Maestoso on the news

Maestoso Is a Rewarding Taste of Rome, and Equally Confusing to Navigate

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It smells like well-warmed dough and freshly cracked pepper. So much cracked pepper. Pepper is the official love dust of Rome. It tickles the air in Maestoso. The air is also full of Italian. Most of Maestoso’s staff speaks the mother tongue, dabbling in essential restaurant English. Most of them have been imported for this project by chef Marco Maestoso. Once, when the Italian soccer team played an exhibition match in San Diego, the chefs watched out the window until they spotted the team jet (an unmarked white charter) fly over Hillcrest. Chef Marco told one of his cooks to hop on his motorcycle and hunt the team down at the airport...

— Troy Johnson

The Best Things I Ate This Month: November 2018

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Roman chef Marco Maestoso is spearheading a new “chef-to-table” idea over at this airy, modern spot in Hillcrest. Sit on the shaded patio. Chefs roll carts around featuring specials of the day, each with a price displayed. Definitely try the pinsa, which is a rice flour, soy, and wheat riff on pizza that eats so much lighter (and with less wheat/gluten) than a regular pizza crust. But then splurge on the risotto, because eating light forever is being sad forever. On a base of 40-month old “vacche rosse” Parmesan cheese risotto (made from red and white Italian cows), an American Wagyu is set in the middle of dish, covered with house demi-glace.

— Troy Johnson

The Best of San Diego 2018

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Yes, you can order from the menu, but the fun of eating at this Hillcrest spot is picking dishes straight from carts that the chefs wheel around the space. Think of it as an Italian spin on dim sum. The passaggi (Italian for “to pass by”) are daily creations that range from vegetable appetizers to cacio e pepe gnocchi. The pastas are made in-house with free-range eggs and top-notch flour. Make sure to try their pinsa, a pizza ancestor made with wheat and rice flour. For more in-depth dining, belly up to the bar, where you can watch the chefs work.

— Erin Meanley Glenny, Christine Pasalo, Sarah Pfledderer, And Archana Ram, With Kimberly Cunningham, Tania Luviano, Kai Oliver-Kurtin, And Ann Wycoff

San Diego’s Best New Restaurants of 2018

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Opening this past March in Hillcrest, Maestoso’s a welcome arrival to a neighborhood that years ago ignited San Diego’s restaurant renaissance. You’ll find many classic Italian dishes on the menu, reinterpreted through a more modern lens, including a typical Roman street food called a pinsa, (a type of flatbread made with rice and flour). Maestoso employs a “chef-to-table” concept where the chefs rotate through the kitchen and onto the serving floor, where they take orders, serve customers and rotate back in to cook the dishes. During service, a small plates cart roams the restaurant, serving of-the-moment dishes that add a seasonal element of surprise to each meal.

— Jackie Bryant

Hillcrest’s New Genre-Bending Restaurant Has Food on Carts and Chefs As Servers

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Maestoso, a new restaurant aiming to deliver a different style of dining, has arrived at The Hub Hillcrest Market. Roman chef-owner Marco Maestoso landed in San Diego last year after stints in San Francisco and Los Angeles; his background includes a degree from Italy’s famous Gambero Rosso culinary school, an acclaimed pop-up dinner series in New York City, training in Michelin-star kitchens and his own fine dining restaurant, Casa Maestoso, in Rome.....

— Candice Woo

5 Most Exciting New Restaurants

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Chef-owner Marco Maestoso found global success cooking for former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. He opened Casa Maestoso in 2015, which spent five months at the top of Trip Advisor’s list of more than 10,000 restaurants in that city. At Maestoso in S.D., chefs take turns delivering specialties such as the pinsa, a fluffy, ancient Roman forerunner of pizza, and Italian-style poutine made with butternut squash fries. Reservations go quickly, but the 20-seat chef’s counter is first come, first served.....

— Andrea Bennett, Casey Hatfield-Chiotti, Darlene Horn and Ann Wycoff

A Real Taste of Italy in San Diego

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Walk into the new Maestoso in Hillcrest, and experience a real taste of Italy in San Diego. A young Italian staff greets you at the door, and passaggi, a unique concept that is essentially dim sum-style daily appetizers, are yours for the asking. A prime place to sit is at the “chef’s counter” with views into the open kitchen. “We built it ourselves just two weeks before opening the restaurant, says Roman chef-owner Marco Maestoso....

— Maria Desiderata Montana

Roman fervor

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Don’t be the sad person who walks into Maestoso expecting a quiet dinner. The restaurant, complete with a rolling food cart, an open kitchen, and an army of extroverted Italian waiters, qualifies as one of the liveliest and most unique Italian establishments San Diego has seen in a while. A stylized “M” above the entrance marks the spot for Maestoso, the restaurant. Located in the Hub Hillcrest Market, it’s one of those places fraught with a tricky spelling and pronunciation. Say “my-stozo” and you’re on the right track....

— Frank Sabatini Jr.

Chef-to-Table Restaurant Opens in Hillcrest

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A new Italian restaurant, Maestoso, will offer a unique dining experience: chefs will both cook and serve guests their meals—a concept called “chef-to-table.” Roman chef Marco Maestoso founded this new restaurant alongside his partner, Dalila Ercolani, friends Christopher Antinucci and Giulia Colmignoli of NaPizza restaurant group, and Antinucci’s brother and professional race car driver Richard Antinucci. Maestoso is known for the now closed Casa Maestoso in Rome and highly regarded pop-up diners in New York City.....

— Lara McCaffrey

San Diego’s First ‘Chef-to-Table’ Restaurant Opening in Hillcrest

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San Diego’s first “chef-to-table” restaurant, with a team of chefs both cooking and serving customers, opens Monday in Hillcrest. Chef-owner Marco Maestoso’s namesake Italian restaurant, located in the Hub Hillcrest Market, will also introduce San Diego to pinsa — the Roman ancestor of pizza — and passaggi — daily chef’s whims offered directly to guests....

— Chris Jennewein

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

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New Hillcrest restaurant on University Ave is led by Chef Marco Maestoso of celebrated New York City pop-up dinners and Rome’s culinary scene. 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.....

— ThereSanDiego

Not your grandma’s cucina

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Maestoso, named for its 31-year-old executive chef Marco Maestoso, serves “anti-traditional” Roman-style cuisine. He says grandma’s Old-World recipes are a good starting point, but they can be vastly improved with new techniques and fine-dining flourishes.....

— Pam Kragen

Maestoso serves up modern Italian with a twist

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What happens when you take four restaurant owners from Rome and mix them together in the San Diego sunshine? Hopefully, in the case of Maestoso, it’s a recipe for success....

— Pam Kragen

Apps for Encounters of the Local Kind

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When Toni Finnimore, a 30-year-old from Brighton, a seaside city two hours south of London, came to New York City in mid-November, she wanted to hang out with locals. She had made the same trip seven years earlier and “found myself visiting every tourist attraction the city had to offer,” she said...

— Alyson Krueger

Eating with Strangers: What It's Like to Use the Airbnb of Dinner Parties

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There were no trappings of a party going on last night on Manhattan’s Upper East Side—no sign on the buzzer saying, “this way,” no music blaring in the hallway to indicate there was anything interesting going on inside 1C. But in a small apartment with a cramped, hot kitchen, a chef with a charming Italian accent was already preparing a meal for me and nine other people he had never met. The hosts, Marco and his girlfriend, Dalila, are part of a growing community that throws dinner parties for strangers through a website called Feastly...

— Noah Kaufman