While not an impressive sight when we approached, the modern charm and transgressing kitchen flavors oozed into our souls just as soon as we stepped inside.
We are greeted by Sommelier Phil Fuentes who kindly explains all of the fabulous assortments of Italian dishes that we’re going to have. We start with a dry, sparkling Prosecco to cleanse our palates, accompanied by prosciutto wrapped around a sweet melon - which is usually served only for lunch here and also for breakfast in Italy.
Served with a glass of Marchetti, a dish with personality is laid before us: the Caprese is made to order with heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella di Bufala, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar reduction, basil and olive oil; different than any I’ve had before - soft, warm and tasty on the inside, thicker in texture on the outside - this is the famous imported Mozzarella di Bufala, the Italian cheese made from the milk of a domestic water buffalo. Dolce Italian makes their own cow milk version.
Beef Carpaccio showed up at the table accompanied by arugula and truffle oil and an exceptionally delicious, dry, aged parmigiano reggiano which blended perfectly with its plate mates. Roero Novello Botanical full-bodied red wine was recommended as ideal pairing.
A little while later, Edgar, our well behaved server, whisperd gallantly about the merits of their pizza, and as he scurries away to procure it, I remember: “Sir, I forgot to tell you that I’m gluten free”. To my utter surprise, Dolce Italian avails themselves of gluten free dough, and as a result I am clearly forced to at least try the classic Neapolitan Pizza, or Pizza Margherita with fior di latte (mozzarella), tomato sauce and basil. Not the best I’ve had, but I give it to them for the effort - the alternative dough is quite tricky, I’m told.
As we prepare for our main course we are served another glass of red wine to compliment the two main entrees offered this evening. The first, a Brazilian-Mediterranean sea bass next to couscous and sun-dried tomatoes with baby peas and carrots; the second - roasted chicken with a spinach-roasted garlic blend, pan seared mushrooms, and roasted potatoes. These extraordinary choices were wonderfully complemented with a glass of Brunello di Montalcino.
The desert is rich, creamy and downright orgasmic. My recommendation is trite, I know, yet - mannaggia- it can not be helped! Tiramisu with your choice of Italian coffee - for the sake of God do have it!
Signore e signori, I really enjoyed my experience here. Excellent Italian cuisine in South Beach!
For the culinarily ambitious, going to Dolce Italian is the best way to “get over” gastronomic traumas of the past, be they inflicted by a diner manager named Dick, or by insipid chow disguised as choices of menu some place else.
The food here is fresh, clean, pure, healthy, unique, experimental, modern and most of all - delicious.
Had I been at home, I swear it, I’d have licked clean every single plate.
If you're in the area do yourself a favor and check their website to reserve a table at