Show 379, June 27, 2020: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part One

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was truly a landmark establishment defining regional Italian fine dining in the West combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar and polished service. Piero’s most recent venture was the debut of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury.

His new project is with acclaimed Chef Celestino Drago with the about to relaunch, handsome and elegant Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles in the City National Bank Tower. “At Drago Centro, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, Chef Celestino Drago is giving his classic Italian techniques a contemporary flair. The lunch and dinner menus at Drago Centro feature a wide range of options, from hand-cranked pastas, savory steaks and elegant desserts sure to end the meal on a sweet note.”

We’ll hear all about it with Piero Selvaggio.

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Show 379, June 27, 2020: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Drago Centro and Louie’s by the Bay Part Two

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa MonicaLegendary Los Angeles Restaurateur and ever-gracious host Piero Selvaggio attentively presided over the iconic Valentino in Santa Monica for over 46 years. Valentino was truly a landmark establishment defining regional Italian fine dining in the West combined with a deep and well-maintained wine cellar. Piero’s most recent venture was the launching of Louie’s by the Bay (modern Italian steakhouse) in Newport Beach with Restaurateur Ron Salisbury.

His new project is with acclaimed Chef Celestino Drago with the about to relaunch Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles in the City National Bank Tower. “At Drago Centro, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, Chef Celestino Drago is giving his classic Italian techniques a contemporary flair. The lunch and dinner menus at Drago Centro feature a wide range of options, from hand-cranked pastas, savory steaks and elegant desserts sure to end the meal on a sweet note.”

We continue our conversation on hospitality at its best with acclaimed Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio.

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Show 377, June 13, 2020: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part One

Matteo Ferdinandi of the Factory KitchenFactory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles.

The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. This trio of restaurants has reopened for Pick-Up dinner orders (3 complete menus) Wednesday through Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. via Tock.

Las Vegas properties are Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in The Venetian Resort and sixth+mill ristorante, pizzeria & bar at The Grand Canal Shoppes. The Las Vegas Strip properties have recently reopened for full dine-in service.

Matteo Ferdinandi is graciously at our service along with Chef Angelo.

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Show 377, June 13, 2020: Matteo Ferdinandi & Chef Angelo Auriana, Factory Place Hospitality Group, Los Angeles & Las Vegas Part Two

Chef Angelo AurianaFactory Place Hospitality Group, a restaurant group led by Restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi, was founded in March of 2013. Executive Chef and Business Partner Angelo Auriana, joined Ferdinandi and his wife, Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi, in August 2013 shortly before the opening of The Factory Kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles.

The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. This trio of restaurants has reopened for Pick-Up orders Wednesday through Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. via Tock.

Las Vegas properties are Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in The Venetian Resort and sixth+mill ristorante, pizzeria & bar at The Grand Canal Shoppes. The Las Vegas Strip properties have recently reopened for full dine-in service.

Matteo Ferdinandi continues to be at our service along with Chef Angelo.

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Show 368, April 11, 2020: Pasta Shop Ristorante and Art Gallery, Henderson, Nevada

Ann Alenik of Pasta Shop and Art GalleryLast year the Pasta Shop Ristorante and Art Gallery celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Over the years two generations of the Alenik Family have brought fresh pasta and creative Italian cuisine to the Las Vegas valley. Inspired by their late chef/founder David Alenik’s experiences as personal chef to Frank Sinatra and Steve Wynn, the family-owned restaurant and artisanal pasta makers use the best quality, local and imported ingredients throughout, including Vegan specialties.

Pasta Shop also supplies fresh pasta to many of the most popular restaurants on the famed Las Vegas Strip!

Mr. Sinatra’s dish of choice remains on the menu as Frank’s Favorite Meat Sauce. It’s finely diced meatballs, onions and spices in a robust tomato sauce served over house-made rigatoni.

