San Diego’s best-known Italian restaurateur trios are unveiling new culinary projects this week. The Milanese trio who launched Ambrogio15 pizzeria in Pacific Beach in 2016 have three new projects this spring: Ciao Ciao Piadina, an aperitivo/sandwich wine bar they’re opening today with two partners, as well as a reinvention of their Semola pasta bar concept in La Jolla and a more upscale Ambrogio15 location in Del Mar.
Ciao Ciao Piadina
Ciao Ciao Piadina is billed as a “social club,” where diners can enjoy a new take on the traditional Italian aperitivo service — pre-dinner drinks and unlimited appetizers — as well as piadina, which are the famous toasted flatbread sandwiches from the Italian coastal city of Rimini.
Semola, the Ambrogio 15 Pasta Bar
In mid-to-late April, the Ambrogio15 trio will open the new Semola, an elevated Milanese-style sit-down restaurant in the former PrepKitchen space at 7556 Fay Ave. in La Jolla. The partners originally launched Semola in 2019 as a quick-service pasta booth at the Little Italy Food Hall. But Pizzigoni said the experience convinced them that they’re not fast-food purveyors, so they closed the booth last fall.
The new restaurant, which will seat about 30 to 35 patio diners initially, will have a menu developed by Michelin-starred Italian chef Silvio Salmoiraghiand Italian gastronome Paolo Tucci. Head chef will be Daniela Martinez, formerly of Il Dandy and Ironside. Pizzigoni said the menu will feature modern Italian pasta dishes and entrees like veal Milanese that incorporate seasonal local ingredients at affordable prices.
Ambrogio15 Del Mar
On May 27, a new incarnation of Ambrogio15 pizzeria will open at the Sky Deck, a 20,000-square-foot upscale food hall a the Del Mar Highlands Town Center at 12925 El Camino Real in Carmel Valley. The 55-seat, indoor/outdoor restaurant, designed to resemble Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, will offer pizzas that Pizzigoni hopes will revolutionize pizza-making in California, if not the U.S. Semola’s menu developer, Salmoiraghi, has also created the recipes for the new Ambrogio15, that will combine unique doughs with gourmet, seasonal toppings. The restaurant will have its own sommelier.