Ambrogio Little Italy Blog


We have recently been featured in Gambero Rosso

“Ambrogio15 is a project of three young italian entrepreneurs who studied Business Management at the San Diego State University. After the graduation, Giacomo Pizzigoni, Luca Salvi and Andrea Burrone decided to reedy in San Diego opening a pizzeria. Today they run 3 different locations, mixing Italian pizza, and classic Italian recipes. Ambrogio15 offers also a particular wine list consisting of wines imported boutique and well famous Italiani wineries. Villa Sandi Best Contemporary Wine List Award.”

View rest of article

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Pam Kragen writes about Semola. This weekend, the Milanese trio behind the popular Pacific Beach pizzeria Ambrogio15 will open a new restaurant that its owners hope will encourage San Diegans to not only re-examine Italian cooking but also the concept of fine dining.

Semola, the Ambrogio15 Gastronomy Project will open Saturday evening in the former PrepKitchen restaurant space at 7556 Fay Ave. in La Jolla. The menu — featuring mostly locally sourced ingredients — will mix contemporary pasta dishes created by a Michelin-starred chef in Italy, with gastronomic influences from Argentina, Japan and South Korea. With six chefs and initially just 35 outdoor seats, Semola will offer a fine dining experience at market prices, according to Giacomo Pizzigoni, who co-founded the Milano Five Group in 2016 with partners Andrea Burrone and Luca Salvi.

“Italian cuisine in San Diego has been butchered. We want to show what Italy is right now,” Pizzigoni said. “This will be fine gastronomy in a casual setup. We’re not doing crazy stuff with the food, we’re just elevating it.”

Although the pandemic wasn’t great for Milano Five Group’s ventures at the Little Italy Food Hall, Pizzigoni said it did help the company redefine its place in the San Diego restaurant community. In December, the group closed one of its booths at the Little Italy Hall, the first iteration of Semola, a quick-service pasta bar that struggled to succeed with the repeated pandemic-related shutdowns and loss of tourism.

Meanwhile, the Ambrogio15 location in Pacific Beach had its best year ever, with the community embracing the neighborhood eatery that in 2020 expanded its outdoor seating and its menu to include some cutting-edge takes on pizza. Pizzigoni said both experiences taught him and his partners that the low-end, express route was not the direction they want to move.

Early last year, they signed a consulting partnership with Silvio Salmoiraghi, who helms the Michelin-starred Ristorante Acquerello, a modern Italian restaurant just outside of Milan. Salmoiraghi was a protégé of the late Gualtiero Marchesi, the Milanese chef known as the founder of modern Italian cuisine. Since 2003, Salmoiraghi has launched two Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe.

Pam Kragen, San Diego Union Tribune – May 19th 2021

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The team behind San Diego’s expanding Ambrogio15 restaurant group unveiled their newest dining concept Ciao Ciao Piadina, an Italian speciality sandwich restaurant and aperitivo focused natural wine bar set that opened in La Jolla on April 1.

Milan-turned-San Diego residents Giacomo Pizzigoni, Andrea Burrone and Luca Salvi opened the flagship Ambrogio15 on Turquoise Street in San Diego’s North Pacific Beach community in August 2016. The team expanded in 2018 with a stall within the Little Italy Food Hall and also has plans in place for a micro-version of Ambrogio15 to debut within Del Mar Highlands Town Center‘s incoming, 20,000 square-foot, multi-restaurant food hall called The Sky Deck. The Ambrogio boys have no plans on slowing down and will also be launching Semola The Ambrogio15 Pasta Bar in the former PrepKitchen space in La Jolla later this this year.

Ciao Ciao Piadina will open in partnership with longtime friends of the Ambrogio team, Francesco Burnazzi and Lauren Turton. The group has redesigned the 1,200-square-foot space that last housed Poke Go on Pearl Street in La Jolla to have a playful interior space with a pink bar, fun murals and pink velvet booths, as well as outdoor patio seating, perfect for Aperitivo. The menu is centered around piadina, which is an Italian flatbread sandwich from the region of Emilia-Romagna. Expect a variety of sandwiches like the #1 with Parma prosciutto, crescenza cheese and baby arugula, and the #4 with red beet hummus, vegan mozzarella, grilled veggies and balsamic reduction. The menu will be rounded out with a variety of salads, sides like Italian poke and vegetable crudités, and dessert items like a pink canoli and tiramisu panna cotta.