Chef David’s widow, Ann, and daughter, Bianca, join us to roll out the pasta…

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Show 366, March 28, 2020: Executive Chef & Proprietor Sandro Nardone of Bello in Newport Beach

Sandro Nardone of Bello by Sandro Nardone“A newcomer to the vibrant culinary scene that can be found in and around Newport Beach, BELLO by Sandro Nardone offers a combination of traditional authentic Italian food and modern dishes in a style similar to that served at the top restaurants in Italy. Born in a small town located between Rome and Naples, Chef Sandro comes from Atina, Italy, where he was raised in a family of chefs.”

“From an early age, he adopted food as his passion as his parents ran a small chain of restaurants, with his mother, Giovanna, as chef. At BELLO, Chef Sandro’s menu revolves around the very best ingredients and simplicity, the two guiding principles that have always been the foundation of traditional Italian cuisine.”

Chef Sandro is offering some of his most popular offerings on BELLO’s menu, including his signature made-to-order, wood-fired pizzas, for curbside pick-up and delivery through Grubhub and Ubereats. Guests may order online for curbside pick-up.

Chef Sandro is preparing a limited number of Family Meals inspired by those from his youth in Italy. Meals will change nightly and feature dishes such as Baked Rigatoni Bolognese and Lasagna. Guests may check current offering and place orders by calling the restaurant at 949-520-7191 or emailing Roberto at BELLO by Sergio Nardone.

Bello is offering Cocktails to go (single servings or a “4-pack”), as well as wines by the glass and their bottle list is being offered at 25% off.

We gently pull Chef Sandro away from his wood-burning pizza oven to tell us about his adapted take-out & delivery menu.

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Show 360, February 15, 2020: Executive Chef & Restaurateur James Trees – Las Vegas’ Ada’s and Esther’s Kitchen

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasInspired by the spirit of legendary bar woman Ada Coleman of the Savoy Hotel, Ada’s (Las Vegas) is driven by the idea that hospitality begins with offering every guest the best ingredients, preparation, and service possible. With Italian-inspired fresh pastas, artisanal American style pizza, seafood, meat and vegan selections at lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Ada’s offers the best quality version of “something for everyone” in an elegant but casual setting amongst the Italianate streets of Las Vegas’ Tivoli Village.

The Ada’s team is led by Chef/Owner James Trees, General Manager Sonia Stelea and Chef de Cuisine Dylan Jobsz.

Chef James original restaurant in Las Vegas is Esther’s Kitchen in the Downtown Arts District. He likes to describe it as “Seasonal Italian Soul Food.” Trees’ Great-aunt Esther (the namesake for the restaurant) was a tough, smart, no-nonsense type who cared about people and gave good advice. “She was a big support to my mom when I was growing up, and that was huge,” says Trees. “She was always there for us.”

Chef James is also one of the organizers of Vegas Unstripped, which is an energetic, locals’ food festival of impressive, off-the-Strip, chef-driven independent restaurants. It’s Saturday evening, May 2nd this year in Downtown Las Vegas.

We pull Chef James (also Esther’s Kitchen) away from his busy Ada’s kitchen Brunch line for a chat.

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Show 354, January 4, 2020: Frank Buono, Buono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana, San Pedro & Long Beach Part One

Frank Buono of Buono''s P{izzeria in Long BeachBuono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana is a proudly family owned Italian pizzeria with three locations in the San Pedro and Long Beach areas. Buono’s prides itself on offering authentic Italian fare like hand-kneaded pizza dough made fresh daily to homemade sausages and sauces, all served up with warm hospitality and great service. Open for lunch and dinner, craft beer and wine complement the menu.

After 54 years the original San Pedro Bruno’s Market & Deli (the predecessor to Buono’s Pizzeria) relocated late last year to a new, modern expanded space in San Pedro’s Little Italy at 222 W. 6th Street.

“While the paint may be fresh and the décor contemporary, Buono’s Pizzeria in San Pedro’s Little Italy will remain true to its origins. The scratch kitchen will continue to prepare authentic Italian pizza coupled with fresh pasta and zesty sauces. What will be new is the addition of wine and beer, an amenity not available at the original Buono’s Pizzeria.”

“The Little Italy location spans nearly 3,000 square-feet and boasts alfresco dining available with an expansive wraparound patio. The exhibition kitchen reveals a display of culinary excellence with a gas-fired brick oven as well as an 800-degree oven where Neapolitan-style pizzas bake for a quick 90 seconds.”

