Maestoso is Pure Food Passion – Co-owners Michelin-trained Executive Chef Marco Maestoso and Director of Business Operations Dalila Ercolani have created a unique Italian food experience in Hillcrest. Maestoso’s features Pinza (Pizza) ($17), La Pasta ($17), and Home Staples ($9-28) and a Passaggi cart pushed around by one of six other chefs as well as an extensive Italian wine list with many by the glass options (Red, White, and Rose). The chef manned Passaggi cart offers small plates (~$7) with ~9 weekly staples and ~5 daily specials in lieu of appetizers. The rotating Passaggi menu items allow the mastermind chefs to keep their creative juices flowing.
One can set at the chef’s bar and watch food come alive. A highlight was watching Chef Marco make a pinza or hand cooking a duck breast with torch. Speaking of pinzas, their dough consists of 17 grains imported from Rome, hand mixed with rice flour and finished in semolina and is leavened for 100 hours resulting in an airy, light, and crunchy crust. The extended leavening prevents bloating after eating pizza.
Frank and Rico enjoyed a La Mortazza pinza featuring mortadella and tomato medley and Melanzana di Casa pinza with eggplant. We then had Tagliatelle with house tomato sauce, sundried tomato emulsion, and cherry tomato tartare and Strozzapreti con braised oxtail, diced mirepoix, wine and confit tomato stock, and bitter cocoa. The handmade pastas perfectly cooked al dente style were just as impressive as the pinzas. Next, the Risotto Milanese with saffron, fork split veal ossobuco, and a red wine demi-glaze and a Passaggi plate of coffee-rubbed beef carpaccio with blue cheese, onions, and capers. Dinner concluded with Pancetta in an Italian meringue hand torched with lemon glaze and Guanciale (pork cheek). It looked like a perfect sunny side up egg with bacon crumbles but instead an amazing pancetta. Our evening was paired with Symphae Monferrato and Pedres Vermentino white wines and Batasiolo Barbera and a Cascina Langhe Nebbiolo red wines. Thank you Chef Marco and Dalila for an amazing evening of passion and excellence. #tasteofwineandfood#franktowaf#ricotowaf#hillcrest#sandiego#maestoso