Semola in La Jolla has relaunched as Ambrogio by Acquerello, introducing all-new dishes designed to align with the restaurant’s Michelin fine dining ambitions. Famed chef Silvio Salmoiraghi and his team from Italy’s Michelin-starred Acquerello (including chef-partner Choi Cheolhyeok, sous chef Davide Colombo, and gastronome Paolo Tucci) have now fully partnered with the Ambrogio15 group, ensuring that one of its chefs will be rotating between Italy and running the Fay Avenue kitchen.
Salmoiraghi is currently on hand for the restaurant’s launch, overseeing a new tasting menu that showcases his wide culinary experiences in Italy, France, Japan, and Korea. Highlights include the cauliflower mushrooms with seabass ceviche in seawater, white chocolate with Osetra Reserve caviar and melon, and the scrumptious but simple linguine served with 24-month-aged parmigiana.
Each of its seven-course tasting menus has been whimsically named; customers will be able to choose the meat option, “Dancing with the Stars” or the vegetarian/vegan selection, “A Walk in the Garden.” There’s also a Grand Piatti Dello Chef, a large plate for sharing that’s focused on meat or fish. The wine pairings come from small Italian vineyards the restaurant group has partnered with. Chief marketing officer Fabio Rauscher Bascon tells Eater that 80 percent of their customers picked the chef’s tasting menu in their previous incarnation as Semola. As the relaunched Ambrogio by Acquerello, the team wanted to focus on “creating a dining experience like no other” with weekly rotating menus.
The chef’s table in the private kitchen/living room space accommodates six people comfortably. A sleek bright yellow indoor dining room, designed by Stefania Sciomachen, is adjacent to the kitchen. The covered patio provides a cozy atmosphere and a newly refurbished dreamy European-style terrace sits underneath fairy string lights.
While the group still runs Ambrogio15 in Pacific Beach, Little Italy, and Skydeck, they will also be opening a new Ambrogio location in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Ambrogio by Acquerello Sample Menu