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News of Otsego County

Stella Luna

Avanzato Releases Oneonta Inspired Poetry Collection

Avanzato’s Poetry

Focuses On Oneonta

Gianluca Avanzato, with his mother Rosemarie and father Antonio, poses with his new collection of poetry inspired by growing up in Oneonta, aptly titled “City Of The Hills.” Gianluca was on hand at Stella Luna this evening where he read from the collection and signed copies. The book will be available at Greater Oneonta Historical Society, The Green Toad Bookstore and on Amazon.com. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Avanzato Brothers To Close Stella Luna

Tony, Vinne In Business 47 Years

Avanzato Brothers

To Close Stella Luna

Tony and Vinne Avanzato, who have operated signature restaurants – first, the Italian Kitchen; then, Ristorante Stella Luna in the landmark D&H depot – have announced they plan to retire Aug. 25. For details on the Avanzato family story in the restaurant business by Gianluca Avanzato, a family member and published author,, see this week’s Hometown Oneonta & Freeman’s Journal, on newsstands this afternoon. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Vincenzo Avanzato Delivers Pasta Fundraiser Proceeds

Vincenzo Avanzato Delivers

Pasta Fundraiser Proceeds

$3,000 Delivered To Mayor of Amatrice

Vinne Avanzato delivered a check for $3,000 from the sale of Bucatini All'Amatraciana to Amatrice Mayor Sergio Pirrozi
Vinnie Avanzato delivers a check for $3,000 from the sale of Bucatini all’Amatraciana to Amatrice Mayor Sergio Pirrozi

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Stella Luna’s Bucatini all’Amatriciana may be the ultimate in comfort food.

Tony and Vinne Avanzato began serving the pasta dish, famous in Amatrice, Italy, as a fundraiser after the Aug. 24 earthquake that devastated the town.  “Our friends over there told us there were foundations we could donate to, but they would take 20-30 percent,” said Tony.  “I said, ‘Not gonna happen!’ People are giving their hard-earned money. It should go to the people who need it.”

On WAMC’s ‘Morning Headlines’, Editor Reports Recipe Will Help ‘Quake Victims

On WAMC’s ‘Morning Headlines’, Editor

Reports Recipe Will Help ‘Quake Victims

Laurens' Jon Keane prepares the first batch of bucatini all'Amatriciana Tuesday afternoon at Oneonta's Stella Luna.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Laurens’ Jon Keane prepares the first batch of bucatini all’Amatriciana Tuesday afternoon at Oneonta’s Stella Luna. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

WAMC-logo_1 (1)Jim Kevlin, editor/publisher of www.AllOTSEGO.com (and Hometown Oneonta & the Freeman’s Journal), tells WAMC’s David Guistina about the Oneonta Avanzato brothers’ plans to reintroduce bucatini all’Amatriciana to benefit earthquake victims in Amatrice, Italy.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S  REPORT
Congressional Hopeful Will Yandik Meets With Oneonta Voters

Congressional Hopeful Yandik

Meets With Oneonta Voters

Congressional candidate for the 19th District Will Yandik, right, outlines his platform with Oneonta's Susan Sklenarik, Steven Fever, Peter Hill, Pat Knuth and Cathryn Jane at a lunch at Stella Luna Restaurant on Thursday afternoon. "We want to get to know him." said Deb Marcus, who helped organize the luncheon. "We want to hear his plans so we can support the most electable candidate for the position." (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Congressional candidate for the 19th District Will Yandik, right, outlines his platform with Oneonta’s Susan Sklenarik, Steven Fever, Peter Hill, Pat Knuth and Cathryn Jane at a lunch at Stella Luna Restaurant on Thursday afternoon. “We want to get to know him.” said Deb Marcus, who helped organize the luncheon. “We want to hear his plans so we can support the most electable candidate for the position.”   Yandik, a farmer and town board member in Ulster County, is vying with Zephyr Teachout in the April 19 primary to run in November for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-19.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Avanzatos’ Stella Luna Not Setting Yet

Avanzatos’ Stella Luna Not Setting Yet

By LIBBY CUDMORE • HOMETOWN ONEONTA

Edition of Friday, Dec. 5, 2014

Vinne Avanzato at work
Vinne Avanzato at work (Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA

If you leafed through the real estate listings recently, you may have noticed that Oneonta landmark Stella Luna is for sale.

But don’t worry. Vinne and Tony Avanzato aren’t closing their doors yet. “If the sale takes six months, a year, 10 years, we won’t close,” said Vinne. “We’ll still make the best food in Oneonta!”

Though the listing just went public, it’s a decision that’s been in discussion since the November 2012 accident that claimed the life of the family matriarch, Giuseppa, and left Vinne with severe injuries. “My life changed that day,” he said. “I’m ready to move on from this.”

The Avanzato family rescued the Market Street train station from demolition in 2000, but their roots in Oneonta go much deeper. “Our parents, Diego and Giuseppa, brought us here from Sicily in 1966, and we had nothing,” he said. “But my father, he had a vision for his family.”

They opened the Italian Kitchen in 1972 and ran it for 36 years until 2008. For a time, the family ran both restaurants. “I worked at the Italian Kitchen and my brother ran Stella Luna,” he said. “But it was a lot of work for just one person.”

The late Mayor Dick Miller was a fan of the Avanzatos, as well as their cooking, calling the family “the American dream.”
Margaret Drugovich ate her first meal as Hartwick College president there, and in 2013, the brothers were named Hartwick’s Citizens of the Year for their contributions to Hartwick athletics, including helping save Division One soccer.

The brothers also raise money every year to take upwards of 30 disadvantaged children on a shopping trip at Christmas. “I’m not ashamed to say I’m a softie,” he said. “I’m a giver. These kids deserve a nice Christmas like we have.”

And at 59, he’s put 43 years into his cuisine. “The Avanzatos are Oneonta’s history,” he said. “We’ve established a culture here. We believe in giving people good food because we’re proud Italians. We’re sincere.”

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103