Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante

We and some friends tried one of the newer, fancier restaurants in town last weekend. We both have young kids so don’t get out much to such places. We ate at Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante, which is one of several “fancy” restaurants that are part of the elite, upscale Bridge Street Centre that opened here last year. We made reservations, thinking such a place would be packed or have a long wait on a Saturday night. The email confirmation of my reservation cracked me up — it suggested I rent a limo! Their reception area was curtained off from the rest of the restaurant, which gave this air of what was going behind the curtain was secretive or exclusive.

We were finally led behind the curtain to a half-moon shaped booth. Upon scanning the place we quickly noticed that the place was a little empty. A large party was behind us at the bar and several couples or small groups like us where scattered through out, but they weren’t full like I had imagined they be.

The environment felt very LA — very clean decor with touches of warmth. On the back wall were two fireplaces but they weren’t real. They were an animation projected onto the wall. That just an example of warm ambiance but this high-tech, modern spin.

We took the kid-free opportunity to sample every course — with kids you’re lucky to eat just one. We shared the Fresh & Crispy appetizer — crisp calamari, shrimp, asparagus and spicy aioli dipping sauce (and yes, I tried all three) — and loved it. For dinner, I had the Caesar salad and Fettuccini Alfredo which, if you know me at all you’ll know, is my standard favorite Italian dish. It’s what I get every time and it’s best from Olive Garden. So I had to try it if for no other reason than to compare with Olive Garden’s. It was very good, but didn’t even touch Olive Garden’s! (Not like I really expected it to.) We also had desserts — this one was the butterscotch somethingorother with ice cream. I don’t remember the exact name (sorry) but it doesn’t matter because it was delicious with or without a name.

Dolce is not the kind of place I would go often, but I would go there again if invited or if we’re out again on an adults-only night. The restaurant was nice but the best part of the evening was sharing it with the good company of friends.

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