This year, Solare received ‘Tre Gamberi’ (Three Shrimp) from Italy’s most prestigious food rating group, and the country’s leading tastemaker, Gambero Rosso. Three Gamberi is one of the highest honor one can receive, thus placing Solare among the top 13 Italian restaurants worldwide for this international recognition.
Similar to France’s Michelin Star Awards, Italy’s Gambero Rosso’s Tre Gamberi recognizes top Italian restaurants around the world. As one of only three in the United States to earn a coveted Tre Gamberi, Solare Ristorante joins the ranks of Paola's Restaurant on Madison Avenue in New York City and Ristorante Sora Maria e Arcangelo in Roma, Italy.
Rated on a point-scale from 1 to 100 and divided into four categories, judges travel to nearly 30 countries every year, judging over 400 Italian restaurants on their cuisine, wine selection, service, and ambiance. This score then dictates whether a restaurant receives one, two, or three gamberi.
Having spent nearly two years visiting the restaurant, dining in, observing the cooking process and noting the overall level of service and ambiance, the Gambero Rosso team recognized Solare, and with it executive chef Accursio Lotà, as a progressive, modern embodiment of how Italian dining has evolved, and by proxy, how San Diego is leading the charge.
Forging partnerships with local farms and fishmongers to utilize only fresh produce, sustainable proteins, and seasonal ingredients, Solare’s menu changes weekly, and draws heavily from Accursio’s upbringing in Sicily to create dishes that burst with the flavors of his home county, juxtaposed with modern-day techniques and nearby ingredients.
Set in the historic naval-base-turned-neighborhood of Liberty Station, Solare’s twinkling lights set the mood, with outstanding service and a welcome, community-focused atmosphere setting the stage for the visiting judges. More than 2,000 bottles of Italian wines line the cellar, complementing such standout dishes as the Risotto Tartufo e Capesante, Cioppino nel Coccio, and a Malloreddus Agnello e Scamorza.
“We’ve always been proud of our strong connection to the Italian community, both locally and abroad,” said Randy Smerik, owner and general manager of Solare Ristorante. “To be recognized by Italy’s number one authority on food is such an honor, not only for our amazing team but for our incredible executive chef, Accursio Lotà as well.
“This award reinforces our commitment to San Diego and helps to move our city’s reputation as a hub for culinary culture forward, and to be an ambassador for our fine city, well that’s the most exciting thing of all,” Smerik said.
Inventive-yet-comforting, Solare’s take on the Italian dining experience has catapulted them to local and national fame, having been recognized by such publications as San Diego Magazine for Best Italian Restaurant, Best Wine List and Best Chef, named one of the Top 15 most Romantic Restaurants in the United States by ZAGAT, received an Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator Magazine, won top honors in Barilla Pasta’s World Pasta Championship, and most recently, award a coveted Tre Forchette (“Three Forks”) by Italy’s authoritative food ratings group, Gambero Rosso.
Solare is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and for dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and open on Sundays for dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit solarelounge.com.