Opened in September 2013, Filomena’s Italian Kitchen in Costa Mesa charms visitors with its cozy, intimate space filled with the sounds of glasses clinking and the occasional strains of live music. In the kitchen, executive chef-owner Linda Johnsen prepares rich, comforting cuisine that fills her patrons with nothing but good feelings.
Johnson, a self-taught cook, is bringing her Italian fare to the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival this October. She’s part of the lineup for Saturday’s Grand Tasting Pavilion (Oct. 3), offering attendees samples of a variety of dishes: Champagne chicken over white wine risotto; white wine risotto; fresh-made meatballs and penne pasta in the restaurant’s signature Sunday sauce; and mini cannoli.
Before the festival, which is held this year Oct. 2-4, get to know the woman behind the classic Italian comfort food.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH LINDA JOHNSEN
What’s the first dish you remember cooking?
Pasta e fagioli
Biggest culinary guilty pleasure?
Fresh lobster ravioli in a pink sherry cream sauce
Name one famous figure you’d most like to cook for.
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Three most important cooking tools?
Pasta machine, chef knifes, good cookware
2400 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa
NEWPORT BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
—Written by Allison Hata
Newport Beach Magazine is a sponsor of the 2015 Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival.