San Diego Restaurant Week is upon us again! From September 21 through 26, you can enjoy a two-course lunch or three-course dinner at over 200 restaurants in San Diego, with lunch priced at $10, $15, or $20, and dinner priced at $25, $35, and $45. S and I have visited several restaurants during SDRW over the past few years, and this year, we were fortunate enough to be invited to try out Solare Ristorante, a cute little Italian restaurant in Liberty Station.
Solare is offering a $20 lunch and $35 dinner, with some additional items that you can add on for extra. S and I love Italian food, so we were pretty excited to visit.
Blushing Lady martini [$9]
I chose a martini, per our waiter’s recommendation. This is made with vodka and grapefruit and pomegranate juices, with a grapefruit rind. S said that it tasted like juice, but I enjoyed it, hehe.
Shortly after being seated, we got a bowl of house-made focaccia bread, along with olive oil for dipping. S loved this focaccia and said that it was full of umami. He has never, ever made such a “foodie” comment before so I am documenting this historic moment here! The bread was indeed quite good, and we ate way too many pieces of it before realizing that we had a big meal ahead of us.
There were four items in the “Options for Sharing” section of the menu, which were basically little appetizers or sides that you could add on for an extra charge. S and I decided to try a couple of them, since they sounded pretty good!
Kobe Meatballs: vintage hand-made American Kobe beef meatballs, served with sautéed rainbow chard and pecorino Crotonese [$14]
The Kobe meatballs were really yummy and flavorful – I loved the melted pecorino on top, and the sauce that accompanied it – especially the sautéed rainbow chard. It was quite an elevated version of the classic meatball with tomato sauce.
Arancini: classic Sicilian crispy rice balls with beef, pork, and veal ragù, sweet peas, and mozzarella [$9]
The best way that I can describe arancini is like a hush puppy, but with rice instead of cornmeal. I’ve never had it before and loved it here! I really enjoyed the flavor of the crispy exterior, which was like toasted rice. I could have eaten all of these without the accompanying ragù – the sauce was good, but the rice balls were truly the star. After eating one, I told S that I like these even more than hush puppies, and he was quite impressed since he knows how much I adore hush puppies, haha.
After those two “snacks,” our appetizers arrived…
Zuppa di Funghi – Mushroom bisque: maitake, shiitake, and porcini mushrooms infused with thyme and served with black truffle butter
I was initially worried that S wouldn’t like the soup, since it had shiitake mushrooms in it, but he ended up loving it. I guess the creaminess of the bisque and the truffle butter offset the shiitake taste that he doesn’t like. Also, I’m guessing that the restaurant used fresh instead of dried shiitake, which actually has a pretty different taste. Anyway, we liked this soup a lot – but we’re easy to please, as long as there’s truffles, haha.
Burrata e Prugne: Gioia cheese burrata served with Regier Family Farms plums, grilled asparagus, house-made balsamic pearls, and fresh basil
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