Luan "Leo" Rukiqi arrived in New York City from Albania when he was 17 years old and began working in the restaurant business for popular midtown restaurants. After developing his skills and training, he worked as a chef for Il Molino and later, Acappella, two top Italian restaurants. Then he moved to Peter Luger, the famous steak house in Brooklyn, where he learned the art of dry aging beef, preparing it, slicing it, and serving it to a discerning clientele.
From there he moved as a partner at Flames Steakhouse, one of the finest steak houses in Westchester, New York, a place frequented by celebrities and elected officials, and known for its extraordinary menu and wine list. Wanting to be closer to home, Leo created the concept for Grappa Ristorante in Warwick, NY, and then took over Momento Restaurant in West Milford, NJ, steadily transforming into the region’s leading Italian restaurant and the place to enjoy steaks, chops, and seafood – the quintessential New York City steak house in the heart of northern New Jersey's countryside.
Now he is reinventing the property at 22 Spring St., in Warwick, NY, originally known as Fratello Brick Oven Pizza, into Ana Restaurant, a family-style Italian restaurant, featuring both a traditional and updated cuisine, with an extensive and very popular takeout menu.