The team is now ready to welcome you to their new venture, for Aperitivo and Piadina in this picturesque instagram friendly decor.

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The glorious tradition of aperitivo, the Italian custom of whiling away an afternoon or evening with a glass of vino in hand and some complimentary snacks from the bar, has arrived in downtown La Jolla via Ciao Ciao Piadina, which opens this Thursday, April 1 on Pearl Street. The team behind the highly-anticipated bar and social club includes the owners of Ambrogio15 pizzeria, which is soon expanding to Del Mar Highlands, and Semola, their fast-casual pasta spot that’s reopening next month in the former Prepkitchen La Jolla space.

At Ciao Ciao Piadena, the stretch between 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. will be dedicated to aperitivo, offering $29 or $39 sets that include one drink plus unlimited free finger foods and small bites like olives, bruschetta, and imported meats and cheeses. Additional drinks, from natural and biodynamic wines including a private label prosecco to a range of spritzes, can be ordered a la carte along with any plates off the daytime menu, which centers around flatbread sandwiches called piadina, one of the official food products of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, as well as salads and other light snacks.

The 1,200-square-foot restaurant and bar, which will have both indoor and outdoor seating, plans to eventually extend its hours to include a breakfast menu of coffee and Italian pastries.

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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.

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Black and White Truffle Dinner

Dear Ambrogio15 Friends, it’s been too long since our last wine dinner! This is why we decided to organize something very special and celebrate the ’19 fall season with the most iconic Italian gourmet food, “His Majesty” the TRUFFLE!

We offer a 6-course dinner to showcase this versatile product in 6 different styles, and we’ll end with a boom… a Pizza with White Truffle from Alba, the most precious and finest of all!

And let’s not forget about the wine… what else could we pair with this beauty if not the boldest reds from the two most important regions in Italy for truffles?

Yes, you guessed it right, we’ll take you on a wine journey to discover some of the best boutique Barbaresco, Barolo and Sagrantino di Montefalco!

Price will be $99 per guest (Tax and Grat. not included), for 6 courses and 6 wines.

Dinner will start at 7:00 pm

Black and White Truffle Dinner

OCTOBER 29th 2019

We are planning a very special Truffle Dinner on October 29th 2019 at Ambrogio Pacific Beach. Therefore, we encourage reservations. We are offering a single time available for you to place your reservations on this special night. Please fill in the form below to proceed.


Black and White Truffle Menu

Tartare di Manzo con Tartufo a Scaglie
Prime Tenderloin Beef Tartare topped with Shaved Black Truffle

Nuvola Porchetta, Fonduta di Pecorino Extra-Vecchio e Olio al Tartufo Bianco
Sotf, fluffy Focaccia topped with Pork Roast, Extra Aged Pecorino Romano Fondue and White Truffle Oil

Scrocchiarella Speck, Taleggio e Crema al Tartufo Nero
Crunchy Whole-Wheat Focaccia stuffed with Speck, Taleggio Cheese and Black Truffle Cream

Pizza Burrata Tartufata, Porcini e Pomodoro Giallo
Pizza with Yellow San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Porcini Mushrooms and Black Truffle Burrata Cheese 

Pizza con Impasto al Tartufo, Zucca Gorgonzola e Noci
Pizza with a special Black Truffle Dough, Pumpkin Sauce, Gorgonzola Cheese and Walnuts

Pizza Bianca con Asparago Bianco, Uova di Quaglia, Prosciutto di Parma e Tartufo Bianco
Pizza with Mozzarella Fiordilatte, White Asparagus, Quail Eggs, Prosciutto Crudo di Parma aged 20 Months and Shaved WHITE TRUFFLE from Alba, Piemonte


Wine Pairings

In partnership with our friend Marina Snow, owner of DOCG Imports and Sommelier, we’ll offer the following wine selection:

Barbera d’Alba DOC, Mainerdo, Piemonte ‘15
Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC, Villa Penna, Piemonte ‘12
Barbaresco Gudru’ DOCG, Mainerdo, Piemonte ‘15
Montefalco Rosso DOC, Fattoria Colleallodole, Umbria ‘16
Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, Fattoria Colleallodole, Umbria ‘15
Barolo DOCG, Villa Penna, Piemonte ‘12

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Jacques Calame, the General Manager of Ambrogio15, began working in the hospitality industry at the age of 16 in an Italian deli in Salt Lake City, Utah.

