Review: Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita ExteriorOn our last edition of “Write the Caption,” we showed the picture of this guy (see right.) The winner of caption challenge is Pam with:

Sir, may I take your umbrella?

Well, this guy can be found outside one of my favorite spots in all of Boston’s North End, Dolce Vita (which means the “sweet life.”) Owner Franco Graceffa welcomes everyone into his home for an unforgettable meal.

With so many restaurants claiming they are the best in this little neighborhood, Dolce Vita is our go-to place when we want to savor a hearty Italian meal. Franco does just about everything at the restaurant from seating you to taking your order. If you don’t see something you like on the menu, he’ll work with you to create something that you will love.

Calamari at Dolce VitaBrett and I started our meal off with the fried calamari appetizer served with a side of marinara sauce. The calamari was tender and juicy. Our dining companion – Brett’s dad Mike – who we were celebrating both of their birthdays for this special evening – enjoyed a specially-made tomato and mozzarella salad served with balsamic vinegar.

Spaghetti Carbonara at Dolce VitaFor entrees, Brett ordered the spaghetti carbonara – spaghetti noodles mixed in a rich cream sauce with bacon and just a hint of egg.

The spicy pasta creation at Dolce VitaMike wanted something a little spicy for his main course, so he worked with Franco to create this dish similar to a chicken cacciatore. The ziti pasta was smothered in a spicy red sauce filled with peppers, onions and hunks of tender chicken.

Linguini with garlic and broccoli rabeAs for me, I was having an off-day. (We dined at Dolce Vita while I was having my little health scare a few months back so I wasn’t feeling my normal “I-can-eat-anything” self.) So, I also worked with Franco to come up with something just a tad lighter than Dolce Vita’s typical fare.

My creation started off with linguini pasta that was mixed with broccoli rabe in a light garlic and olive oil sauce, and topped off with just a twinge of parmesan cheese.

Overall, the best part about Dolce Vita is their flexibility. If you don’t see something that you like on their menu, they will put on their “thinking caps” and make something to fit your wildest culinary dreams. But, there’s also a great feeling of family in the restaurant. From all the large parties celebrating graduations to birthdays, Franco and his team will make you and your closest family be a part of his closest family.

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