In a neighborhood full of innovative restaurant menus, there’s no excuse for getting stuck in a food rut if you live in Essex County. Luna Stella, the New American restaurant located at 5 Highland Place in Maplewood, has something interesting at every turn. Keep reading to learn more about the mother-daughter duo who run the place and to get a peek at the menu.
How it All Started
Mother-daughter duo Rosa Kian and Megan Kian oversee daily operations at Luna Stella in Maplewood. Rosa and her husband Max have owned the property for about 30 years, leasing it to local restaurants, until they decided to gut renovate the building and operate it themselves in June 2019.
“Our goal at Luna Stella is to engage with the community and create a space where people can come enjoy themselves through our food, cocktails, and wine,” Megan told Montclair Girl. “Whether it’s the chef, with menu planning, our wine director in curating the wines on our wine list, or our bartender in creating inventive cocktails — each individual involved in creating our menus has put a lot of thought, time, and effort into making sure we offer our guests the best.”
The New American cuisine is exciting and innovative with starters like Grilled Octopus, Citrus Cured Char, and Zucchini + Squash Carpaccio. A few of the entrees include pan-seared duck, rigatoni bolognese, and butternut squash risotto. Be sure to save room for sweet endings like goat cheese budino, chocolate pudding, and vegan avocado coconut chocolate mousse.
“We think that you should be able to find a beautifully crafted cocktail outside of Manhattan and this is a huge emphasis for us along with the creativity and care that gets put into the food and wine list,” Megan shared. “We’ve hired really passionate people in each role to make sure that our food, cocktails, and wine list are up to par.”
The Community at Stella Luna
“We have a really wonderful team that is ready to ensure the success of this restaurant,” Megan said. “In addition to seeing how happy we can make guests by providing them with a good meal and service, getting to work with a group of talented and passionate people is one of the great perks of my job.”
The Wine Director and General Manager, Adam Greer has worked at Restaurant Serenade in Chatham and also worked with John Fraser in Manhattan who previously had Dovetail, a Michelin Starred restaurant. The Executive Chef, Klaus Kronsteiner has worked at impressive restaurants including Chez Catherine in Westfield and was most recently involved in Heirloom Kitchen’s pop-up in Philadelphia. As a family-run business, Megan feels it’s all in the details to create a special experience for customers.
Rob Vrancken helped put together our cocktail program and train our very talented bartenders – they are meticulous in everything they do and believe that everything should be handcrafted in-house,” Megan mentioned. “When it comes down to it, what sets us apart is the fact that we are family-run and really put so much time and attention to detail into everything we do.”
Luna Stella is located at 5 Highland Place in Maplewood. You can call 973-761-7600 for reservations, follow along at @restaurantlunastella or reach out via email to email@example.com with questions.