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Pizzeria Offering Personal Pies, Baked Specialties, to Open at Former Dayboat Site

Philomena’s, opening soon at 41-16 Queens Blvd. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Sept. 17, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Another pizzeria is in the works for Sunnyside.

Philomena’s, to offer personalized New York style pies, square slices, pastries, and other baked goods, is aiming for a late October opening at 41-16 Queens Blvd., the former site of the shuttered Dayboat and Salt and Fat restaurants.

The restaurant’s concept has been in the works for about five years, according to David Acocella, the owner, who has lived in the neighborhood for the past 20 years.

Acocella’s pizzeria, named after one of his daughters, will focus on pizza pies made in an old-New York style, with the technique all coming down to the dough and the oven.

The pies, made with a special dough that uses natural yeast, are cooked in an electric oven capable of high temperatures, which all result in a balanced, light, and airy pizza.

“It’s going to taste like bread used to taste, and pizza used to taste,” Acocella said. “You’ll taste a little difference, but your body will feel a lot different. You won’t feel stuffed.”

The 14-inch pies, while cooked in a traditional way, will come in classic and funky varieties like the margarita, made with tomato, mozzarella, and basil; clam pie, made with clams, cured meat, and ricotta; and a kale pie made with tomato, onions, red pepper, and lemon.

The squares, or Roman Taglio slices, will come in varieties like pomodorro, made with tomato, garlic, and basil; pepperoni supreme; and ricotta e mortadella.

One of Acocella’s pies, made with ricotta, mozzarella, and yellow tomatoes. (Courtesy of David Acocella)

Pies will range from $10 to $16, while Roman Talgio slices will go from $3 to $4.50.

Other offerings will include salads, sandwiches with freshly-baked bread, and appetizers like meatballs, caprese, and grilled octopus, all pried between $8 and $13.

Sweets like cannoli and eclaire will also be served, along with beer and wine.

Acocella, who has been making pizzas since he was a kid and labels himself as “kinda nuts about it,” brings a decade of experience in the restaurant industry with him to his new venture.

David Acocella, who say’s he “kinda nuts” about pizza, making a small pie. (via Instagram)

He’s worked as a manager at the famed Da Silvano, the now shuttered Italian restaurant, and at Arturo’s, a pizza restaurant in Greenwich Village.

His path eventually took him to pizza-making at Paulie Gee’s in Brooklyn, 21 Greenpoint, and finally under Gino Sorbillo, a legendary Italian-based “pizzaiolo”, or pizza maker, who recently opened his first New York City restaurant.

Acocella says the restaurant is a way for him to carry out his longtime passion and offer a pizza style typically seen in Brooklyn or Manhattan.

“I’ve been making pizza for a long time, and to be in my neighborhood, where I’ll have my parents and kids helping out—it’ll be the center of my universe.”

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I doubt that this will be opening soon. When I passed the site yesterday afternoon, a “Full Stop” Work Order from the NYC Department of Buildings was displayed at the front entrance. Certificate was issued on August 29th, 2018.

Capt. Crunch

What constitutes “good” is largely subjective. To me it means, fresh ingredients and a decent selection. BB fits the bill.

If you mean a disgustingly huge amount of meat, which (bizarrely) many people seem to require, then we don’t agree on what “good” is.


There’s a lot of things I love about BB, but I wouldn’t put their sandwiches in the “great” category. They’re good, but if you want great try a place like Sal, Kris, and Charlie’s in Astoria.

I don’t know what it is, but even something as simple as a ham and Swiss is amazing at that place. Not to mention the Italian or Bomb sandwiches. BB is fine but doesn’t compare.

That said, what I really lament is the lack of awesome bagels in our hood. (And parks with actual grass.)

Newly Celiac

One gluten-free crust option on the menu would not affect you, but it’s an amazing offering to those of us with celiac disease.

Gluten free

They have a gluten free option at Lenny’s but its expensive. Also the dough seems to absorb the sauce. The best gluten free pie is in Astoria; go to Tufino’s. When I tasted it, I thought they made a mistake. It’s incredible.


Nice! I love Sotte lo Stelle but it will be great to have a fancy slice joint in the area. Looking forward to this.


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