Rusticucina To Bring "Farm-To-Neighborhood" Italian Fare To San Diego's Hillcrest Starting Next Week

January 28, 2020

A partnership project from Sicilian-born chefs behind Giardino Neighborhood Cucina in Lemon Grove and Gaslamp's Osteria Panevino, Rusticucina is a Sicilian-inspired "farm-to-neighborhood" eatery opening next week in the 3,000 square-foot Hillcrest space last occupied by Sirens Seafood Restaurant.

Late last year, Sicilian-born chefs and co-owners Vincenzo Loverso and Executive Chef Marco Provino took over the standalone space on the outskirts of San Diego's Hillcrest that previously housed Frankie "The Bull" Terzoli's short-lived Sirens Bar & Restaurant to open a new Italian restaurant dubbed Rusticucina. Loverso is an experience area restaurateur who owns and operates such San Diego eateries as Greystone The Steakhouse, Osetra The Fishhouse, Osteria Panevino, The Butcher's Cut, Fresh Catch Market & Grill, Farmer's Table, and is in the process of opening Saltwater in the Gaslamp corner unit that housed Cohn Restaurant Group's Blue Point Coastal Cuisine for 24 years. Provino, who will act as Executive Chef of the new project, currently operates Giardino Neighborhood Cucina in Lemon Grove and also opened Verandina in 2018 in Imperial Beach, although the latter closed within a 9 month period. Native Italians Antonino Cusimano and Mariano Liga are also partners on the Rusticucina project.

Rusticucina will offer a seasonally changing, Sicilian-influenced menu with an eclectic array of dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Expect a warm ambiance with a plant-lined interior and a lush, dog-friendly outdoor patio. The name reflects the merging of American and Sicilian cultures, and the eatery will offer a traditional Italian-style "aperitivo" happy hour, with a full bar and a globally-curated wine list. The menu will be centered around rustic cuisine, with all pasta and desserts made in-house, along with a variety of entrees and a list of pizzas and flat breads. Expect features like tableside cheese wheel pasta service, weekday lunch service, and brunch Friday through Sunday.

Rustica Cucina will open on Monday, February 3, at 11:30am at 3797 Park Boulevard on the border of Hillcrest and North Park. For more information, visit and check out the dinner, brunch and lunch menus below.