Kirbie's Cravings


Maestoso is a modern Italian restaurant that opened earlier this year, offering a unique chef-to-table experience which includes dishes being pushed on carts à la dim-sum style.
photo of a dish served at Maestoso

photo of the outside of Maestoso
You first order your main dishes from the menu, which focuses on fresh-made pastas and la pista (a Roman style crispy and airy flatbread).

After you place your order, you sit back and relax while various chef-creations come around on push carts. Coined Passaggi —meaning “to pass by”– the concept is inspired by traditional Cantonese dim-sum. The dishes range from $1-18 and include various appetizers and salads.
photo of a dim sum cart

This is what we had:

Pork Belly
Pork Belly
The pork belly was nicely cooked and I enjoyed the fruit salsa accompanying it.

Octopus Carpaccio
Octopus Carpaccio
This was one of my favorite bites of the night. The octopus was sliced paper-thin. It was a light, refreshing and well balanced dish.

Polpo e Patate
roasted octopus, mozzarella, potatoes, pesto & marinated olives
Polpo e Patate
The flat bread was quite crispy and had a light and airy interior. Once again, I was impressed with their octopus preparation.
close-up photo of Polpo e Patate

Coda Alla Vaccinara
strozzapreti, braised oxtail, wine & confit tomato stock
Coda Alla Vaccinara
I was a little disappointed with the pasta. It was lukewarm in spots, and the strozzapreti lacked the bounce and elasticity that I usually love in fresh pastas.

While we liked the passaggi concept, we thought it had room for improvement. The way the tables are set up made it difficult for the carts to be pushed through and as a result, they didn’t pass by very frequently. We only had 3 carts pass through during our meal. Also each cart usually featured only one or two singular dishes. I would have liked to see more options each time.

The food we had was fine but not memorable. We also had a few service issues, with our food order getting mixed up, food arriving late, not getting all our tableware. The staff was very friendly though and the restaurant is located in a plaza with plenty of parking.

photo of the menu at Maestoso
1040 University Ave ste. B101
San Diego, CA 92103

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6 comments on “Maestoso”

  1. We need to get back to Maestoso Kirbie. I heard that they make a pretty mean gnocchi. The strozzapreti looks a bit different than what we had on our visits. Though it was different each time for us as well. I’m thinking that you’d probably want something else because strozzapreti (literally “priest chokers”) reminded us of the hearty types of pasta we had in Emilia Romagna.

  2. What a fun concept! Never heard of this restaurant . The octopus carpaccio and pork belly look amazing (and low carb for an Italian place).

  3. I like how there’s a little price sign on the cart so that there are no surprises! I came during a grand opening event and we really enjoyed the flatbreads, especially the crusts. I believe they had a really creative salmon bite too with purple potatoes and delicious. Would the highlights of your visit be the menu items or were they from the carts?

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