Moonstruck strikes deal for Blue Bell

Toto and Claire Schiavone, who own Moonstruck on Oxford Avenue in Fox Chase, have inked a deal for a second restaurant, in Blue Bell's Village Square shopping center on Dekalb Pike just north of Township Line. Former occupant was Bourbon.

They'll call it Beccofino -- an Italian concept that Toto Schiavone says will create a "farmhouse kitchen" atmosphere centered on a woodburning oven in the middle of the dining room.

He says 95 percent of the food will come out of the oven.

Chef will be Moonstruck's Donna Ewanciw. He wants to open around Valentine's Day.

Quick history:

Moonstruck began in May 1979 as Ristorante DiLullo, the high-end project of entrepreneur Joe DiLullo and his wife, Claire. It was next door to Joseph's Pizza, which he opened in 1967, a year after he dropped out of Cardinal Dougherty. To say that DiLullo was the finest restaurant in Northeast Philly was not to damn it with faint praise. The DiLullos based the menu on the cookbooks of Marcella Hazan and sent the chefs to Italy for three weeks to study before opening.

DiLullo Centro, across from the Academy of Music where Estia is now, followed in 1985.

In 1994, Joe died suddenly of a heart attack at age 45.

Three years later, his widow married Toto Schiavone, who had been Joe's righthand man almost since the beginning.

Continue Reading