After high school, Jacques moved to San Diego to pursue a biology degree at San Diego State University. While studying for his Bachelors degree, he continued to work in hospitality at large concert venues to help finance his education, finishing as  the VIP supervisor at Levy Restaurants.

After receiving his Bachelors of Science degree from SDSU, Jacques continued to take multiple extra curricular science classes at SDSU and the University of California San Diego including Immunology, Microbiology, Phlebotomy and Analytic Chemistry. However, he found that he was drawn to the fast pace and friendly people in the hospitality industry. Fortunately, at about this time, the owners of Ambrogio15, Giacomo Pizzigoni, Luca Salvi and Andrea Burrone, asked him to join them, as Ambrogio15’s first employee, at the inception of Ambrogio15.

Jacques Calame has dedicated himself to promote and execute the vision of the Ambrogio15 Milano Pizza Experience which is to provide high quality Italian food and wine in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Favorite Appetizer

Bresaola e Parmigiano: A dish traditionally served with thinly sliced cured beef,  fresh arugula, aged Parmigiano Reggiano and seasoned with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  “It’s a simple, salty, and savory dish that I fell in love with while visiting Milan to see a close friend that I met through Ambrogio15.“

Favorite Hobby

Hitting golf balls at the driving range right before sunset.  “At dusk, it’s refreshing looking over the freshly cut grass with the San Diego Sunset in the background.  At this time of day it’s impossible to see the shot, thus the only way to know the ball was hit well is by feel. The combination of nature’s beauty enveloping me while I focus solely on the mechanics of my swing is extremely relaxing.”

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Brunello di Montalcino Wine Experience

with Dog Rescue Fundraising Auction

Dear friends, join us for our annual Christmas Brunello Wine Dinner on Tuesday December 17th at 6 pm at Ambrogio15 Pacific Beach

This year we’d like to do something to give back to the community to show our appreciation for your incredible support over the years!

We’ll host a very unique dinner centered around the most iconic Italian Wine, the Brunello di Montalcino, and after that an auction of unique and special boutique wines will take place to support the Dog Rescue Foundation of our dear friend Steve, Labs&More Rescue.

The auction proceeds will go to the Foundation to support their incredible efforts to help our furry friends.

In partnership with DOCG Imports, we’ll offer 4 different vintages of this incredible red from Tuscany, produced by il Bosco di Grazia, a boutique winery in Montalcino (2013, 2012 Riserva, 2009 and 2008)

All the wines will pair gourmet pizzas created for the occasion by our Executive Chef

Price will be $ 89 per person (before tax and gratuity) and will include 4 wines and 4 dishes.

Tuesday December 17th 2019

Brunello di Montalcino Menu

In partnership with DOCG Imports, we’ll offer 4 different vintages of this incredible red from Tuscany, produced by il Bosco di Grazia, a boutique winery in Montalcino (2013, 2012 Riserva, 2009 and 2008)

All the wines will pair gourmet pizzas created for the occasion by our Executive Chef

The Charity

Labs and More Rescue is Southern California’s fastest growing and most active dog rescue. Our volunteers work to rescue over 1,300 dogs each year finding them forever homes in and around San Diego. In just 8 short years our volunteers have worked to give hope to over 8,800 dogs in need of a chance at life. These rescued dogs were often on their last day of life in a shelter, on the streets, or abandoned by their owners. You can help in so many ways!”

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Article by Candice Woo from Eater San Diego

As we move towards a new culinary year, Italian eatery Ambrogio15 is declaring its ambitions for 2020 — to create the best gourmet pizza experience in the United States. To help reach that goal, co-owners Giacomo Pizzigoni, Andrea Burrone, and Luca Salvi have partnered with a powerhouse team who will be winging their way to San Diego next month. The Milan natives have entered into an agreement with famed chef Silvio Salmoiraghi, whose Ristorante Acquerello, located in the town of Fagnano Olona in the Lombardy region of northern Italy just 20 minutes from Milan, holds a coveted Michelin star.