Their value-packed Lunch Special on Weekdays is an incredible deal. It’s “A Trip to Italy Lunch Buffet” including an ample salad bar, four gourmet pasta selections, Buono Family recipe minestrone soup and an assortment of by-the-slice pizzas (and more) for $9.99. The bonus is it’s all you can enjoy.

The Buono Family’s managing partner, Frank Buono, simmers the meat sauce for us. Frank is a 3rd generation restaurateur.

 

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Show 354, January 4, 2020: Frank Buono, Buono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana, San Pedro & Long Beach Part Two

Frank Buono of Buono''s P{izzeria in Long BeachBuono’s Pizzeria Cucina Italiana is a proudly family owned Italian pizzeria with three locations in the San Pedro and Long Beach areas. Buono’s prides itself on offering authentic Italian fare like hand-kneaded pizza dough made fresh daily to homemade sausages and sauces, all served up with warm hospitality and great service. Open for lunch and dinner, craft beer and wine complement the menu.

The flagship Buono’s Pizzeria in San Pedro just relocated to San Pedro’s Little Italy (222 W. 6th Street) in an expanded, and modern, restaurant space on a visible corner with patio seating and a craft beer & wine bar.

“We (Buono Family) consider our family history an essential ingredient in our tasty menu at all three of our restaurants. Those who have already dined at any of them know how vital that legacy is to the Buono Family.”

“In 1965 Francesco and Teresa Buono opened Buono’s Market & Deli in San Pedro which became famous for their Torpedo Sandwiches, House-Made Italian Sausage, and Nonna Teresa’s Meat Sauce. In 1967 their son, Nicolaniello came from Italy and joined them here carrying a small suitcase also filled with huge hopes and dreams. And he, too, made those dreams come true when in 1973 he transformed the market and deli into the original Buono’s Pizzeria.”

Today his wife Antonia and their four children, Frank, George, Oreste and Teresa, continue to share their love of Italy and its cuisine by offering a menu that beautifully reflects the Buono Family roots. Those who are discovering this treasure for the first time are in for a wonderous experience, highlighted by Buono Family memories dating back more than half a century. Those who have joined us before eagerly anticipate what they know is a delicious meal to come!”

We continue to hand-knead the fresh pizza dough and simmer Grandma Teresa’s meat sauce with principal Frank Buono.

 

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Show 278, June 23, 2018: Executive Chef Zach Geerson, Journeyman’s Food + Drink, The Hotel Fullerton, Fullerton

Zachary GeersonJourneyman’s Food & Drink (right off the 91 Freeway in Fullerton) is the most recent passion project of executive chef Zachary Geerson. It’s a real gem of a discovery and a true dining experience.

The cuisine which can only be explained as Post-modern and globally-inspired, draws from Chef Zach and his team’s diverse cultural background and training. Chef Zach, being of Sicilian descent, uses that and his love for Italian cuisine, as a jumping off point for some dishes and inspiration from his wife, Olivia, who is Thai and Laotian.

“Welcome to Journeyman’s my friend. What you are about to experience, or have experienced, is a culmination of my team and I’s

hard work. We’ve been open for a few months now and we are really proud of what we have accomplished thus far.”

“If you don’t already know, we offer our dining menu in a 4-course, prix-fixe format with four options in each course. This hopefully makes you feel more at ease and makes it feel a little like an a la care menu. These are the best dishes we have to offer you. Please, kick back and relax and let our wonderful team guide you through this experience. I am glad you have given us the opportunity to take care of you and your friends, family, or both.”

From Zach Geerson.
A fun way to preview the Journeyman’s experience is to enjoy a craft libation and some Bar Snacks at Journeyman’s welcoming Bar. No reservations needed so you arrive at your leisure. Think elevated Avocado Toast with smoked salmon roe, mozzarella di bufala, thyme, and burnt onion.

As Chef Zach says, “It’s not the destination…It’s the Journey.”

Dinner nightly Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations strongly suggested for the Dining Room.

We’ll meet the energized Chef Zach.

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