After two years of pandemic delays, an ambitious Italian restaurant and bar created by two area families and named for their grandparents is set to open in La Jolla on Wednesday, August 31. Replacing Whisknladle on Wall Street, Marisi draws parallels between San Diego’s tony seaside village and the cliffside towns along Italy’s sweeping Amalfi Coast in its design and menu, with handmade pasta and wood-fired dishes highlighting local produce and seafood sourced from the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
The opening offerings from executive chef Chad Huff, whose experience includes a couple years each at the two-Michelin-starred Providence and acclaimed pasta spot Felix Trattoria, both in Los Angeles, include a summery agnolotti with corn and California crab, curly coil-shaped trottole in a Sicilian-style pesto made with almonds and tomato, and the Roman classic, pasta alla gricia. From a 10-foot brick and tiled hearth, Huff is also cooking up plates of local mackerel, squid, and rock fish as well as dry-aged American wagyu steaks, lamb chops, and chickens.
The bar program promises to hew to Italian traditions, featuring a wide variety of vermouth, homemade limoncello, and a drink list from Beau du Bois, Marisi’s VP of bar and spirits and an alum of the Restaurant at Meadowood, a three-Michelin-starred property in Napa, that includes martinis made tableside and iconic Italian cocktails like bellinis and negronis. Even the beer, custom-brewed for the restaurant, is a pilsner made in the Italian style.