RHINEBECK, N.Y. - When Lindita Sutaj and her family were looking for that perfect spot to open a small business, one look was all it took.
"We were looking to open a pizzeria in Red Hook," Sutaj recalled. "But my parents found this spot... (it was formerly Francesca's Italian Restaurant in Rhinebeck), and the previous owner had passed away.
"I fell in love with the location and the small town," she added, "and the people are really very friendly. So we talked to the landlord."
So she took over, renamed the place after her mother, and Florina Trattoria was born.
The restaurant/pizzeria features a full sit-down menu with classic Italian standards, seafood, gourmet pizzas, wings and lots of specials.
"People seem to love it," Sutaj said, as the restaurant celebrates its one-year anniversary. "They love our sauces, they love the chicken parm, the veal... it's always tender and flavorful. And the atmosphere is old-school Italian."
Sutaj, a Dutchess resident, said one of the things she enjoys most is interaction with community members.
"I really like it a lot," she said of being in Rhinebeck for a year. "You get to really interact with customers, get to know people. That part is great, You learn about each other.
"We're really excited about the restaurant and celebrating one year," she added. "We want to keep serving the community, and to be a part of it."
Florina Trattoria is located at 6795 Rt. 9 in Rhinebeck, and can be reached at 845-876-1700.
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