NEW BUSINESS: SOLAIA

Welcome Solaia at 30 St. Paul St, a new restaurant that’s offering a modern twist on classic Italian dishes. The owner Davide Gutta brings a piece of Northern Italy to the Downtown core with this venture.

In 2017, Davide went on a life changing trip to Italy with his childhood friends Ryan and Lindsay Goncalves. This trip reignited Davide’s love for food, and gave the friends the idea to open their own restaurant based on the amazing experiences they had. The trio had vast experience travelling to different places and enjoying a wide range of cuisines.  Davide has a culinary background, being a sous-chef and a wine sommelier. Ryan and Lindsay bring a wealth of experience as business owners, having managed several across in the GTA. Davide acknowledges the ambition of both Ryan and Lindsay, expressing confidence in their creative insights. While they oversee the technical aspects, Davide focuses on cuisine operations.

Confident with what they could offer, Solaia needed a location. #DowntownSTC was selected due to its vibrant atmosphere and diverse dining choices. Davide highlights the area’s growth and its promising future. He identified a market gap that Solaia could fill perfectly. Another advantage for Davide was living nearby. The yellow building seemed fated as it relates with the name of the restaurant. The name Solaia translates to “a place where the energy of the sun radiates”. The name also comes from the Italy trip as it was the name of one of the wineries that the friends visited. The name is easy to pronounce with a special meaning.

Davide referred to the statistic that “8/10 restaurants close”, but had faith in their vision and saw Solaia as part of the 2/10 that would thrive. Despite facing challenges, Solaia welcomed its first customers on September 1st, 2023. The restaurant is known for its commitment to using the freshest ingredients and supporting local producers as much as possible. Adam Caravaggio, the sous chef who Davide encountered during his time in Muskoka, patiently awaited the opening of Solaia and relocated to be part of it. The objective is to offer a unique dining experience with each visit. Solaia aims to be a place where customers can enjoy dining daily, rather than just a “destination spot”, resulting in a growing number of loyal customers frequenting the restaurant. Davide shares that he wants to ensure that no one leaves hungry. 

Solaia offers simple dishes that are elevated. Davide makes everything daily in house with premium grade ingredients. We were treated to the braised rabbit gnocchi, mushroom focaccia, vitello tonnato (tuna and beef dish) and torta caprese (almond based dessert),  which were all an explosion of flavour and can’t be recommended enough. A diverse range of dishes is offered at Solaia, and Davide is happy to customize them to your preferences. They are adaptable, with gluten-free choices available upon request. The ambiance at Solaia is warm, welcoming, and elegant at the same time. You feel as if you’re visiting someone familiar, and the customer service only amplifies this. Their attention to detail is exceptional, even focusing on overlooked features like water. Solaia has an Italian filtration water device to ensure that all aspects are quality grade. As Davide has a deep passion for wine and pasta, he takes great pride in offering these choices at the restaurant. He proudly mentions having the most extensive wine selection in the region.

Davide believes in giving back to the community and boosting local talent. With the restaurant, he hosts a Winemaker’s dinner which is an exquisite evening filled with wine pairings, a delectable multi-course dinner that highlights a local winemaker. The restaurant will be a part of an upcoming April charity auction working with Grapes for Humanity, an organization that embraces those in need as a result of natural disasters, economic hardship and children at risk. The foundation is particularly interested in the welfare and education of children in developing countries. Solaia will also be a part of the Out of the Cold program where they supply meals that are needed to feed 150-200 people in need. Davide’s values reflect his strong belief in the significance of support and community, motivating him to contribute and give back to society.

Solaia has a variety of future goals, including the introduction of their new upstairs area named the “Luna Lounge”. This name aligns perfectly with Solaia’s essence, reflecting its diverse atmospheres. The lounge is set to offer a unique ambiance, cocktails, a bustling atmosphere with people eagerly waiting to dine, a space to relax and socialize after dinner, and a sense of inclusivity. With the warmer weather on the horizon, Solaia will provide two outdoor patios at the front and back of the restaurant. Davide aims to collaborate with more local wineries to expand his wine collection and support the local economy. Additionally, Davide has hinted at the prospect of creating his own wine, so stay tuned for updates on that exciting development.

We are so excited to see Solaia flourish and encourage you to go for a one-of-a-kind Italian dining experience!

Welcome Downtown!