Maestoso is moving into The Hub at Hillcrest as early as February 2018. Named after Roman chef/owner Marco Maestoso, who moved to San Diego with partner Dalila Ercolani this year, the modern Italian restaurant is replacing the Hillcrest outpost of Napizza. Napizza founders Christopher Antinucci and Giulia Colmignoli, who are childhood friends of Maestoso and Ercolani, will be co-owners of this new eatery.
An alum of Gambero Rosso, the prestigious culinary school in Rome, Italy, Maestoso has trained with Michelin-star chefs and cooked for Italian luminaries; while living in New York City in 2013, he and Ercolani launched a well-received pop-up series that they’ve since taken all over the world. In 2015, the pair opened restaurant in Rome called Casa Maestoso.
The Hillcrest menu will feature a Roman-style street food called pinsa, a flatbread predecessor to pizza made with a blend of rice and wheat flour, along with build-your-own fresh pastas dishes ranging from pappardelle to rigatoni and lasagna. Maestoso will also serve up signature dishes, including pork tenderloin in dark cherry sauce and seared butternut squash “steak” with ginger beet puree, as well as daily chef’s whim specials called passaggi; the restaurant’s Instagram has examples of its modern plates. Italian and California wines plus local craft beers will also be offered.
The 2,000-square-foot interior, with seating for 60, will feature an open kitchen to showcase Maestoso and his culinary team. The restaurant will also have a wraparound patio with additional seating for up to 30 diners.