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Dine and Discover Queens: Michael Jannetta of Sala Astoria

It’s “Dine and Discover Queens” time! “Dine and Discover Queens” is a monthly spotlight on some of the best restaurants around the borough! This month’s featured eatery is Sala Astoria. Michael Jannetta is a partner at the establishment. To learn more, go to https://www.salarestaurants.com.  

Michael Jannetta of Sala Astoria

Can you share a bit about your restaurant journey and what inspired you to go into the food industry? 

I started cooking when I was six. My Italian grandparents were restaurateurs and had a significant influence on me. I also worked in restaurants in college and then took a semester abroad in Segovia, Spain and have been going back to study Spanish food and culture for 35 years. I caught the Spain bug and opened our first Sala in 1999 on The Bowery.

Can you share any memorable moments or experiences you’ve had as a restaurant owner in Queens? 

I am amazed by the sense of community and pride that diners in Astoria have for their neighborhood and how you can tell they really want to be a part of the new growth that is happening there. It’s such a different feel than Manhattan. I feel like we can make real connections with the clientele and they are genuinely interested in our story and are very welcoming.  

What are the most popular menu items and anything in particular about the menu you’d like to highlight? 

Some fan favorites include our paella, pulpo, gambas al ajillo, and our Spanish-inspired craft cocktails, as well as our 100% Spanish wine list. We have live flamenco performances on certain Tuesdays each month that are quite popular. If people are interested, they can check our website or Instagram for those announcements. We also have weekly food specials, a happy hour Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 pm, half-price bottles of wine every Wednesday for dinner, and reduced paella prices every Thursday for dinner.