The Couple: Claudio and Adria Blotta, co-owners of Barbrix, Cooks County and All'Acqua
Claudio has been on the LA food scene filling just about every position - server, manager, wine director and owner - since 1981. He and wife Adria, an actress who was most recently in The Artist, own the Silver Lake wine bar, and opened Cooks County with another chef-couple Roxana Jullapat and Daniel Mattern (who recently left for new opportunities). They're opened their third restaurant, an Italian concept in Atwater Village, with Barbrix chef Don Dixon later this year.
How They Met: At Campanile. Adria was hired for a server position when Claudio, who was managing partner (a “very picky and skeptical” one, Adria adds), was out of town. “If you had told either of us we would date, let alone marry, we would have peed ourselves laughing at the absurdity,” she says. “We always joke that if Claudio had been in town, I would never have been hired.”
How Long They’ve Been Together: They’ve known each other since 2000, and started dating in 2002. “It took a year of pole dancing class for me to realize I should stop dating jerks and call Claudio,” Adria says. The whole affair - a misinterpreted invitation for drinks, avoidance, realization - was chronicled in her one-woman show, Strip Search.
Most Romantic Food Moment: Per Adria, “On our first Valentine's Day together, I somehow got the night off from Campanile. But the last thing two restaurant people want to do if they have Valentine's Day night off is go to a restaurant. Claudio drove from his beach cottage in Redondo to Campanile and brought us take out and we ate it sitting on the floor around his coffee table out of the to-go containers. And I proceeded to tell him I could never live in Redondo....”
How They’re Spending Valentine’s Day: At one or all of their restaurants. “He'll come over after the rush and give me a kiss," says Adria. "And then we usually order more food than two people can eat, sit at the two top in the bar area and feed the staff on duty. We even take requests from them! And we'll drink a dry Austrian or Loire Valley white wine, which we both love.”