The Chef Of The Trip Advisor #1 Rated Restaurant In Rome Just Opened Maestoso In San Diego

Following several months of construction along University Avenue in Hillcrest, Italian eatery Maestoso has completed a soft opening to a limited audience this last Thursday, and will fully open its doors to the public on Monday, March 5.  Built out in a prime location within The Hub Hillcrest Market at 1040 University Avenue, Maestoso is an intensely chef-driven restaurant that will introduce new Italian concepts such as pinsa and passaggi to San Diego’s dining scene.

Maestoso is the aptly-named project of chef-owner Marco Maestoso, who has found global success while cooking for former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Donatella Versace. An alumnus of Rome, Italy’s prestigious Gambero Rosso culinary school, while living in New York City in 2013, Chef Marco was praised by national media for his series of sold out pop-up dinners served in his small apartment.

In 2015, he opened his first restaurant Casa Maestoso, which spent more than five months in the number one spot on Trip Advisor’s list of the more than ten-thousand restaurants in Rome. New restaurant, Maestoso, will lightly model its predecessor while simultaneously embracing San Diego’s laid back dining culture.


Maestoso is co-founded by Chef Marco’s longtime partner Dalila Ercolani, with whom he moved to San Diego in 2017, as well as childhood friends Christopher Antinucci and Giulia Colmignoli, well known throughout San Diego for their successful Napizza restaurant group, and Christopher’s brother and professional race car driver Richard Antinucci.

Maestoso will be open daily at 4:30 p.m. and will debut novel concepts alongside comfort food favorites in a four-part menu, including Chef Marco’s own innovation: the Italian concept of passaggi, translating to “to pass by” and equating to daily chef’s whims offered directly by the chefs to guests’ tables.

Passaggi will round out Chef Marco’s ambitions for a true chef-to-table dining concept, complimented by Italian wines and San Diego craft beers.

Maestoso’s 2,000+ square foot interior will be centrally anchored by an open kitchen where Chef Marco and fellow chefs will create each day’s fresh fare in view of guests. A warm, modern industrial design complete with an open island kitchen, a copper accented wine display, and a majestic chandelier will span the indoor dining room, which will seat up to sixty guests.

Outside, a 1,000 square foot wraparound patio featuring a fire pit will seat up to thirty guests.

We can’t wait to give it a try!

See you there!

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