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10 Questions for Roberto Vigilucci, Restaurateur

Roberto Vigilucci established his restaurant empire, Vigilucci’s Restaurant Group, in 1994 with Trattoria Italiana in Encinitas. Today, Vigilucci owns seven restaurants in San Diego County including Vigilucci’s Cucina, Vigilucci’s Osteria, Vigilucci’s Ristorante & Pizzeria and Vigilucci’s Seafood, Steak & Chop House, which opened on Prospect Street in December.

Vigilucci, who grew up in Milan, Italy, moved to the United States in 1986. He currently lives in Carlsbad.

Q: Why La Jolla, why now?

I asked myself, ‘why not?’ After growing Vigilucci’s Restaurant Group in North County, the next step was to begin growing the group in southern San Diego. Everyone knows the prestige of La Jolla so we were honored to be able to bring our Restaurant Group to this area.

Q: What is the single most challenging aspect of opening a restaurant?

There are several challenges to opening a restaurant, from putting together the interior design to creating an enticing, authentic Italian menu. I would have to say the most challenging thing is building a good team, although we’ve been very lucky with the team we’ve created.
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Q: If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?

Nothing really. We’re very proud of Seafood, Steak & Chop House in La Jolla. Although, an ocean view would be nice!

Q: If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

My family: my mom; my wife, Jaydeen; my grandfather; my father; my son, Blake; my stepfather, Sergio; my dog, Sparky; and Alex Pedrazzani, the vice president of Vigilucci’s Restaurant Group.

Q: What are you currently reading?

“Setting the Table” by Danny Meyer.

Q: Who or what inspires you?

I love this industry. I love the food, wine, travel and trying something new.
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Q: If you could eat only one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is an impossible question … pizza.

Q: What do you do for fun?

Travel.

Q: Describe your greatest accomplishment.

My family, my marriage, my business and the group of people I have working for me.

Q: What is your motto or philosophy of life?

I always try to surround myself with people who are more intelligent than I am and I don’t get caught up in minute details.

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