Celestino fanatics have grown accustomed to the exuberant and warm greeting that welcomes them when they decide to spend a night dining with Calogero and his staff. If you are a new Celestino customer, this phenomenon awaits you. You will often notice an atmosphere that bursts with high energy and excitement, created by Calogero who dashes through the restaurant making his rounds from table to table. He treats everyone as family, with an animated story to tell, a kiss on the cheek or a “Ciao Bella,” which stems from his heritage. Calogero believes that an emphasis on customer service and building connections with diners is the key.
Food critic, Sophie Gayot, agrees with Calogero’s sentiment: “In LA, it is very tough to stay in business for a long time, and you have to find a way to attract people to your restaurant. The Drago Brothers make you feel like you are their friends or family so you are always welcome."
Calogero’s other focus is creating authentic Italian food, as he quickly discovered that Italian cooking in Los Angeles was inauthentic to his taste. He set out to change this by creating more traditional elements and dishes, combined with fresh ingredients. Coming from a farm, the Drago Brothers acquired a taste for fresh and organic ingredients, which is why they won’t have it any other way. They don’t believe in cutting costs by compromising the quality of the food to turn a profit. The Drago Brothers set out to show Los Angeles what true Italian and Sicilian cuisine consists of. Calogero has a very strong Sicilian influence in his dishes, exceeding expectations by providing the freshest seafood, house made pastas and organic meats. He takes a hands on approach when training his kitchen staff, and most evenings you will find him cooking up a storm and hustling out of the kitchen to personally hand your dish to you!