Dolce closes, re-opens as Amici’s Ristobar in Pacific Highlands Ranch

Dolce in the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch closed on June 18 and reopened as Amici’s Ristobar on June 22. At the new Amici’s Ristobar, guests will be greeted by a neighborhood-focused Italian restaurant with more approachable and relaxed decor, a casual-upscale vibe and a revamped outdoor patio.

The new Amici’s in the Village of Pacific Highlands Ranch.
(James Tran)

A few favorite menu items from Dolce will join Amici’s menu, which will also introduce new options for family sharing and kids. A neighborhood-friendly restaurant, Amici’s aims to be a place for everyone, from date night to a relaxed meal with friends and family.

Meaning "friends" in Italian, Amici’s captures the spirit that owners Chris and Louise Lischewski and Eric Nielsen strive to embody in their restaurant. Dolce originally opened in February 2016 but experienced an unexpected tragedy when founder Dr. Anthony Smith passed away suddenly in late 2017. Close friends and business partners with Smith, the Lischewskis and Nielsen decided to honor him by taking full ownership of the restaurant and creating new energy with an updated menu, refreshed design and new name.

Diners can expect to find the same familiar faces that managed Dolce prior to the re-opening, including Chef Rhoelle Gabriel, General Manager Courtney MacDonald and the same front-and-back of house teams.

Chef Rhoelle Gabriel’s menu pairs favorites from Dolce and new dishes.
(Jim Sullivan)

The new menu, created by Chef Gabriel, is inspired by her time at Andrea at Pelican Hill and the owners’ travels through Italy. Chef Gabriel combines the bright flavors of Southern Italy with fresh, seasonal California produce with dishes such as eggplant Parmigiana in a jar, roasted octopus with cannellini beans, cherry tomato and spicy breadcrumbs, a variety of pizzas from the restaurant’s wood-burning oven, handmade pastas and beautifully simple classics like the Spaghetti Vongole with clams, white wine, garlic, fresh herb and a head-turning bone-in Veal Milanese topped with arugula, cherry tomato and balsamic vinegar.

Offering lunch, happy hour and dinner, Amici’s will be open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Happy Hour every day from 3-6 p.m and Monday 3 p.m. - close.

Amici’s is located at 5980 Village Way, San Diego, 92130 in the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. 858-847-2740;