Group Behind "Michelin Star Of Italy" Awards San Diego's Solare Ristorante With Highest Honors

March 16, 2018

Italy’s top food & wine rating group, Gambero Rosso, has presented Solare Ristorante in Liberty Station with the prestigious Three Gamberi acknowledgement, similar to the Michelin Star system, one of only 13 awarded in the world, helping further shine a spotlight on San Diego’s evolving dining scene.

Solare Ristorante won the hearts of San Diego locals with its farm-to-table ethos, commitment to the surrounding community, and authentic Southern Italian cuisine. A highlight in Point Loma's Liberty Station neighborhood since opening its doors in 2012, Solare has consistently been recognized as one of San Diego's top restaurants. Solare entered the global limelight last year when Executive Chef Accursio Lotà took home the championship crown at Barilla Pasta’s World Pasta Championship in Parma, Italy. Last week, 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.

“We’ve always been proud of our strong connection to the Italian community, both locally and abroad," commented Solare Owner & General Manager Randy Smerik. "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."

Similar to France’s Michelin Star Awards, Italy’s Gambero Rosso’s Tre Gamberi recognizes top Italian restaurants around the world, bestowing this award to only 13 restaurants worldwide. 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 Chef 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. Over 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.

In celebration of this coveted award, Solare will be offering a special menu highlighting Solare dishes that the Gambero Rosso judges dined on, offering the award-winning experience to all patrons hungry for the opportunity to sample what Gambero Rosso called, "one of the most perfect examples of how Italian food is evolving in the 21st century - Chef Accursio’s menu marries traditional recipes, classic execution techniques, and fuses it with a hyper-fresh, seasonal focus." This menu will be available starting Friday, March 15, and will run through March 29.

Solare is located at 2820 Roosevelt Road in Point Loma's Liberty Station and is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch from 11:30am to 2:45pm, and for dinner from 4:30-10pm, and open on Sundays for dinner from 4:30-10pm. For more information, visit