Now Playing

Life of Pie

While we love us some checkered tablecloths and Chianti bottle candleholders, we really love pizza’s new glam side, with ambience and cocktails getting an upgrade. So go on, get a piece!

Napizza’s Christopher Antinucci and fiancée Giulia Colmignoli craft slices and sauces inspired by their native Rome. Their sights are set on Solana Beach for a second location.

Start in Little Italy. “In Rome we say, ‘How hungry are your eyes?’” explains Napizza co-owner Christopher Antinucci of his pizza al taglio, square slices that are sold by weight (1702 India St.). Fiancée Giulia Colmignoli mixes both their slow-rise dough and the sangria for Little Italy’s hippest weekend brunch, served with a ringside sidewalk seat for the Saturday Mercato scene. Down the block, Bencotto’s addictive pink pancetta sauce tops a signature pie at naughty little brother Monello (750 W. Fir St.), though we’re torn between that and the lamb-shoulder stuffed calzone. When we can’t decide, we book a bungalow across the way at Davanti Enoteca (1655 India St.) and sink our teeth into a crisp-crusted pizza with housemade sausage and broccoli rabe, washed down with a cocktail from the recently expanded bar. Or we make our way past Sophia Loren’s mod wall mural to the hidden-away back patio at Isola (1526 India St.) for the gamberetti, topped with grilled shrimp, asparagus, and goat cheese. Meanwhile, in NorCo, The Privateer (1706 Pacific Coast Highway) is an Oceanside beachfront surf shack classed up in dark woods and burnished metals. Order the Captain Fin for your first-ever taste of clam chowder on pizza (it works). Exit Del Mar’s Pasta Pronto, enter Urban Pi (2673 Via de la Valle), featuring a DIY topping bar of organic veggies (not to worry, the mango tart lives on). Next up? Cucina Enoteca will open at Flower Hill, serving flame-blistered gourmet pies (pear and gorgonzola, smoked prosciutto). Pie in the sky? We call it heaven!