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Our Team

Marco Avila

Executive Chef & Co-Owner

“I have a long standing love affair with pasta, says Avila. “I love to smell it, touch it, see how the sauce blends and covers it. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, really.”

Welcome to Acquolina, where Master Chef Marco Avila’s culinary symphony serenades your senses.

As a boy in Pisa, Marco was spellbound by his Nona Marina’s pasta magic. This love flourished into ‘La Siesta,’ his coastal gem combining tradition and innovation. At Acquolina, Marco’s dishes are a flavorful embrace, intertwining his Tuscan roots with daring creativity.

Chef Marco's Culinary Philosophy: 

Each day, we strive to serve not just exceptional food, but a sensory feast. Our recipe for success? 60% quality ingredients, 40% technique. The freshness of our ingredients reigns supreme, blending taste, place, and time into an artful experience. For us, great cuisine is a fusion of tradition, passion, and creativity – a journey that leaves every morsel memorable!"

Dario Nicotra

General Manager & Co-Owner

"At Acquolina, we're more than a restaurant. As a Tuscan at heart, I'm passionate about sharing good wine, food, and fostering connections. Join us to celebrate life, indulge in laughter, and create cherished memories. Whether you're a visitor or a local, savor an intimate dining experience while still being part of our warm and inviting atmosphere."

Dario’s heart is rich with the Italian joy of togetherness. His worldly journeys and cultural discoveries inspired Acquolina - a sanctuary where food, kinship, and community unite in harmony.

Introducing Co-owner Dario Nicotra, a Tuscan soul nourished by family, food, and wine. He was cradled in Mamma Fausta’s culinary wonders and Babbo Alcide’s divine wines.  

Moving to San Francisco Bay Area

Dario's Culinary Revelation: Landing in the Bay Area in 2010, a financial expert with an epicurean heart, Dario felt an irresistible pull toward Italy’s flavors. His fervor and the city's longing entwined, giving rise to Acquolina - a haven of Tuscan Trattoria charm, nestled at 1600 Stockton Street, North Beach since May 2015.

Tuscan Duo's Union: In 2017, Dario met the renowned Chef Marco Avila during a trip to Livorno. Captivated by Marco's culinary artistry, a bond formed. Marco journeyed to San Francisco, and together they embraced the possibilities at Acquolina. United in passion, they now craft the essence of a true Tuscan Trattoria in North Beach - the little Italy of California.