The team behind Cesarina, Point Loma’s popular Italian trattoria, is investing in the future of their epicurean brand. Having recently acquired a space directly across the street from their flagship restaurant, Cesarina is preparing to remodel the 1,100 square foot venue into a commercial kitchen, which will accommodate their ever-growing production needs.
Once completed, the facility will become the epicenter of Cesarina’s high-volume pastificio and bakery, giving way to several exciting subsidiary concepts including gourmet retail, made-to-order cakes, and off-site catering.
At the helm of this conglomeration is chef/partner Cesarina Mezzoni. The 25-year-old entrepreneur has ascended to a pivotal leadership role, doubling as the culinary virtuoso and official face of the burgeoning brand. As a self-trained chef, Cesarina’s cooking methods are rooted in instinct and memory. Raised in Rome, Cesarina spent her childhood observing her Seychellean-born mother master the intricacies of Italian dishes; her sentimental affinity for cooking eventually became a professional ambition.
Alongside her husband and business partner, Niccolò Angius, Cesarina moved to California in 2015. Both aspiring restauranteurs, Cesarina and Niccolò have taken an entirely grassroots approach to pursue their shared dream — from a farmer’s market pop-up to a brick-and-mortar restaurant and now a multifaceted institution.
“Love and passion are what sets us apart. The authenticity of the food, the family feeling,” said Mezzoni. “Our ultimate goal is to make you feel like you are dining in our own home. Creating happiness and memories through food and love.”
This proud ethos will continue to guide Cesarina’s pursuits, as the team prepares for an enterprising expansion.
PASTA RETAIL MEETS CONSUMER TECH
The upstanding pasta program that has put Cesarina among the best restaurants in San Diego will soon be available for retail. Coinciding with a user-friendly e-commerce platform, customers will have access to countless possibilities of ingredients to cook at home.
The program, which is a deduction of Cesarina Ristorante’s make-your-own pasta entrée, will up the ante on traditional pasta made for retail sale — with umpteenth variations of dough, shape, and filling, customers will enjoy an entirely bespoke and made-to-order product. Cesarina’s online retail will also provision a rotating selection of the restaurant’s homemade sauces, like Pomodoro Fresco, Pesto alla Genovese, and Funghi, in addition to vegan varieties of these delicacies.
Each personalized pasta haul will come with a unique QR code embedded on the packaging. Upon pick-up, customers can scan this label with their smartphone and be redirected to a cache of ever evolving recipes and how-to videos with chef Mezzoni, specifically curated for the respective order.
CESARINA’S CAKE FACTORY
Mezzoni, the dessert doyenne behind the restaurant’s beloved tableside tiramisu, will curate a program of gourmet cakes for both on-site dinner parties and off-site celebrations. Dubbed “Le Torte di Cesarina,” her made-to-order bakery division will initially roll-out with eight offerings, inspired by classic Italian confections. From multi-tiered gateaux to fruity tartes, the treats will make a quintessential course for birthdays, weddings or special occasions.
Each cake will be offered in three sizes: small, serving 4-6; medium, serving 8-10; and grande, serving 12-14. Prices will range from $40 to $100, varying by flavor and size.
Upon the completion of its offsite production kitchen, Cesarina will also debut a full-service catering division, complete with a designated team who will work with clients to curate personalized menus and signature tablescapes. The venture will afford scalability and tailored experiences, from private dinner parties to large celebrations, a la carte dishes, or multi-course feasts.