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  • Salvatore's Cucina Italiana

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Salvatore's Cucina Italiana
Salvatore's Cucina Italiana

Salvatore's Cucina Italiana Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://salvatoresdowntown.com/index.html
  • Email: info@salvatoresdowntown.com
  • Phone: (619) 544-1865
  • Hours of Operation:

    Dinner: Sun-Thurs 5:00pm-9:00pm
    Dinner: Fri-Sat 5:00pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Raffaella Morelli
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Full Bar, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Jazz harpist Vicki McMaster performs on Saturday nights. Enchanting her play, is the harp, once belonging to Harpo Marx. He used the harp on his famous cameo appearance on the "I Love Lucy' show in the 1950's.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: G St.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: On-site underground parking, free with validation.
A word from Salvatore's Cucina Italiana
Raffaella Morelli, born, raised and educated in Rome, Italy, has been Salvatore’s heart and soul, since its opening in late 1987. Passionate about her country of origin’s cuisine, she has painstakingly trained a staff, with whom together, she has made Salvatore’s one of the best dining spots in the City.

Deceivingly simple, Raffaella’s dishes, using the finest and freshest of ingredients, find a delicate balance, only achievable through her many years of loving labor in the kitchen, saying, “Each dish is much more than a combination of flavors. It is a reflection of Italy’s history, culture, and inherited memories.” Consequently, one experiences flavors, aromas and subtle textures, rarely found even in the best restaurants of Italy.

With a philosophy of “hospitality over pretention,” every guest is treated as if she or he were a loved family member at each and every step of their dining experience.

