Modern Italian Restaurant Heading Into The Hub In Hillcrest | Maestoso Takes Over Former NaPizza Space For 2018 Opening

December 11, 2017

Having launched an acclaimed NYC pop-up dinner series and opened what would become Rome’s number one restaurant for five consecutive months (beating out thousands of other eateries), world traveling chef-restaurateur Marco Maestoso has set his sights on San Diego and will open his second restaurant, Maestoso, in Hillcrest in partnership with the NaPizza in early 2018.

Maestoso is the project of Chef-Owner Marco Maestoso, who has found success around the world while cooking for names like former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Donatella Versace. Having graduated from the prestigious culinary school Gambero Rosso in Rome, Marco has worked alongside multiple Michelin starred chefs. While living in New York City in 2013, he was lauded by national media for launching a series of sold out pop-up dinners served in his own small apartment, and in 2015 he opened his first restaurant, Casa Maestoso, which spent more than five months as Trip Advisor’s number one restaurant in Rome, topping a list of thousands of eateries.

"I’m excited to open this new restaurant, Maestoso, in such a vibrant area of San Diego, and am looking forward to being able to share our Roman roots with the locals while using my culinary creativity to put San Diego on every foodie’s map," said Marco.

Most recently, Marco and partner Dalila Ercolani completed a world tour of their pop-up dinners in San Francisco and Los Angeles before moving to San Diego in 2017. Following this move, they reunited with childhood friends Christopher Antinucci and Giulia Colmignoli of San Diego’s NaPizza restaurant group, who also hail from Rome and will co-own Maestoso with Marco and Dalila. In partnership with the NaPizza team, Maestoso will open in The Hub Hillcrest Market in place of the recently-shuttered NaPizza eatery as early as mid-February 2018.

Maestoso’s menu will debut novel concepts alongside comfort food favorites in a four-part menu comprised of (1) pinsa, the Roman ancestor of pizza made with a blend of rice and wheat flour (2) build-your-own fresh pastas like pappardelle, rigatoni and lasagna (3) house favorites such as pork tenderloin in dark cherry sauce and seared butternut squash “steak” with ginger beet puree, and perhaps most notably (4) passaggi, an Italian term meaning “to pass by” and equating to daily chef’s whims offered directly by the chefs to guests’ tables. In particular, the passaggi will round out Marco’s ambitions for a true chef-to-table dining concept, complimented by Italian and California wines and local craft beers.

Artistic rendering of Maestoso's dining room
Maestoso’s 2,000+ square-foot interior will be centrally anchored by an open kitchen where Marco and fellow chefs will create each night’s fresh fare in view of guests. An industrial chic design will be seen throughout the indoor dining room, which will seat up to sixty guests. Outside, a wraparound patio will provide seating for up to thirty guests.

To get a glimpse at some of Maestoso's dishes, follow the company on Instagram at