San Diego Restaurant Week takes place twice a year. More than 100 restaurants across the county create special three or four-course menus, offering you a chance to taste their food at a reduced price. We enjoyed a preview dinner at Solare last night. I’ve known owner Randy Smerik for several years, and have never failed to be blown away by their food quality, their atmosphere and their service. Last night was no exception.
Our server Mark welcomed us and told us what to expect. Service began with freshly baked focaccia accompanied by Corto olive oil from Temecula. We both easily could have completely satisfied with that and nothing more, but there was so much more to come!
The feast started with a grilled Caesar salad, Insalata di Cesare alla Griglia. This is no ordinary Caesar. The Romaine is grilled and topped with an egg mousse, mustard seed caviar, lemon preserves and lava salt. The plate was gorgeous and the salad delicious. I selected an Italian Pinot Noir at Mark’s recommendation, and it was a lovely wine that paired well with each dish.
The salad was followed by risotto with scallops, Risotto Tartufo e Capesante, with shaved Italian black summer truffles and lobster roe. The risotto was cooked to perfection, the wild scallops were tender and packed with flavor. Each bite was a treat.
The risotto was followed by Ossobuco di Maiale, pork shank with saffron risotto, cremini mushrooms, and an almond/citrus gremolata. The meat literally fell off the bone. The balsamic sauce on the mushrooms was addictive and the brilliant yellow saffron risotto was heavenly. Executive Chef Filippo Piccini clearly knows what he’s doing in the kitchen. Wow.
We ended the meal with Tiramisu. Not content to serve it in any ordinary dish, the Tiramisu at Solare is served in a clay flower pot and topped with a rosemary sprig. It looked pretty and tasted divine.
San Diego Restaurant Week runs September 22 – 29. The lunch menu at Solare is $20, a four-course dinner is $40. We love Solare and I’m confident you will, too.