Dennis and I were invited to try out Solare Ristorante for a taste of Southern Italy. We rarely dine in Point Loma area so thought it was the perfect opportunity to do so!
For starters, we were brought Focaccia bread which was fluffy and adorned with tasty heirloom tomatoes. Olive oil with oregano and sea salt was served on the side. If you're a big dipper like Dennis, you'll pick up a heavier dose of salt if you hit the bottom. We loved this!
We selected the Pere & Gorgonzola Salad which was split in two (one half is pictured). The salad had slightly crisp bartlett pears, candied walnuts, stronger gorgonzola cheese and a sweeter balsalmic reduction glaze. I appreciated the balanced composition of this salad and would totally order it again.
Our waiter was raving about the Tomato Soup so we decided to order that in the recommended bowl size (over the 'teaser' cup size). Dennis thought it was very good and creamy. The soup is also "Lynn approved" because it wasn't as salty as similar soups.
We accidentally received the Butternut Squash Soup first instead of tomato soup. Butternut squash is already sweet but this was way more than I expected. I prefer a more savory soup. Dennis did like it and thought it was similar to comfort food or dessert soup!
Dennis's main course was a Chicken Panini. He remarked that toasted bread usually had the same texture throughout while this one was soft on the inside but with a thin crust layer! The chicken breast inside was juicy but the ingredients were simple, nothing outstanding, at least for me. Also, there was way too much mayo which seemed to gush out everywhere on my half. It was served with a simple side salad which paled in comparison to the one we had earlier.
I wanted to try the Bolognese since I like my version at home. At first it tasted savory due to the beef but after a while it felt a bit heavy handed and somewhat oily. Dennis tried it and thought it was a little off balance without the fresh parmesan. I admit I usually forgo it so I can taste the food alone but agreed to incorporate it. Afterwards, it was better but didn't eliminate the heaviness of the sauce. The dish was still a good sized portion with nice presentation but we couldn't finish it all.
We skipped dessert because we were full and I had a birthday party to attend immediately after. I decided we had to revisit so we could at least try a few other things, especially dessert!
We came on a Thursday for their 50% off pizza night, between 6:30 and 9:30pm. They have other specials each night as well.
Dennis started out with the Siesta Cocktail. It was made with Fortaleza Tequila, which we discovered last year at Spirits of Mexico Festival! It was really smooth and still packed the Fortaleza goodness with the additional accents. The grapefruit aromatics were sensational and you could taste the influence mixed in. I was pleased to find that I really enjoyed this drink too.
The personal favorite of the waiter and even the chef himself was the Speck & Creme Fraiche Pizza. The cheese was milkier than other pizzas and there were stringy bits found throughout which I initially thought was cheese. When I asked the waiter, I found out that they were poached onions, sans the onion-y taste that I would have expected. We didn't even notice the smoked speck (special ham) on our first slice because the cheese and onions stood out so much to us! The second slice, we paid more attention and found small bits of meat here and there. This is my current favorite 'white' pizza version now.
Dennis's favorite pizza was the Salsiccia (Sausage) Pizza. Compared to the white pizza, you could totally sense the distinct taste of the components. He enjoyed hitting the full of flavor chunks of sausages and the roasted bell peppers in others. This is a great choice for a pizza with meat.
Our last pizza was the Cotto e Funghi (mushroom) Pizza. Every time we took a bite, we could totally smell the scent of the mushrooms! Maybe these were not cooked through as much as other pizzas since we've never noticed that before? The sauce itself was very light so the mushrooms shine through a little better. This one was ranked third of the bunch but still considered decent.
All three pizzas around 14 inch in diameter cooked with a thin style crust. We managed to finish approximately 2 pizzas worth and about two or three few slices of each flavor were saved for leftovers.
We finished the night with the Pistachio Cream Brulee. It had a dark caramelized top but underneath, it was a more sage green color infused by the pistachios! Mixing them mellowed out the flavor so that it wasn't as buttery as some of the others but added a different complexity to it, which I liked. In addition there were a few candied pistachios on top. The white dollop looks like whip cream but was instead that confectionary stuff that almost instantly melts in your mouth. Winner! We also got to try the house made Limoncello which was potent! The lemon flavor stood out very well but there was also a syrup texture where I could sense the sugars. It was a very interesting first try for this type of alcohol!
You can choose to sit indoors or on the patio areas for the beautiful weather. The only downside is the noise from occasional planes flying overhead, which is no fault of the restaurant. The waitstaff here is welcoming, accomodating and full of food recommendations. We even got to meet the owner Randy and the head chef Accursio. Chef actually recognized that we had attended their grazie party in June!
Solare Grazie Mille Festa (Party) June 11, 2014
Solare Ristorante won best italian restaurant and best chef from San Diego Magazine and decided to celebrate! Sis-in-law forwarded us the event info and we RSVP'ed to attend
The first three samples were complimentary and passed out until supply ran out: Baja shrimp infused with sorrento lemon, Gnocci sauteed with asparagus, arugula pesto and roasted almonds, Angus beef rib eye with organic roasted veggies infused with horseradish on crostino. The last three samples we purchased for $5 each: Caprese di Mozzarella e Pomodoro, Vegetaroam Lasagna, Sicilian Meatballs
Complimentary suckling pig for this event! The chefs chopped them up and while cleaving through meat and bones, you could see the steam coming out! These were very juicy and hot. The patrons came in droves for samples!
Disclaimer: we were hosted for the majority of this food but the opinions are strictly our own.
2820 Roosevelt Road
San Diego CA 92106