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Where Is a Great New Italian Deli?


Where can you go in OC to pick up the best Italian deli meats, sandwiches, meatballs, homemade pasta and fresh gelato? Lucky for you, chef and owner Linda Johnsen of the award-winning Filomena’s Italian Kitchen in Costa Mesa opened an Italian Market next door.  “There’s an Italian deli on every street corner where I grew up in Philadelphia and I missed not having one here.”  

Filomena’s named after Linda’s grandmother, is one of the best Italian restaurants in OC. It’s in an unassuming location on Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa, and worth seeking out. When she opened her restaurant in 2013, the goal was always to have a market alongside. Earlier this year, Filomena’s Italian Market opened finalizing her dream to offer a gourmet neighborhood market. It’s the place to stop by for antipasto, pizza dough, sauces, homemade pastas, lasagnas, deli meats, cheeses, Italian desserts, wines, and some of the best Italian sandwiches you’ll find in OC. Go for the South Philly-style hoagies loaded with meat (Capicola, Genoa Salami, Ham and Mortadella).  

The deli meats selection is extensive, you can pick up Jamon Iberico from Spain, imported prosciutto, cracked pepper turkey, raw pancetta, dry cured pork loin, Guanciale dry cured pork jowl, imported speck, hot and mild soprresatta, ham pepper, and mortadella with pistachio.

“One of our most popular items is our Sunday Sauce. When you grow up with an Italian grandmother, your nonna would cook a sauce all day long on Sunday-- the aroma would fill the house and you couldn’t wait for dinner. You’d eat that sauce all week long—we’d have spaghetti three nights a week! We cook our Sunday Sauce in the same way with the highest quality tomatoes and meat, and then we extract the meat at the end, but you get the delicious flavors.” The market also offers Bolognese and vegetarian marinara.

For dessert lovers, there’s even an in-house baker who makes Italian cookies, cakes, cannoli, tiramisu, sfogliatelle, mini puffs, and dreamy vasetto di crema. The recipe was even featured in the LA Times. It’s a chocolate custard meets mousse that is to die for. The premium gelato comes from Villa Dolce, and there's always a dozen flavors to choose from.  

Chef Linda was just named Second Most Favorite Female Chef in Orange County, under chef Zov Karamardian of Zov’s in Locale magazine. She’s so honored to be listed and right behind Zov, a chef icon!  And she will be competing against chef Pascal in an upcoming Battle of the Chefs on August 15 at the Fifth Rooftop Bar in the Grand Legacy at the Park, in Anaheim. Tickets are available here.

Open 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.  

2400 Newport Blvd. in Costa Mesa. 949.642.3810.

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