Magazine Behind "Michelin Star Of Italy" Awards Several San Diego Restaurants With Honors

December 3, 2021

Italy’s top food & wine publishing group Gambero Rosso has recognized a handful of San Diego's top eateries in its 2022 guide to the best Italian restaurants around the world.

Similar to France’s Michelin Star Awards, Italy’s Gambero Rosso acknowledges top Italian restaurants around the world on an annual basis. Judges travel to nearly 30 countries every year, judging over 400 Italian restaurants on their cuisine, wine selection, service, and ambiance. This year, six San Diego restaurants were recognized by the Italian food and wine magazine, including North Park's Cori Pastificio, which received top honors of Three Gamberi acknowledgement for the second time in Chef Accursio Lota's incredible career. 

Originally from Sicily, Chef Accursio Lota first entered the culinary spotlight when at age 18 he was chosen to represent his school at a national culinary competition. Accursio moved to California when he was 22 to work at the Biltmore Four Seasons in Santa Barbara, where at one point he catered a fundraiser for then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama at Oprah Winfrey's home. The first restaurant Accursio cooked at in San Diego was at The Marine Room in La Jolla Shores. In 2012, Accursio and his wife started an underground fine dining restaurant club called Limone, where they designed pop-up events with themes related to the seasons. 

In November 2012, Accursio became the Executive Chef at Solare Ristorante in Liberty Station, where he received numerous awards and accolades during his tenure, including winning the 6th edition of the Barilla Pasta World Championship in 2017 and honored with the prestigious Three Gamberi acknowledgement from Gambero Rosso. In December 2019, Chef Accursio opened Cori Pastificio - a Sicilian-style Italian restaurant & pasta shop in North Park with a menu centered around fresh made pasta and Italian comfort foods. Last December, Gambero Rossi announced that Cori Pastificio was the 2020 New Opening of the Year.

In addition to Cori Pastificio, several other San Diego Italian restaurants received recognition from Gambero Rosso. Ambrogio15, which has locations in North Pacific Beach, Little Italy Food Hall and The Sky Deck in Del Mar, received the Villa Sandi Best Contemporary Wine List Award. Bankers Hill's Cucina Urbana, which just opened a sister restaurant in Balboa Park, was also recognized for its wine selection. 

Buona Forchetta's original South Park location received one pizza accreditation with suggestions from reviewers including the deep fried pizza, The Regina pizza and the Alexa pizza with rapini and house made sausage. Rounding out the San Diego inclusions, Little Italy's Civico 1845 received the well-respected Two Gamberi acknowledgement, and Solare Ristorante in Liberty Station received One Gamberi.