Valentina Di Pietro and Guido Nistri of Bencotto Italian Kitchen. Courtesy photo

In 2010, Pacific Beach residents Guido Nistri and Valentina Di Pietro took a gamble and opened a Milanese-inspired eatery in San Diego.

The husband and wife, who both had years of experience working in the food industry, said they decided to launch their own business after “working hard” for so long for other people.

This year, the couple is celebrating the risk they took as they commemorate the 10th anniversary of Bencotto Italian Kitchen, a now popular eatery in Little Italy.

Nistri and Di Pietro said they opened their restaurant with the goal of combining their “Milanese roots, the New York experience and the Italian culinary tradition.” They also wanted to break stereotypes of Italian cuisines by delivering hand-crafted pasta to customers.

The couple’s mission has driven Bencotto Italian Kitchen to success each year despite the number of competing restaurants in the area.

“We did not and still do not follow any trend so we have been consistent in our identity,” Nistri said. “More than a change, we have experienced an increase of pasta production to respond to the ever-so-higher request.”

The couple, who have been married for 15 years and share one son, said their “pasta laboratory” produces roughly 1,000 pounds of pasta in any given week. They also offer 50 different types of pasta to guests.

“The massive, fresh pasta production” is why Bencotto remains “impossible to match,” in the region, Di Pietro said.

But, the couple said, they wouldn’t have achieved success without the support of its customers.

“Grazie to all our patrons who made these 10 years happen,” Nistri said.

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Bencotto will be serving “10 signature dishes of the past 10 years” and host an Instagram contest to give away gift cards.

For more information about Bencotto Italian Kitchen, go to

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