Dolce Vita Pizzeria Enoteca
Price Range is the average cost per entree. The range does not include drinks, tax or tip.
We are going for averages here, folks.$ = Under $10: My money is funny and my credit won't get it!
$$ = $11 - $20: Just got paid....Friday night!!!
$$$ = $21 - $39: Don't cheat yourself....treat yourself!
$$$$ = Above $40: Splurge baby. Splurge!
CCC: "Triple C" rating. Establishments with this rating have that wow factor -- whether it be exceptional food or world class service. An 'eat-peat' is definitely in order. Consider placing these restaurants on your 'must do' list. Visit at your own risk - these establishments can cause late night cravings.
CC: "Double C" rating. Solid restaurant. Can be either average or above average. They excel in a few categories but may miss the mark in some others. Members will agree that these establishments warrant future visits and will recommend you pay them a visit. You'll find most restaurants with this rating.
C: "Single C" rating. Missing that "it" factor especially as it relates to good cuisine. Triple C members do not recommend this establishment. Not particularly worth the money, gas, time or effort, unless you get a rise out of let-downs. Hold on to your dough and spend it at restaurants with Double or Triple C ratings.
Alright, let me get the positives out of the way. It’s centrally located just outside of downtown Houston in the Montrose area. Ummmm…… it makes its home in a very cute Victorian style abode. Let’s see……the drinks are pretty darn awesome. OK, I don’t think I can squeeze out anymore pros.
Not knowing how busy the establishment gets, I thought it would be best to make a reservation to be on the safe side. After speaking with the hostess I was perplexed by the fact that they do not take reservations for parties under six. I thought, OK no big deal, we’ll just make the 30-minute wait….it can’t be that bad. Well it was. We arrived and immediately placed our name on the list to find out there would be a1 hour wait, maybe more. Moral of the story….if you have a party of six or less like ours or if you’re looking for a place to take a date, either be prepared to wait or head elsewhere.
Our impatience tempted us to go elsewhere, but since some of the folks in our party were not there yet we decided to wait it out. We lucked up on a few seats in this tiny area called a bar. It was so uncomfortable in this little area and there was no room for any movement. Talk about a claustrophobic moment. This is the time when you need a drink or two. Two Bellinis and one Lemon-Basil Martini please!! The drinks are phenomenal and pack a hard punch. They are certainly not stingy with the alcohol in the Bellini. I later tried the Lemon-Basil Martini and it was nice as well. A very fitting drink for an Italian-style pizzeria. The martini is made with gin, lemon juice, sugar and of course fresh basil. It’s sort of like a traditional Mojito, but not as sweet and with a twang from basil. Be careful as this drink will sneak up on you if you’re not careful.
Finally, the rest of the party arrived and shortly thereafter we were seated. Up the stairs we go and into yet another room with too many people for the space. It’s a vicious cycle of mayhem people. You find each table talking louder than the next table in order to hear each other. We observed the philosophy – when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Straining to hear and raising my voice a few decibels, I thought I would lose at least one of my senses by the end of the night.
After the waiter took our drink orders I was expecting him to return with not only our drinks but perhaps a basket of bread – after all, this IS an Italian restaurant. Needless to say there was no bread served. It’s just strange to me that an establishment like this would not serve complimentary bread. It’s a pizzeria for god’s sake; they’re surrounded by dough!! It’s like a Mexican restaurant without chips & salsa, like Walmart without its ghetto-fabulousness, like Donald Trump without his toupee. Quite disturbing to say the least.
Dolce Vita offers a variety of pasta dishes. I ordered the Orecchietta Pasta with sweet sausage under the recommendation of the waiter. He said this is the most popular and best pasta they serve. The others opted for the Margherita pizza. Let’s start with my meal. I was so underwhelmed people. This dish was off the mark in so many ways. The undercooked pasta was served in a cereal bowl and did not offer any visual appeal at all. The pasta was soaked and tossed in oil (not a wine sauce as the menu claimed). It’s as if the ‘chef’ fried Italian sausage with a few spices and dumped everything (oil included) into bowl and tossed it with pasta. How could anyone calling themselves a ‘chef ’ let something like this leave the kitchen. I totally understand this is a pizzeria, but come on, give some attention to the other items you serve. I’ve had way better at chain establishments like Olive Garden. At least the breadsticks are included in the meal. My analysis of the situation – if this is the best pasta they have (cosigned by the waiter), DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT order any pasta from this place. Chances are, you’ll be disappointed.
Not to continue on a sour note, but I’m not sure if ordering pizza will be much better than going with the pasta. Again, the remaining group ordered the Margherita Pizza. All of their pizzas are baked using wood fired oven. The verdict is split on Dolce Vita’s signature cuisine. On one end I’m hearing the Margherita pizza was flavorless and the crust a little too charred. The price tag certainly doesn’t match the quality of product served. Again, if we had to compare their pizza to other pizzerias around town, Dolce Vita wouldn’t stand a chance. The others who ordered the Margherita pizza had a slightly opposite experience. They enjoyed their Margherita pizza and didn’t have many complaints. They thought it as good, but nothing to write home about.
Under normal circumstances, I would not go back to a restaurant with a “Single C” rating. But due to the two very different opinions about the pizza, I’ll give Dolce Vita another shot. Definitely not for the pasta, but for a nice drink and a slice of pizza….and oh yeah, on a random day during the week. Can’t do that 1 hour wait again.
Until next time…Cheers!!
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- 2. Fuzzy’s Pizza & Cafe
- 3. Corelli’s Italian Cafe
- 4. LaGriglia
- 5. Caffe Bello