella will also feature local beers.
Located at 5 Highland Place, following an extensive renovation that included gutting the interior, raising the ceiling and adding skylights, Luna Stella bears no resemblance to the restaurant that formerly occupied the site. Bright with an open and airy feel, the front dining area features wall-sized folding windows for open air dining. Patio dining will be available in the rear with heating lamps available when its chilly out. The restaurant will have two bars and just in case you want to keep an eye on your food as its prepared, there is an open kitchen.
Anticipated opening – Spring