Saturday afternoon we wanted to do something special – go somewhere new and try something a little different. When I called for reservations (thanks, Mel!) I was told we got the last reservation for the evening (6pm). We later found out it was Parents Weekend at UGA so every long lost Mom and Dad was there this weekend to make an appearance and take their kid out to eat somewhere any normal college kid could not possibly afford.
The restaurant is on the corner of East Broad and Jackson in the downtown district of Athens. The building is old and full of charm and you are enveloped in that sense as you climb the stairs to enter the dining experience which awaits you.
We arrived exactly at 6pm and were seated promptly. NOTE: There was a fair amount of table snobbery going on as we requested a table when we were seated but was told it wasn’t available. Moments later guess what table magically became available? Ours is not to complain, but to observe and report, gentle readers…
We ordered appetizers consisting of Bresaola Con Rucola (thin sliced air cured beef with extra virgin oilve oil lemon capers and rucola) and Bruschetta (pan roasted tuscan bread with extra virgin olive oil fresh diced tomato basil and garlic). We also ordered salads which were divine.
Inexplicably, our entrees took an hour and fifteen minutes to arrive from the time they were ordered. Granted, the restaurant was packed but I think the kitchen should be able to deliver a meal in much less time than that.
I had the classic lasagna, Mel ordered linguine with shrimp in alfredo sauce, and the other members of our party enjoyed the chicken marsalas and linguine with shrimp in a spicy, red tomato sauce. Food quality was not an issue. Each of us agreed the food was probably the best Italian food we’d had in a long, long time. One thing that did surprise us though was the portion sizes were not what we’d become accustomed to at other Italian restaurants. The flip side is… that still gave us room for a delicious dessert (which again was over-priced and under-portioned).
La Dolce Vita rates high for food quality, service and dining experience but low for bang-for-the-buck and portion sizes.