Customers at Oltre Mare tell the owners of the Pacific Beach authentic Italian restaurant that eating there makes them feel like they’re in Italy. Which is high praise to Sara Pedrazzini and Christian Erbisti, who co-own and operate mostly dine-in/dine-out Oltre Mare (“overseas” in English) located at 4286 Cass St. across from the library.
The married couple has also expanded their operations into a new satellite location, Pastiamo, at 841 Turquoise St. in North PB.
“It’s a different concept we’ve been thinking about for a while,” said Sara of Pastiamo. “It’s take-out and delivery, no dine-in, with just a few stools outside. It’s just fresh pasta. We make the pasta for both locations in the morning over there. It's the same quality used in the restaurant.”
In business for five years at Oltre Mare, the eatery was formerly owned by Sara’s brother.“We took over and we changed everything, the menu, switching from more take-out to more dining,” she said.
Of her clientele, Sara said, “We have mostly families and older couples, though we do have young people coming in every now and then. Last night we had a wedding. We’ve built up loyal customers, mostly locals, who come back for a real authentic, Italian dinner.”
Concerning pasta making, Sara noted, “It’s way easier than you think. Pasta is made with semolina flour and water to make six different types. That’s it. We make the pasta from scratch. It’s really good quality.”
Italian food has several different regional varieties.
“We’re from the north where it’s colder, so we use more butter, wherein the south they use more olive oil,” Sara said. “Our menu is kind of northern Italian. Our best sellers are dishes with meat sauces, but we’re more focused on seafood and fish dishes, grilled and baked because there are fewer restaurants that serve this kind of food in San Diego. We have mussels to start in white wine sauce with spices and broth and Focaccia bread that everybody loves that I make every day.”
Pointing out that “we make everything here (Oltre Mare) including the sauces because there (Pastiamo) “we don’t have a kitchen,” Sara added that, at Pastiamo, “We warm up the sauces and make the pasta there so the pasta is fresh-cooked. People order it by phone or on the website.”
Discussing what she likes about the restaurant business, Sara said, “I love talking to people. After five years everyone comes here and says, ‘How are your (two pre-teens) boys?’ They’ve seen the boys grow up so it’s really nice. We love the relationship with the customers.”
Where: 841 Turquoise St.
Hours: Mondays-Sundays 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-8 p.m.
Contact: 858 255-8444, pastiamosd.com.
Where: 4286 Cass St.
Hours: Closed Mondays. Tuesdays-Sundays 5-10 p.m.
Contact: 858-272-7247, oltremaresd.com.