Renowned Restaurateur Celestino Drago to Open Osteria Drago at Fashion Island

Acclaimed Los Angeles restaurateur and James Beard Foundation honoree Celestino Drago will open an exclusive new Italian restaurant, Osteria Drago, at Fashion Island in Newport Beach in spring, 2010. The namesake restaurant marks Drago’s first restaurant outside of Los Angeles.

Osteria Drago will be located adjacent to Nordstrom, also opening next spring, and will occupy more than 3,700 square feet, as well as offer patio dining. The restaurant will be an authentic osteria, known in Italy as a welcoming, personal and casually elegant restaurant serving lunch and dinner.

According to Drago, the menu will feature fresh, high quality and seasonal food from throughout Italy. Osteria Drago will offer a Naples-style wood burning pizza, and an assortment of dishes meant to be shared family-style by the entire table. Fresh pasta, baked dishes such as lasagna, specialties such as pumpkin stuffed tortellini, polenta, fish and game will be on the menu.

The restaurant will also have a wine bar with seating for approximately 25 patrons, with an extensive list of rare wines, and a bar menu with charcuterie and small plates available throughout the day.

“Osteria Drago will reflect one thousand years of Italian culture,” said Celestino Drago. “The menu will depict what I remember eating as a kid — basic yet quality food, fresh from the Farmer’s Market, with a beautiful presentation.”

Designed by Felderman Keatinge + Associates in Los Angeles, who designed the stunning Drago Centro in downtown Los Angeles, Osteria Drago will have an inviting and casual yet sophisticated atmosphere. Diners will be greeted by warm woods, and a rustic, Old World feel typically found in Italian Osterias. Distressed wood floors, marble, and stamped leather accents will be found throughout the restaurant.

“I’ve visited Fashion Island for more than 20 years and always enjoyed shopping and dining here,” said Drago. “I have a lot of customers at my LA restaurants that are from Orange County. I’m looking forward to being in the Newport Beach community and catering to the local customer — making them feel like family, as if they are dining in their own home.”

According to Keith Eyrich, President of Irvine Company Retail Properties, which owns Fashion Island, the addition of Osteria Drago is part of the major reinvestment the company recently announced.

“Bringing exciting new restaurants such as Osteria Drago to Fashion Island is part of Irvine Company’s on-going commitment to the center and local community,” said Eyrich. “The Fashion Island customer is a well-travelled and discriminating diner who has high expectations for dining experiences. Osteria Drago will provide this authentic and quality dining experience to the local community.”

Eyrich also noted that patio dining is popular at Fashion Island and enhances the guest experience.

“Fashion Island is a unique shopping experience that is known for its coastal location. Patio dining adds to that energetic, vibrant atmosphere. Later this fall, we plan to announce additional new restaurants with patio dining throughout the center.”

About Celestino Drago

From the defining kitchen of Celestino Drago’s childhood home in Sicily, this master chef has been creating sublime, memorable meals since coming to Los Angeles in 1979. Drago has a 25-year history of Italian culinary success in Los Angeles and has been touted as one of the Best Italian Chef’s in the U.S. by Bon Appetit and Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic Irene Virbila, as well as being named Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine, among other honors.

About Fashion Island

As Orange County’s premier coastal shopping experience, Fashion Island features specialty boutiques, world-class department stores and a wide assortment of restaurants and cafes. Visited by more than 13 million people annually, Fashion Island offers a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere that is distinctively Southern California.

Owned by Irvine Company, Fashion Island is home to Orange County’s only Neiman Marcus, as well as Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Home Store and Macy’s. Nordstrom will open at the center in spring, 2010 and a west coast flagship of Dean & DeLuca will also open in the first half of 2010. For more information, please visit