East Coast cool has arrived. With outstanding food, impeccable service and New York ambiance, the first West Coast outpost of the famed Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse empire is delighting palates and patrons in O.C. As a chef and restaurant critic, I eat out a lot. So when an experience like Davio’s delivers cuisine and service at this level, I pay attention. The 10,000-square-foot, beautifully appointed eatery, housed in the former Prego space on Von Karman Avenue in Irvine, has been completely revamped with a chic air of elegance. And the buzz began from the moment it opened.
Chef-proprietor Steve DiFillippo is a powerful force in the restaurant industry. At the age of 24, he opened the first Davio’s in Boston’s trendy Back Bay, and 10 locations later, he hails as a Restaurant Hall of Fame inductee and a published author, who has been praised for his tremendous commitment to hospitality and service. DiFillippo’s roots are steeped in the Boston food culture, and Davio’s caters to a celeb crowd—think Jennifer Lopez and Michael Keaton—in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Manhattan and now, Irvine. Anticipate an exceptional experience because Davio’s is all about the warmth of a welcome. DiFillippo pridefully shares that they banned the word “employee” at his restaurants, instead calling the team “inner guests” because “the words you use to refer to your staff and customers can make all the difference in how they feel.”