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Drago Centro

Number 3 on our list of Best New Restaurants of 2009

Photograph by Gina Sabatella

It’s important for a city to have a place with towering splays of flowers, high ceilings, plate glass windows, and sweetbread agnolotti bathed in golden veal broth. It’s important to feel urban. Though Sicilian, Celestino Drago has always had a fascination with a formality that you don’t associate with the olive groves and easy living of the south. What results are dishes that are rigorously composed yet laced with the robust flavors of his native island. The salt cod cake, dense with juicy flakes of fish, is brought into relief with caper berry gremolata. The hard durum pastas are startling for their unadorned power. There is something essential about Italy itself in the lightly scored surface of the garganelli, dressed only with pork sausage and dusted with fennel seeds. Drago’s heart may be in the turquoise waters of Sicily, but Drago Centro is pure Milan.

»525 South Flower Street // Downtown // 213-228-8998 or dragocentro.com