Opened in 1950, Solano’s (known as just “Lincoln Lounge” to regulars) is a throwback to the neighborhood joint of yesteryear, with a no-frills décor, no-pretense Italian food including lots of complimentary nibbles brought as you’re seated, and a welcoming owner (Bob Solano) who will know your name after just a few visits. Ordering off the menu is for newbies only—most regulars know what Solano’s does best: the hot and sweet sausage pie (no slices here), Gorgonzola salad, porterhouse steak, and bargain bottles of red wine.
Sometimes nostalgia is what we crave—and there’s no better place in the county to be transported to the days when Sinatra was king, when blue-and-white-checkered plastic tablecloths were actually in fashion, when dark wood paneling was cool, and when “red-sauce Italian” wasn’t a put-down. Celebrating 59 years in business, the restaurant has been owned by Bob Solano’s family for its entire history. The geniality the staff emanates can keep you warm even in midwinter. And Lincoln Lounge has character (and a few characters, usually around the bar), quirks (like the woman who does a brisk