2550 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill
If you are the Michelin-starred chef behind the best restaurant in Calabria, the only logical next step would be to open in San Diego, right? Well, sì—at least if you are Luca Abbruzzino. Abbruzzino brought the first Michelin star to the toe of Italy with his skill in taking classic Calabrian ingredients and turning them into modern works of art. And now he and his father, Antonio, are taking that same approach to Il Dandy—as in spaghetti with sea urchin, cherry tomatoes, and Calabrian chili and sea bass with escarole, capers, and lemon. Il Dandy, with its high ceilings, airy feeling, and ocean-blue accents, is elegant but not stuffy, and a meal here is next-level—the quality of the food and presentation aren’t things you see every day (or really, every year). Although San Diego and Calabria may be unintuitive sister cities, they actually have a lot in common, specifically: a beautiful coastline, a lot of seafood, and now, an award-winning Italian chef.