Astoria, Restaurants
May 09, 2018

Gluten-Free Italian Options Coming to Ditmars

Gluten-free Italian food, hooray!

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Mussels & Sausages, we hardly new ye! Nino’s AQ coming soon.

Over on the Astoria Post they recently reported the impending arrival of Nino’s AQ, an Italian restaurant brought to you by Michael and Franco Vendome, two brothers behind Midtown modern Italian joint, Nino’s 46. Italian food is no stranger to Astoria—there’s nearby L’Incontro is one of the neighborhood’s more well-known restaurants, as well as Vite Vinosteria, Via Vai, and Vesta (so many Vs), not to mention the numerous Sicilian bakeries and Italian salumerias. But what really caught our eye is Nino’s AQ’s offering of gluten-free options, a dietary landscape that has gotten more attention and care these days.

A cursory search shows a number of gluten-free news sites lit up with the news of gf dishes to come at Nino’s AQ. The reason they plan to offer them is because of Franco’s celiac disease, which prohibits him to consume gluten. So look for gluten-free pastas and pizzas on the menu. To get an idea of what’s on their mind regarding gf options, check out Nino’s 46’s menu—not only are there naturally gluten-free options, they are able to transform many of their dishes into gluten-free ones.

Aside from the gluten-free side of things, look for shareable plates and pesce crudo—high-quality raw fish dishes. Organic wines will also be available. Overall, the impression we get is that the brothers Vendome are looking to offer delicious healthy food within the scope of Italian cuisine, one that easily lends itself to light, nourishing cooking. And while the exact menu is in flux, they also plan to “go off the beaten path,” and try some new, innovative things, which could be pretty exciting. Here’s hoping there are plenty of meatless options, too—vegetarian and vegan food is something Astorians tell us over and over that they really want to see in new restaurants.

The location is 35-01 Ditmars Blvd, in the space that most recently was home to Mussels & Sausages; there will be about 50 seats in the restaurant. But before it was M&S, it was Francis Cafe, and prior to that is was the much-beloved 718. Since their departure, the space has had huge shoes to fill and there have been many fits and starts—here’s hoping Nino’s AQ can make a real go of it.

Good luck, guys! We look forward to seeing what you bring to the neighborhood.

Nino’s AQ, 35-01 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.



fingers crossed for vegan options!! :D Tufino’s and QWNS Cafe (not to be confused with Queen’s Room) has some nice options but more are always welcome!


I looooove Ninos on 46th !!! It’s a neighborhood gem! And the brothers are so nice! Can’t wait for this to open! I wish them the best!!!


There isn’t any good GF pizza in Astoria, so this could be a welcome addition.


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