A native of Milan, Italy, 27-year-old restaurateur Giacomo Pizzigoni, an SDSU grad, is putting his master’s degree in business to work in the real world having recently opened a pizzeria in the space previously inhabited by Table 926.
Pizzigoni and has two business partners, Andrea Burrone and Luca Salvi, are making a name for themselves with their paper-thin crust, Northern Italian-style pizzas made with imported Italian flour and Italian wines to pair.
“This whole menu is meant to be tasted, so I recommend, especially to groups of four or more, that they get on focaccio (bread), one big salad, and one 15-inch-wide pizza and share them,” said Pizzigoni. “This way they get to taste different flavor profiles, and they don't get overwhelmed – and the food doesn't get cold.”
Pizzigoni is proud of his eatery's special dough recipe, his innovative pizza-making process and high-quality Italian ingredients as well as their holistic approach to foods and beverages, as well as the company's focus on sustainable agriculture and farming.
And Ambrogio 15 isn't just about the main courses.
“All our desserts, usually 10 to 15, are homemade and we come out with new desserts every week,” said Pizzagoni, adding “we also have 15 craft beers from San Diego.”
With 13 employees, Pizzigoni said the company's immediate goal is to “work hard until next summer, and then start to plan an expansion, likely elsewhere in San Diego
“We want to bring our concept throughout the United States,” he said. “Our main goal is to elevate the pizza to a fine-dining experience, keeping the prices affordable, while helping people enjoy a unique dining experience with the most incredible food pairings and combinations.”
Noting Ambrogio “comes up with new pizzas every two or three days,”
Pizzigoni said the latest gourmet pizza “discovery” is basil pumpkin featuring walnuts and turkey.
Ambrogio 15 has vegan dishes as well as a tongue-in-cheek Hannibal Lecter pizza menu item for meat lovers.
The name Ambrogio 15 is as unique as the food being served. The company name is written in huge letters on the back wall of the building's interior. Each letter stands for something from Milan, one being that Italian city's opera house.
How Pizzigoni got to be co-owner of his own Milano restaurant in Pacific Beach is an interesting tale. He said going to school at SDSU helped him “fall in love with San Diego.”
Pizzigoni said it also helped that he became acquainted with “gastronomy,” the practice or art of choosing, cooking and eating good food.
“I spent two years in Italy working with a consultancy in gastronomy to improve sustainability and transparency in the food supply chain,” he said, noting Italy was conquered so frequently during its long history that there are “20 different regions, each with a little influence from everywhere, with its own culture and history.” Pizzigoni added that crosses over into food and wine.
“We are the very first restaurant in San Diego to have a wine list made with mostly biodynamic wines, which have been cultivated in harmony with the land and the environment to get a very natural product,” Pizzigoni said.
Just in time for Turkey Day, Ambrogio15 will serve traditional roasted turkey with holiday sides as well as an array of Thanksgiving-themed pizzas available for dine-in and takeout on Thursday, Nov. 24 starting at 4:30 p.m. The day after on Friday, Nov. 25, the restaurant will host “black pizza” Black Friday for shoppers who don’t want turkey leftovers.
The restaurant will offer its “black pizza” in limited quantities for dine-in and takeout. The dark-hued dough tastes identical to Ambrogio 15’s signature paper-thin crust pizza, but receives extra nutritional benefits from organic charcoal. The black dough may be ordered with any toppings in place of Ambrogio 15’s signature dough at no extra charge. Order in person or call 858-291-8650.
What: Milan-style gourmet pizza.
Where: 926 Turquoise St. in North Pacific Beach.
Hours: Opens at 4:30 p.m., closes at 10 p.m.
Info: 858-291-8650, www.ambrogio15.com