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Sunday, Jul 21, 2024

Cesarina Group Opens Second Point Loma Restaurant

HOSPITALITY: New Location a Tribute to Family Matriarch

The owners of Cesarina Ristorante in Point Loma are opening a second restaurant just a few blocks away, Elvira, that will pay homage to the late great-grandmother of co-owner, Niccolo Angius, in its name, its décor and its menu.

Niccolo Angius
Cesarina Group

“Elvira was a native Roman, very strong. She was born in 1915. She went through World War II. She just had this incredible family, and she built her family around the dining table,” Angius said. “The kitchen was her happy place, and food was her love language.”

Cesarina Group, headed by Angius, his wife, Cesarina Mezzoni, and their friend, Guiseppe Capasso, is taking over a building at 4996 Point Loma Blvd. that had been home to a restaurant that closed during COVID.

Their original restaurant is named in honor of Cesarina Mezzoni.

“The idea there was to bring in the love my wife has in everything she cooks,” Angius said. “She always had a passion for cooking. She’s an incredible cook.”


Built in the 1930s, the property that will become Elvira was once a bait-and-tackle shop.

Cesarina Group is spending about $400,000 to $500,000 remodeling the 2,400- square-foot space, with a goal of opening by the end of summer.

“The great thing is, it was an existing restaurant. There’s no structural remodeling to do. It’s all going to be cosmetic,” Angius said. “It’s a beautiful canvas to paint on, because it really has a lot of character as is.”

Among other things, Elvira will have a private dining room with seating for eight modeled after the one Angius remembers from his great-grandmother’s home in Rome, where customers can experience a traditional Italian family dinner.

Unlike Cesarina Ristorante, which features dishes from a variety of regions in Italy, Elvira will focus on the recipes like those Angius’s grandmother made in Rome.

Mezzoni is in charge of the menu and is still working out what it will include, Angius said, but it will be simple food based on peasant Italian cooking.

“Everything will be made in-house, as our mothers and grandmothers did before us,” Angius said.

Family-Style Experience

Designed by Limes Architetti, the main dining room will have indoor seating for about 50 people and outdoor dining on a patio for about 40. It will have an earth-tone color scheme with family portraits covering wood-paneled walls, blackboard menus and marble tabletops.

“Our walls are going to be covered with hundreds of frames that will have pictures of my great-grandmother, great-grandfather, my grandfather, all of our uncles and aunts, my parents, us when we were kids, as well as my wife’s and my business partner, Giuseppe,” Angius said. “Restaurants to us are kind of like home dining in the sense when a guest walks into our restaurant, he’s actually walking into our home dining room. That’s the feel we want to get. It’s an environment in which you feel safe, you’re never judged, and you know you’re going to eat great food and have a great time with the people you love.”

The private dining room, Cucina de La Nonna, will have vintage light fixtures, a China cabinet filled with mismatched plates and flatware to give it a homey touch.

“Everything will be served family style,” Angius said. “Not only the food, but also the experience. It is going to be a very unique setting, something unseen in San Diego.”

Cesarina Group

Founded: 2019
Headquarters: Point Loma
Co-founders: Niccolo Angius, Cesarina Mezzoni, Giuseppe Capasso
Business: Restaurants
Website: www.cesarinapasta.com
Contact: info@cesarinapasta.com; 619-226-6222
Notable: Co-founder Cesarina Mezzoni doubles as the executive chef.


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