Growing up in northern Italy, my family cooked at home and had the most extraordinary experiences with ingredients grown in our backyard, paired with the wines my chef/restaurateur stepfather would bring back from regions throughout Italy. I fell in love with food as a child watching my stepfather, once nominated a top chef in Italy, work in restaurant kitchens and floors. It’s no surprise that when I came to California in 1991 to study finance, I quickly gravitated back to the restaurant business, and have worked in Italian restaurants here ever since.
Moving to Santa Monica and experiencing the Farmers Market inspired me to start Orto - Italian for “vegetable garden” - where I meld local ingredients and organic herbs grown here at the restaurant to create traditional Italian recipes. At our bar you’ll find a cocktail list created from fresh herbs and premium spirits, and our wine list focuses on sustainable and organic producers.
You’ll often find my wife and kids in the restaurant, continuing the culinary legacy of our Italian family. We welcome you with open arms and hope you’ll join us to experience our restaurant.