Founded in Pacific Beach in 2016, Ambrogio15 has expanded to include a quick-service pizza stand at the Little Italy Food Hall as well as fast-casual pasta shop Semola. In addition to an aperitivo bar in La Jolla, the group is also planning another location for Ambrogio15 that is set to debut in April at The Sky Deck at Del Mar Highlands Town Center, a new upscale food collective.

The 35-seat space, styled after Milan landmarks including its main piazza and the dramatic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade, will be the first place that diners can taste the results of the collaboration with the Michelin star restaurant but the new dishes will also make their way to the Pacific Beach location.

Michelin Star
photo by Stefano_Borghesi

Approaching Ambrogio15’s signature pizza dough as a blank canvas, the new pizzas will be developed through a creative process that “pays homage to its Italian roots…and contemporary state-of-the-art Italian cuisine”. Rooted in respect for ‘materia prima’, or the raw material, the chefs will employ both regional Italian products as well as San Diego-sourced ingredients to innovate its pizzas. Salmoiraghi will coordinate with his Ristorante Acquerello collaborators including Paolo Tucci from Piedmont’s University of Gastronomic Sciences and Choi Cheolhyeok, a Korean chef who could also apply some Asian influences to the menu.

Along with its core menu of pizza and salads, the Sky Deck outposts will feature focaccia and other specials cooked in the gas-fired oven. Ambrogio15 has been a champion of natural wine culture in San Diego and the bar will offer close to 100 Italian natural wines.

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Michelle Parente from the San Diego Union Tribute has given her verdict about the best pizza in San Diego in 2020. We did not get informed of her article, now she already voted our Prosciutto Crudo Burrata Pizza as her top bite of 2018. So when we saw the article, we knew good things were coming to us.

Here is what Giacomo Pizzigoni had to say about the article and the result:

We literally worked our ass off for the past 4 years to get where we are now. This award means a lot to us!
Our passion and respect for Italian cuisine and gastronomy, for the biodiversity and the culture of our amazing Country, for the raw materials we use, for the pairings we do and for our pizza is the secret of our success! And we could’t have done that without an amazing team. And, most of all, without all of YOU that have been pushing us to get better and better! Now let’s focus on the new Ambrogio, coming soon to the Del Mar. It will bring pizza to a whole new level!

Ambrogio15 Pizza is downright a labor of love. Our cooks that make our dough with attention and let it proof to perfection for 48 hours. Our Chefs that make sure that your Pizza is cooked perfectly every time. The three owners who are in our two locations every day and ensure that everything that goes smoothly. Our manager and servers that have the pleasure to assist you in ordering the perfect dish. They all work extremely hard every day. Have been doing so the past four years. Being named at the top of the list like this is very gratifying.

Screenshot of the Article

Was San Diego the #1 city for Pizza in 2013?

Now, let’s put some background to all this. in 2013, Trip Advisor named San Diego as the #1 city for Pizza in America. And New York #4. New York is supposedly the landmark for Pizza in the American culture. Why? Because of the quantity of Italian immigrants that arrived through Ellis Island at the turn of the last century. This poll caused rage in New York. Insults flying towards other cities who were not even trying to claim supremacy. Instead of rage and supremacy, we will tell the story of three friends from Milano that arrived in the United States through San Diego Airport.

At the turn of the century, or even in 2013 in San Diego, Ambrogio15 was not there. Our three owners opened up the Pacific Beach location Ambrogio15 in 2016. The success of this first location got them to open the second location in Little Italy Food Hall and now for 2020, we will be opening a third location in Del Mar. This Del Mar project is special for us, as to bring even more the Gourmet aspect in Pizza, we are partnering with famous Michelin Star Chef Silvio Saimoiraghi.

Trip Advisor Users Best Restaurant in San Diego

Back to Trip Advisor, and its users, that have been ranking Ambrogio15 as #1 restaurant in San Diego for the past couple years. We have consistent wonderful ratings from our Yelpers, and people reviewing us on Google. We appreciate every single one of you and therefore thank you for eating with us on a regular basis.

Having the support of the community has been great since day one and it is our biggest pride. However, being credited by the press with the Best Pizza in San Diego is an honor. We are very proud to receive it, and therefore we thank Michelle Parente and The Union Tribune. We really appreciate topping this list, and in conclusion, we are doing this for YOU!

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