Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant is back, thank goodness!
It was so upsetting for many locals when we learned that Giuseppe’s in Pismo Beach was closed due to a fire. They believed the fire caused by the pizza oven during the weekend. I went to the badly burnt restaurant on the following Monday morning, to share some good news with Giuseppe “Joe” DiFronzo, the founder and mind behind this Central Coast favorite. A Cal Poly alumni, who was a frequent diner at Giuseppe’s in Pismo, had become an architect in San Francisco. I was told he wanted to offer Joe his help–gratis! But upon arriving there and seeing the burnt up sign above the restaurant, it began to get to me. When I walked through the gate to the old parking lot, my nose and mouth began to sting from the acrid smell of burnt furniture out in big black piles. And there was Joe sitting on the curb in the parking lot talking to his top chefs, they all looked devastated. A wave of grief overcame me and I just started sobbing, I was in disbelief that this could have happened. Joe immediately came over and hugged me, saying, “I’ve already cried plenty over this, myself.” I was embarrassed. Here was this dear man, overseeing the loss of his very popular restaurant, making me feel better. Is it any wonder we are all such dedicated fans of Chef Joe?
That’s why Dan and I were eager to return to Giuseppe’s Pismo Beach on March 21st after it had reopened only for a short while, it’s one of our favorite Italian dining places. We were not disappointed. We arrived at 3:50 and parked directly in front, the sign on the door said they open at 4 p.m. (lunch will eventually return). What we didn’t realize is that the bar opens at 3:30 p.m., so we could have waited there for dinner to start. It didn’t matter, it simply felt good to enter the restaurant, see it looking almost exactly as it always did. We felt right at home.
The food was everything we expected, and then some. In our new style of dining, we simply picked several dishes and shared them all. It’s a great way to dine, and makes the bill far more affordable where ever you may dine. We were so happy to once again taste the goat cheese stuffed zucchini blossoms. We enjoyed the tiny fresh clams and prawns served scampi style. We were crazy about that day’s special, a giant bowl of cioppino with a one-lb. Dungeness crab in it, among the array of other shellfish and white fish. We couldn’t finish it all, but the leftovers made for a great lunch the next day.
When the server approached to serve us the cioppino, Joe came up to the table and said: “That crab was swimming in Avila Beach just a couple of hours ago.” You taste the freshness in every bite we were served. That’s why we all love Chef Giuseppe “Joe” DiFronzo, you were sorely missed!
Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant
891 Price St.
Pismo Beach, CA