“We were always dying to do something together. We were just waiting for the right opportunity,” says Peter Aggelatos, who opened Milkflower with his brother Danny in 2013. “We saw the whole neighborhood change within the past five or six years. When we had the opportunity, we went for it.”
Both brothers bring something to the table, having worked in restaurants while growing up. Peter, who has lived in Astoria for seven years, worked in the front of the house, while Danny has worked in pizza kitchens for over 10 years. Their desire to bring new energy and better pizza to Astoria is what inspired Milkflower. “Queens is changing a lot, and we’re enjoying the change,” says Danny. “There are younger business owners like us, who are doing new things in Astoria.”
A great deal of care has gone into the Milkflower menu, which features seasonal appetizers and artisanal pizzas. Danny and Peter try to source fresh ingredients locally whenever they can. “This year we’re working a lot with the Union Square Green Market and vendors out there,” Peter says. “Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, we’re there first thing in the morning picking out tomatoes.”
The restaurant is named for the English translation of Fior di Latte, the Italian, cow’s milk mozzarella that is made in-house every day. Individual sized pizzas are fired on a wood-burning oven that was shipped over from Naples, Italy. The oven, which can reach 1,000 degrees, cooks pies in just a few minutes.
“Astoria is a close knit neighborhood,” says Peter. “I think the more we stick together, and bring people together doing events like the Astoria Art Festival, we’re going to bring even more people to Queens.” This will be Milkflower’s second year serving as a venue for the Art Festival. “I feel like it’s a great event for the neighborhood,” Danny says.
34-12 31st Ave.