Benvenuto & Boun Appetito!
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSpecial Occasion
Diner Reviews
  • "We have been there numerous times & always top of the line. Excellent food & service never disappoints"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "We were the first people to come; then a couple , lastly another group. When we were sat, one of the waiters came to offer water . Then the manager, or owner went to the two tables warmly welcoming them to the restaurant- but absolutely no stop at our table.. our waiter finally came /no elaboration of the menu. I had to ask. The waiter refilling our water, who was admittedly new to the restaurant, who wasn't familiar with a few of our questions, was the one with whom we felt most welcome There were a total of 3 tables the time we were there, they hardly had business that evening, but it was more sad that they seemed to pick and choose who they want to welcome. We wanted to try their desserts that evening, but just decided to leave."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "We went here for our 3 year anniversary! We had an excellent time and experience! :-) we will be back every year from now on.the food was delicious the best Italian i have ever had yet in San Diego.the service was excellent, the people were very nice and attentive.the place was vibrant beautiful lightening and candlelight dinner.it was spectacular! We really enjoyed ourselves.the tiramasu and creme bule was excellent.we really enjoyed the harp music.we got an excellent table! We would definately recommend this place to or friends and family! We loved it here and its definitely going to be our new spot!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "My wife and I have dined at this restaurant several times before and enjoyed it each time. The ossobuco is fabulous and would suggest this to anyone who enjoys a great dining experience. I would definitely return to this place again."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Greeted warmly and given a complimentary glass of prosecco. That was very nice. This however, may not be the place to go if you have something else to do. Service was slow and food comes out slow as well. About and hour and fifteen minutes, from the time we were seated. The hilight of the evening was the super fresh heirloom tomato, mozzarella , caprese salad. One of the most delicious things I've ever had! I can't say the same for my, underwhelming, lacking flavor, pasta dish. I don't recall the name,but it had penne, Zucchini, peas and some other veggies. Bland, bland, bland . Due to dietary restrictions I eat mostly chicken. They only had one chicken dish on the menu, which I think was Chicken parm. Marsala, piccata, would've been nice."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Tim, our waiter was excellent! Food quality is extremely good! Plenty of choices on the menu for us to go back!"
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "What a wonderfully friendly staff. Everyone greeted me by name. Congratulated me on our special occasion. The food was exceptional. Best dining spot in San Diego. Only thing was service was slow but appropriate to our enjoying the evening. Nothing to complain about though. Just and FYI."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "This was a fabulous find. It was everything that has been described about it and more!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Superb, excellent Italian food. We've dined then multiple time overmany years and still find it the best Italian restaurant."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "The food was amazing, the service was absolutely horrible, once we were served the waiter never cam back to check on us. Called for the check early because of this, took twenty minutes to receive after asking twice. Felt like we were not taken serious because my girlfriend and I were younger than then crowd that was there"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "One of us had excellent osso buco. The veal scallopini was also great."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The haggard-looking owner at the door is one of the biggest problems. There is a lot of hype it not much there- there. Fair veal chop at great expense. Good wine."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Our diner at Salvatore's was fine, but nothing particularly noteworthy, including the pasta, the dessert and our waiter."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "An excellent place to dine. Unfortunately, quite noisy on Valentine's Day. The piano player was good, but the space too small for a piano & singer with a speaker. Perhaps without the speaker it could have worked? Or placed between the two rooms? More subtle background music was needed. Difficult to converse. The restaurant was decorated with balloons for the holiday, and looked festive and beautiful. The decor, usually without the balloons, is exceptional. The food and service were EXCELLENT, as always. The veal saltimbocca & salmon, served hot & were both exceptional. A very friendly place. A special place and one of the very best restaurants in San Diego! Actually, not sure I could come up with another that is comparable!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "From the time you call in to make or confirm a reservation until you leave Salvatore's, the personalized service exceeds 5 Stars! We like Italian restaurants and are always on a quest to find great ones, locally and when traveling. The really great ones, we've found, are few and far between. Salvatore's rates at the very Top of of list and has for several years. We mostly visit Salvatore's for special occasions with family and friends, but we've decided our visits will pick up in frequency this year."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "excellent service, food...convenient to the Balboa Theater....wonderful maitre'd! we look forward to returning."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "We hadn't been to Salvatore's in many years and decided to dine there because we had a play to attend at Horton Plaza. What a happy surprise! The food was fresh and delicious, the service attentive without being cloying and it was, indeed a short walk to Horton Plaza. We'll be back and we won't wait so long this time!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "My husband and I always take our visiting guest to dinner at Salvatore's Cucina Italiana. We have never had a bad meal or bad service. It is always perfection! The price is high, but in this case you definitely get what you pay for. Our guests enjoy their dinner so much that the next time they are in town, they take us out to Salvatore's!"
    Dined on 1/21/2014
  • "Friendly, welcoming, delicious -- a wonderful evening. Caprese burrato was one of the best I've had. Papa Sisto was great. Husband loved the osso buco. Desserts were excellent. It seemed one couldn't go wrong."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Ww were looking for a spot near our New Year's eve venue, and had heard of Salvatore's. We needed to go at 5:00, so we didn't expect the amazing attention - and even more amazing food - we received. It is elegant without being pretentious. Our experience at Salvatore's was absolutely the best way to end the year!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We had dinner here after driving by several times and this restaurant exceeded my expectations! We had prosecco on the house which was a great welcoming touch. Everything we ordered was amazing! I highly recommend the beef meatballs appetizer and the ossobucco...mmm it fell off the bone. The ambiance was fun. The man singing and playing the piano was really good! Im excited to return."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "While visiting San Diego, friends took us to a different Italian restaurant the night before. It was in the Gaslamp and was disappointing. I was determined to find something better for the next night. I found Salvatore's on yelp and it sounded good. I made a reservation for 7 people. I'm very glad I did. The service, food and atmosphere more than made up for our previous nights experience. Really nice. I highly recommend them."
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "Nice restaurant for very good and good service. Unfortunately not as memorable as the prices. The atmosphere is beautiful"
    Dined on 12/11/2013
  • "Although Salvatore Cuchina has been operating for quite some time, I just recently discover this Resturant. The atmosphere is genenuinely inviting and wonderful. The food was exceptional, very good wine list. But the service and the dialog with the manager and owner was what made for a really unique dinning experience. Highly recommend this Resturant"
    Dined on 12/10/2013
  • "Food was delicious. They have much variety of souses you can customize your order. Service is outstanding"
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "We just love Salvatore's. A romantic spot with incredible food and friendly wait staff. This is a place we will definitely come back to. Perfectly made martinis too!"
    Dined on 11/26/2013
  • "The veal and white sea bass were superb! Beautifully decorated and romantic. The harp music on Saturday was terrific. Every aspect of the service was outstanding. Definitely a restaurant that you will enjoy!"
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "Loved it, loved it. Low key, and intimate, the food and service were top notch. Grand piano entertainment ( not overpowering) was pleasant and special. Yes on this one ! Go!"
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "The owner has been present both times we were there and his enthusiasm and love for his restaurant and guests is obvious. He gave us our own bartender as our guests arrived who then become our server. We really felt special. Everyone was thrilled!"
    Dined on 11/19/2013
  • "Salvatore's is a beautiful gem just outside the hubbub of the Gaslamp District. The staff are friendly and welcoming and truly cater to their diners. This is an elegant place for birthdays and anniversaries and even family dinners. Please leave noisy unruly children at home. I used to enjoy the harpist and don't know if she still plays on some evenings. There was a very good pianist/singer on the Fridays when we have dined here. He plays a great variety of music, from blues to show tunes. Just ask! My only complaint, not shared by my three friends, is that the music sometimes can be too loud for this lovely dining experience, and makes it difficult to enjoy a quiet conversation. I don't want to have to talk more loudly over the music."
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "Across the board (food, ambience, service) had the feel of a restaurant that used to be fantastic, but has gone downhill a bit. We had the scaloppine and the fish of the day (salmon). Everything was good, but not remarkable- certainly not worth the price. Overall, nothing special."
    Dined on 11/12/2013
  • "We had a lovely dinner....the osso bucco was excellent and the veal scallapini had a wonderful lemon flavor."
    Dined on 10/27/2013
  • "You can't go wrong here! Everything is super fresh and the service is wonderful."
    Dined on 10/19/2013
  • "We ate here on a trip to San Diego. Great Italian food! The place clearly caters to an older crowd (ok, that us) in that there is a piano player and it's on the pricy side. The food was really, really good! Nice wines, nice greeting when we got there, nice server. Would return."
    Dined on 10/17/2013
  • "This is a traditional Italian restaurant, with tremendous food, wine and ambience. We could actually have a conversation without shouting to be heard, and the service was perfect. A welcome recite from the craziness of the touristy restaurant scene in SD."
    Dined on 10/18/2013
  • "Staff was welcoming, perfect ambiance, meal unsurpassed. While not in the thick of the gaslamp scene, still the best meal you'll find in San Diego."
    Dined on 10/11/2013
  • "Good location with outstanding food - full menu of items expertly prepared. Very flavorful and most excellent dinner thank you"
    Dined on 10/11/2013
  • "Our dinner at sal's was fantastic. Farm to table is the norm here. Best capresse EVER! Pasta so fresh, bread so warm, entrees perfect. Then dessert- don't skip the dessert!! With San Diego having thousands of great restaurants now, it is hard to decide where to eat when we vacation here. But Salvatore's will now be a regular for us. Rafaela cooks everything fresh and with love and it is extremely enjoyable."
    Dined on 8/9/2013