Show 418, March 27, 2021: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Los Angeles

Piero Salvaggio of Drago Centro

“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur / Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship has transcended to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles last year as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

“Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with restaurateur Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.”

Now that Drago Centro has again reopened for inviting patio dining (along with inside seating at the allowable 25 per cent capacity) nightly (except Sunday) the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

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Show 412, February 13, 2021: Factory Place Hospitality Group with Matteo Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana, Los Angeles

Matteo Ferdinandi and Angelo Auriana of the Factory Kitchen

Factory 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 (Ligurian cuisine) in Downtown Los Angeles.

The L.A. collection of establishments also includes Brera Ristorante and sixth+mill pizzeria. The Factory Kitchen (serving dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) and Brera Ristorante (serving Dinner nightly from Tuesday through Saturday) have reopened for patio dining. Brera reopens for lunch on February 16th. To-Go availability at both establishments continues.

Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi is the Beverage Director for both restaurants.

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

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Show 409, January 23, 2021: Chef & Restaurateur James Trees of Al Solito Posto, Las Vegas

James Trees of Ada's and Esthers Kitchen in Las VegasWe know Chef James Trees from Esther’s Kitchen in the Arts District of Las Vegas adjacent to Downtown. It’s Chef James’ interpretation of elegant Italian comfort food. “While Chef Trees is descended from Jewish Austrian wine merchants, growing up he spent a lot of time at his best friend Alfio’s house. “I love Italian food because of Alfio and his family,” says Trees. “That’s the food I grew up eating. My mom was always working and didn’t have time to make dinner, so whenever we were hungry we went to Alfio’s house. They’d be making lasagna or braciola, and pasta – there was always pasta. That’s my comfort food.””

Trees’ latest creation is the newly opened Al Solito Posto in Trivoli Village. Al Solito Posto which translates to “At the Usual Place” is an Italian Restaurant with a focus on the classics. The dinner only menu features house-made pasta, fresh ingredients and quality seafood, steaks and chops. Think a chef-driven minestrone, chicken piccata and cioppino.

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Show 388, August 29, 2020: Piero Selvaggio, Managing Partner, Drago Centro, Downtown Los Angeles Part One

Piero Salvaggio of Valentino Santa Monica“For over forty years, Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio (Valentino and Valentino Restaurant Group) and Restaurateur/Chef Celestino Drago of the famed Drago Brothers have been close friends, colleagues, and competitors in the thriving Los Angeles dining scene. Now, their longstanding relationship transcends to a proprietary level as Chef Celestino Drago officially has welcomed Piero Selvaggio to Drago Centro in Downtown Los Angeles as new Managing Partner!”

“Originally from Sicily, both Piero and Celestino met over forty years ago in Los Angeles when Celestino first came to the states. Piero opened the renowned Valentino, the flagship restaurant in his Valentino Restaurant Group in Santa Monica in 1972. Valentino was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. and credited with introducing Angelenos to true Italian food, fresh ingredients and new products. Also, introducing a new wave of Italian Chefs that in time built world-wide reputations on the their own.”

“Piero went on to build a multimillion-dollar restaurant empire garnering numerous James Beard Foundation awards for its wine list and service, along with critical acclaim for its food, wine, and service by top national publications. In 2018, after forty-five plus years, he decided to retire and close Valentino to look for new challenges. After launching Louie’s by the Bay (with Ron Salisbury) in Newport Beach, Piero met again with Celestino and started considering Drago Centro as the perfect venue for a new chapter.”

Now that Drago Centro has reopened for inviting patio dining the always gracious Piero Selvaggio returns with the update.

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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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