Former CNN Space Reporter John Zarrella Launches Zarrella’s Italian and Wood Fired Pizza

By  //  December 22, 2016

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located in Cape Canaveral

Dennis Guilmette, Zarrella, Nicholas Pistone, Chef Dustin DiLeo, Astronaut Al Worden, and Michael Zarrella at Zarrella’s Italian and Wood Fired Pizza Restaurant

BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA –  Former CNN Space Reporter, John Zarrella is the name and face behind the new Zarrella’s Italian and Wood Fired Pizza Restaurant, located at 8801 Astronaut Boulevard in Cape Canaveral.

Zarrella, who worked for CNN for more than 30 years spent decades on the Space Coast covering NASA and Kennedy Space Center.

When semi-retirement arrived, he moved from Miami to Merritt Island but never actually imagined a restaurant in his future. Enter John’s son, Michael Zarrella.

Michael and longtime friends, Chef Dustin DiLeo, Nicholas Pistone, and Dennis Guilmette, had always dreamed of opening an Italian themed restaurant.

All under the age of 30, they grew up together in Ft. Lauderdale and eventually worked for a ‘celebrity chef,’ at a high end Italian restaurant in South Florida, learning the operational aspects of the restaurant business.

Pizza is one of the mainstays of world cuisine. It tastes great and is easy to share, making it perfect for any social occasion. Perhaps the biggest advantage is its versatility. When it comes to this Italian restaurants staple, you don’t have to limit yourself to varieties like pepperoni or cheese. At Zarrella’s Italian & Wood Fired Pizza, you can explore all toppings and combinations, including all kinds of meats, cheeses and vegetables.

“The main reason we decided to open the restaurant in Cape Canaveral was the need for an authentic Italian eatery in the area; the second was due to the myriad of Space Center contacts my father knew,” said Michael Zarrella, co-owner of Zarrella’s restaurant.

“In the first week, we served Al Worden and Jerry Ross, two well-known astronauts.”

Opened for nearly six weeks, the crew plans to continue to build on Zarrella’s already existing success by eventually expanding to a second location, “down the road,” added co-owner, Dennis Guilmette.

“I receive e-mails, texts and/or calls nearly every day from long-time friends who come in for lunch or dinner. The support we’ve gotten has been amazing,” said John Zarrella.

“I try to be at the restaurant as much as possible, just to say thank you, in person.”

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Zarrella’s plans to host a New Year’s Party with continued rocket launch parties throughout the year. To make reservations, call 321-613-3008.

According to Chef, Dustin DiLeo, “Our homemade meatballs are the best in Brevard County, pan fried and hand rolled everyday with veal, beef and pork.” Co-owner Pistone added, “I never miss recommending our guests check out the mozzarella stack and ever-changing daily specials.”

For more information about Zarrella’s Italian & Wood Fired Pizza restaurant, log on to Zarrellasitalianfl.com 

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ABOVE MAP: Former CNN Space Reporter, John Zarrella is the name and face behind the new Zarrella’s Italian and Wood Fired Pizza Restaurant, located at 8801 Astronaut Boulevard in Cape Canaveral.


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