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Corallini, “little coral” in Italian, is also a nickname given to the people of Torre del Greco, Chef & Owner Giovanni Novella’s hometown. At Bar Corallini, hand-crafted pasta, pizza, classic Italian cocktails, and neighborly hospitality come together to create a dining experience that is familiar, warm, and convivial.

About

The name Corallini comes from the hometown of Chef & Owner Giovanni Novella. In the seaside village of Torre del Greco, people have dived for coral for centuries—and earned the nickname: Corallini, or little coral. At Bar Corallini, Chef Gio brings the sea to your table, along with fresh pasta and pizza, mozzarella, and burrata—all made from scratch, daily. Classic Italian cocktails and sweet cannoli round out our hip and cozy neighborhood seaside joint.

  • a man standing in front of a building

    Giovanni Novella

    Executive Chef / Owner

  • a man standing in front of a building

    Evan Ackers

    General Manager

  • a man sitting at a table in a restaurant

    Diego Guzman

    Sous Chef

  • a person standing in front of a green chair

    Katya Baranova

    Front of House Manager

EXECUTIVE CHEF - GIOVANNI NOVELLA

“In Italy, the food culture is very powerful. I knew right away that cooking was my passion, and something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”—Chef Giovanni Novella 

Giovanni grew up on the coast of southern Italy, fishing almost every day from the village of Torre del Greco. Swimming in seafood from such an early age, Gio’s cooking brings out the best of sea bass, octopus, crustaceans, or shellfish, in nearly every entree. “My favorite thing about restaurants is using ingredients—both local and from around the world—to create new dishes and flavors that let each product shine,” he says. 

He attended culinary school in nearby Sorrento at age 14, and went on to a prestigious pastry program in Amalfi, specializing in southern Italian desserts. Throughout his schooling, he worked in a handful of local kitchens before graduating to restaurants across Germany, Greece, France, and even a luxury cruise ship in South America. He returned to Italy for three years of fine-dining experience, then moved to San Diego in 2011. There, on the coast of southern California, Chef Giovanni began to blend his Italian methods with American-style cuisine. 

Importantly, Giovanni met his wife in San Diego, who happened to hail from Madison. In 2016, they came here to raise a family, excited for the prospect of a great ‘food’ city. He soon landed at Cento, a new downtown restaurant across from the opera house, which proved a very popular concept. But Chef Giovanni had a vision for something more intimate, more nimble, more like a little local osteria—and thus was born Bar Corallini, an homage to Terro del Greco. 

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