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Co-owner Giacomo Pizzigoni rings up another dinner at Ambrogio 15 in Pacific Beach that opened this month to rave reviews for its authentic Milan–style Italian menu. Photo by Frank Mangio
CommunityTaste of Wine

Taste of Wine: Ambrogio 15 — A new Milano pizza and wine experience

Giacomo Pizzigoni is now the co-founder and owner of a new authentic Milanese gourmet pizza bistro and bar in cool, north Pacific Beach, called Ambrogio 15.

I know authentic has been worked around a lot, but this pizza format is unlike anything I have seen and tasted.  The food, the wines, the ambience is as natural as it gets.

Pizzagoni learned from master Italian restaurateur Roberto Vigilucci at his Coronado location, all the while achieving marketing degrees at San Diego State University.

In 2014, he traveled Europe to learn the natural secrets of organic produce, cooking and small production wines that are made without artificial additives.  Ambrogio’s beer list is all-local.

All the hip, local names are there, including Ballast Point, Stone, Alesmith, Pizza Port and Green Flash.  Pizzigoni revealed to me his goal in opening Ambrogio 15: “I want my restaurant to be the first pizza fine dining experience in San Diego.  The dough is the main thing.  It is thin, flavorful, easy to digest and the ingredients come direct from Milan, along with cold cut meats and cheeses, even our rotating turbo gas-firing oven. The pizzas and Focacce are 100 percent Italian wheat, with only 1/10th of the fat found in traditional pizza dough.”

I noticed that a large number of diners had a bottle of Ambrogio 15’s small production, all-natural hand picked reds and whites that Pizzigoni personally has brought to San Diego.

My best recommendation is the Voltumna Zeno 2013 from Tuscany.  It is a perfect marriage of 85 percent Sangiovese and 15 percent Pinot Noir, with grapes grown along the Meramma coast, similar to the fancifully named “Super Tuscans.”

Ambrogio is the ultimate Milano Pizza Experience. It’s a dining experience not to be missed.


Rotary Brewfest Coming to Carlsbad

The Carlsbad Rotary Club, which has been successful with a long-running Oktoberfest in Carlsbad’s Holiday Park, will present their third annual Brewfest, Sept. 10 from noon to 4:30 p.m. in the same location, off Interstate 5 at the Carlsbad Village Drive exit.

Craft beers, especially in San Diego, have exponentially exploded in sales and popularity and as I pointed out last month. TASTE OF WINE will, on occasion be TASTE OF BEER, to pass along the information on this amazing trend.

New Belgium Brewing is the sponsor for this event, and you’ll have a chance to try more than 70 pours with some established and some new names such as: Firestone, Green Flash, Ballast Point, Karl Strauss, Sierra Nevada and many more. Food will be available.  You can purchase tickets, which start at $50 each, at


Wine Bytes

Hot Havana night is the theme for an event at Monte De Oro in Temecula, Sept. 3 from 6 to 10 p.m.  Salsa dancing under the stars and Cajun Cuisine and award-winning win for $15 includes glass of wine.  Doors open at 6 p.m.  Band goes at 7 p.m.  Call (951) 491-6551 for tickets.

The Wagner Family of fine wines are presented at Capri Blu in Rancho Bernardo, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.  Sample these fine wines from Napa Valley including Caymus wines, with a five-course dinner.  Cost is $59 per person.  Call (858) 673-5100.

Visit Del Mar Village for the Taste of Del Mar, Sept. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m.  Cost is $25; $35 with sip stops.  Call (858) 735-3650 for ticket info.

Chandler’s oceanfront dining in Carlsbad offers beer garden, live music and a night market Sept. 9 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Hand selected local vendors. Admission starts at $20.  More details at

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web. View his columns at and reach him at [email protected].  Follow him on Facebook.