Our Story

Sandro Nardone was born in Atina, Italy, a small town between Rome and Naples.  He grew up in a family of chefs and from an early age, food was his passion.

His parents ran a small chain of restaurants together.  His mother, Giovanna, was the executive chef and hand made a range of charcuterie from pigs raised by an aunt.  She also produced her own olive oil from the family olive trees. Her polenta was so famous that the most important politician in Rome would visit the house to eat it.  His Aunt Angelina made the best Scamorza cheese in Italy. Pope John Paul II was one of her loyal customers.

Sandro studied cooking in Italy and later worked at several restaurants including the famous Al Mulino outside of Rome.  He spent every penny that he earned eating at the most innovative restaurants in Italy to learn more about modern Italian food.

In 2012, Sandro came to the United States and founded Angelina’s Pizzeria in Dana Point.  He was recognized as having some of the best brick oven pizza in Orange County, but his menu was limited by the size of the  kitchen and he was unable to truly expose Americans to the unique cuisine that he had spent years developing.

He created Bello in 2019 to bring that cuisine to the dining public.  Sandro’s cuisine has its roots in classic Italian cooking. It emphasizes simplicity, perfect seasonal ingredients and rigorous technique.  But it also uses Sandro’s restless creativity to provide new dishes, new twists on the classics.

Sandro knew that he would need one of Orange County’s best chefs to help him deliver on his vision and selected Frank DeLoach as his chef de cuisine.

DeLoach has tremendous culinary experience and a particular passion for Italian food.  DeLoach trained in Italy and has mastered some of the most elegant dishes in French, Spanish and Italian cuisine.  He has cooked some of the most innovative fare in Southern California at his stints at The Playground, Early Bird and Tavern on Two.  He was the winner on an episode of Cutthroat Kitchen and participated in a now classic episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri.

Top Italian restaurants are about more than just food and decor.  It is crucial to have skilled service with Italian charm. To achieve this, Sandro is also teaming up with an old friend, Roberto Marino, who is Bello’s general manager.  Marino was born in Naples, Italy and was previously at the highly successful Canaletto. He has worked in the restaurant business for over 30 years and is well loved by everyone who knows him.

Together, Nardone, DeLoach and Marino look forward to bringing a new experience to Orange County diners.  Classic Italian food the way it’s made in Italy. And modern Italian food like the food served in the top restaurants in Italy.  All in a space that is uniquely Italian. We look forward to hosting you.