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.
Director of Events
With more than fifteen years of experience in every aspect of events planning and- restaurant management, Natalya Starenkova has been part of the Ca’Del Sole family since 1999. Her great sense of style and enthusiasm in making every client’s event an affair to remember, has guests returning over and over.
Born near the Black Sea, Natalya remembers wanting to be a ship’s captain when she grew up. That dream fueled her desire to leave Russia and she traveled for a few years before landing in Los Angeles. She began her restaurant career at Le Petit Four in West Hollywood and where she was responsible for staff oversight, training and scheduling. She worked at several other hot spots before landing at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica in 1996. There, she worked as restaurant manager, overseeing a staff of 50 and was responsible for training, new revenue generation and VIP event planning among other duties.
Natalya enjoys working with people and helping them turn their ideas into a cohesive vision. She wants every event at Ca’Del Sole to be “perfection,” from start to finish.
During her off-time, Natalya enjoys adventure travel that includes hiking and especially practicing yoga.
Born in the Yucatan region of Mexico, Mario cannot remember when he didn’t want to work in the restaurant business. He moved to Los Angeles after completing school and began his L.A. career at Harry’s Bar in Century City, at the time one of the most sought after restaurant jobs due to its proximity to the ABC headquarters and the movers and shakers in neighboring office high rises.
At Harry’s, Mario quickly became indispensible. He worked his way up to head waiter and also doubled as a bartender. During this time, he worked a second job at the Beverly Rodeo Hotel, also as a head waiter and bartender. When Mario left Harry’s eight years later, he had been promoted to the position of captain where he oversaw the staff of 12 waiters.
In 1984, Mario was hired to work at the venerable Chianti Ristorante, again as head waiter. It was here that he met and worked with Rodolfo Costella, who came on board as the General Manager of Chianti in 1986. It turned out to be a stroke of luck for Mario. After eleven years at Chianti, Mario became part of the management team and joined Ca’Del Sole’s owner Costella when he launched the restaurant.