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.
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.“
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Valentine’s Day is an important day for love. Even though there will always be some people that will say that if you really love someone you show it to them year round, and not only on Valentine’s Day. We have to say that we agree, however, on Valentine’s Day, there’s one thing you can get at Ambrogio15 that you won’t get any other day. Heart Shaped Pizza.
Heart Shaped Pizza is a symbol for us, the symbol of our love for all of you that come and dine with us. The love of fresh ingredients, and the love for Pizza!
So on Valentine’s Day, we will give you a couple options to dine in. A La Carte, which is ordering from our regular menu, and we also are offering a Prix Fixe Option.
We also offer our Online Ordering for Take Out if you would rather spend the night at home with candles and more…
Let’s look at the Prix Fixe offerings as there are some specials in there that have been featured in past events. This diner favorites brought their love for pizza to a new level. So let’s look at the options that are available to you on this prix fixe option.
We will have you start with the “Taste of Italy”, a Taglieri meats and cheese assortment. From Bresaola, Speck, Pecorino, Parmigiano and Provola. You are getting some of the best products Italy has to offer. Served with Stone Ground Flour Foccacia and four award winning Frantoio Franci Extra Virgin Olive Oils. This is already a great start, isn’t it.
Your next course will be a choice of between four special gourmet pizzas.
Luxury on a pizza. Between the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, the Imported Porcini Mushroom and the white truffle oil, you will be delighted by this Pizza
This one was a fan favorite at our Annual Christmas dinner. This fan favorite is a deconstructed Margherita Pizza with Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, a filet of vesuvian red tomato sauce and a basil reduction.
Mozzarella Fiordilatte, Yellow San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Prosciutto Crudo di Parma and Imported Burrata Cheese.
White Pizza with Mozarella Fiordilatte, Gorgonzola, Smoked Provola, Asiago, Sausage and Radicchio Pesto.
Our Homemade dessert for this special evening is going to be a Panna Cotta ai Frutto di Bosco e Cicciolato – Homemade Panda Cotta with a berries coulis and chocolate, so you can finish your dinner on a sweeter note.
This Prix Fixe Menu will be $49 per guest before tax and gratuity.
Now let’s get into the fun part, the optional wine pairing (also available for $49 per guest) to bring elegance and class, followed by passion and that aphrodisiac feeling to be finished with a sweet touch.
All the wines below are Natural Wines
We wish you all a wonderful Valentine’s Day in advance and looking forward to celebrate it with you.
Sardegna Island Wines meet Ambrogio15 New Nuvola Gourmet Focaccia for Aperitivo
Join us Monday March 2nd anytime between 5 and 8 pm for a special aperitivo! We’ll introduce our New Nuvola Gourmet and we’ll pair it with a special wine tasting of Audarya Winery from Sardegna, Italy.
The owner and winemaker of Audarya, Nicoletta Pala, together with our Sommelier and Chief of Wines Marina Snow from DOCG Imports, will present 6 outstanding Natural Wines from the Beautiful Island of Sardegna:
An even fluffier gourmet focaccia bread topped by our Executive Chef with the best Italian cold cuts and cheeses and local sustainable produce, inspired by our New Partnership with Michelin Star Chef Silvio Salmoiraghi
Mix of gourmet pairings (Porcini, Truffle Oil and Fontina, Prosciutto and Burrata, Smoked Provola Speck and Olives etc etc.)
$ 49 per person (including 6 Wines and Aperitivo Tasting) before tax and grat.
Aperitivo is a cultural thing in Europe, jus like happy hour in the United States. It can take place before each meal, like it can also happen before lunch. It is centered over drinks, accompanied with light food offerings to nibble on. This makes Ambrogio15’s New Focaccia Nuvola Gourmet the perfect dish for this. It is best shared with friends, for an early girls night out during the week, and is best appreciated with fun and light hearted conversation.
We are bringing the perfect setting for you to enjoy a really good moment. Delicious focaccia inspired by a Michelin star chef from Milano, six delicious natural wines from the islands of Sardegna handpicked by our partner DOCG Imports. You just need to come with your friends and enjoy the moment. Make your reservations from 5 to 8pm on March 2nd for this special event.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Pam Kragen from the San Diego Union Tribune has interviewed the three Ambrogio15 owners for an article called “Ambrogio15 aiming to serve Americas best pizza in June 2020” about their Del Mar Restaurant
In 2016, a trio of young entrepreneurs from Milan opened Ambrogio15 pizzeria in Pacific Beach, with the goal of making the best pizza San Diegans have ever tasted.
Four years later, with Ambrogio15’s signature Burrata y Prosciutto Crudo pie topping many local “best pizza” lists, they’ve moved on to a more ambitious goal. Giacomo Pizzigoni, Luca Salvi and Andrea Burrone now hope to revolutionize pizza-making in California, if not the U.S., and perhaps become the first pizzeria in the world to earn a Michelin star.
