Rodolfo Costella personifies the American dream – a self-made man who through hard work and perseverance became a successful businessman, husband and proud father, owning four thriving restaurants in California and Arizona.
Born near Venice, Italy, Costella began his hospitality career working in exclusive hotels throughout London and Paris before settling in Los Angeles in the early 1980’s. Here, he began as a waiter and worked his way up through the ranks at numerous restaurants, while developing a sound knowledge of the restaurant industry and what makes for a successful business.
In 1985, Costella opened Risi e Bisi, an Italian take-out concept that achieved immediate popularity. While continuing his ownership of Risi e Bisi, he was also the General Manager at the venerable Chianti Ristorante. Under Costella’s inspired leadership, Chianti and Chianti Cucina enjoyed its most prosperous seven years in its fifty year history.Passionate to open his own fine dining establishment, Costella partnered with fellow Venetian, Master Chef Antonio Tommasi and his partner, consummate restaurateur Jean Louis De Mori (Locanda Veneta, Ca’ Brea, Il’ Moro) in 1994 to launch Ca’Del Sole. With Costella’s attention to detail, gracious manner and fine Northern Italian cuisine, Ca’Del Sole became an instant success.
The comfortable, authentic Venetian country inn setting soon attracted the entertainment crowd and Ca’Del Sole quickly became the hot spot for Hollywood’s power brokers.With an eye toward the future, Costella opened Veneto Trattoria in Scottsdale a few years later with his long-time friend and associate, Roberto Rossi. During the first year in business, Veneto Trattoria was named “Best Italian Restaurant in Phoenix” by the Arizona News. Veneto Trattoria also features Northern Italian cuisine in a relaxed Venetian setting.In 2001, Costella purchased Moonshadows, a beachfront restaurant in Malibu, in partnership with Andrea Bullo and Franco Simplicio.
Costella and Bullo reinvented the restaurant with exciting eclectic new American cuisine, and created the very popular Blue Lounge. Within three years, Moonshadows became one of the most popular coastal destinations in Southern California. In 2004, Costella and Simplicio acquired a restaurant farther up the coast – another spectacular beachfront location at Zuma Beach. With a name change to The Sunset Restaurant and Beach Bar, a complete re-model, and an entirely new menu concept, The Sunset has become a prime location for weddings and special events, as well as a favorite dining destination. Rodolfo Costella has achieved his success by focusing on the total dining experience of his customers. He has always strived to provide good value, along with consistent food quality. “Our entire efforts are to bring great food and a memorable dining experience to every guest that walks into our restaurants”. As a classic American entrepreneur, Costella shares his passion through a group of fine restaurants, business partners and loyal employees.