“We want to reinvent pizza,” said Pizzigoni, 30, whose shared company now includes a second Ambrogio15 location and a Semola fresh pasta stand, both at the Little Italy Food Hall. “If pasta and other things can earn Michelin stars, why not the most essential food in Italian cuisine, which is bread? Let’s take our amazing dough and make it our canvas to create something new.”
To launch this revolution, the Ambrogio15 team returned to their roots and hired chef 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.
Over the past several months, Salmoiraghi and his team of chef/partner Choi Cheolhyeok and gastronome Paolo Tucci have been collaborating with the San Diego trio on a gourmet tasting menu that will be served exclusively at the Ambrogio15 location opening June 12 in the Sky Deck dining hall at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center in Carmel Valley.
Pizzigoni said the new location will sell the affordably priced pizzas and other items from its regular menu. But more adventurous diners can choose a chef’s tasting menu featuring some of Salmoiraghi’s new dishes. In late January, Ambrogio15 hosted a five-course tasting dinner with some of the new dishes being developed for the Sky Deck location.
“When we decided to sign the Del Mar lease, we didn’t want to do Little Italy No. 2 and didn’t want to be part of a food court. This was a chance to be in a really modern establishment. It was time to step up our game and challenge ourselves,” Pizzigoni said. “Our pizza has been really successful so it was time to push the accelerator and go gourmet.”
Read the rest of the “Ambrogio15 aiming to serve Americas best pizza in June 2020” article on the Union Tribune Website.
Following the current situation and the measures around the COVID-19 virus.
Dear Ambrogio15 Customers,
Amidst growing concerns about the Coronavirus disease and news of its spread, we aim to maintain a fluid communication with our customer base.
We want to alert you to the added precautionary measures that we have implemented at Ambrogio15, due to the current dynamic situation. Following are alterations we are making to our operating procedures, in order to prioritize our guests and employees’ health and well-being while providing you with the best out of home experience possible. By the nature of our restaurant design, our venues feature an intimate environment.
Considering the California health official’s mandate for public gatherings, we are taking steps to reduce the seating occupancy in our restaurant, and will increase space between tables to adhere to social distancing guidelines. We are working to reduce our the number of seats available, as well as implementing staggered seating procedures.
While we encourage maintaining social distance in our restaurants, we will not prevent families and friends from sitting next to each other. Along with this initiative, we will be focusing our resources towards providing a safer and cleaner setting.
As we learn more about this virus, we are prepared to further modify operations on a restaurant-by-restaurant-basis to ensure the health and safety of our guests and employees. Although we remain hopeful that the situation will be controlled, we are closely monitoring new developments and are prepared to modify operation models if we feel this will further enhance the safety and health of our guests and employees.
As we navigate this ongoing situation, our management is taking guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local authorities. Following their guidance, we respectfully ask that if you are sick or feeling under the weather you consider staying home. For those of you able to join us, we encourage you wash your hands frequently with soap and take precautions as necessary.
For now, we continue to operate all our locations as we strive to offer our guests a safe and secure setting to enjoy with these enhanced procedures in place, to help curtail the spread of COVID-19. We thank you for your continued support, and we will continue to keep you informed as we take action.
Following the recent events, if you wish to order online stay in your car and us to bring you your food in the parking lot, please park at Ambrogio Pacific Beach, 926 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109.
Then give us a call at 858 291 8650 upon arrival, and we will send one of servers to deliver the food to your car.
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Introducing our new Pacific Beach Patio Dining:
Dear Ambrogio friends and family,
We are proud to present you our Pacific Beach Patio Outdoor Dining experience, also known as “Al-Fresco Dining”.
Following statewide Covid orders, we had to move our operations outdoors. While the safety of our patrons and staff is our top priority, we wanted to ensure that our guests will get a unique dining experience when visiting our restaurant.
Our goal has always been to take our guests on a culinary journey through Italy by offering only the highest, top quality ingredients, imported from our motherland. We’re happy to add to this journey, by creating an inimitable ambience and atmosphere with beautiful décor, music and under the stars dining as you would only find it in the streets of Italy.
With our amazing food and wine selection, you will enjoy plenty of options that will satisfy all of your cravings. We strive to serve only the best, highest quality ingredients and we’ve been doing so for the past 4 years.
On top of our nightly Al Fresco dining experience, we recently added an incredible lunch and happy hour menu which offers a variety of pizzas, salads, paninis, our popular roast beef lunch platter, and our signature Ambrogio bruschetta. All of this, of course, on our beautiful outdoor patio.
Our patio is for any occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, date night or hosting a large group of friends, we guarantee you an astounding experience that will make you feel like you are dining in Italy.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you and experience our magic Italian nights, or as we call it, “Notti Magiche”, 7 days a week.
For reservations for our Pacific Beach Patio Dining experience, please visit Open Table.
Your Ambrogio15 team.