Dolce Italian opens and brings ‘la dolce vita’ to Center City

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You don’t need to travel to Italy to get a taste of some of the cuisine the country is known for — all you have to do is head to Center City.

According to a release, LDV Hospitality, the internationally recognized group known for its authentic and unique restaurant and cocktail bar experiences, recently announced the opening of Dolce Italian, the hospitality company’s second restaurant concept to hit the city. The new space brings what LDV says is an elevated, yet approachable Italian cuisine experience to heart of Philadelphia. Dolce Italian opened at 1439 Chestnut Street and is housed on the ground floor of the new W Hotel Philadelphia. Service officially began Sept. 7. 

The new eatery comes with one well-known chef at its helm as well. 

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“We’re thrilled to finally open our doors to guests in Philadelphia,” said chef Terry White, previously with LDV Hospitality at Dolce Mare in Atlantic City, in a statement. “This concept delivers a unique offering and contemporary environment that will complement the city’s robust culinary scene.”

Executive Chef White’s menu will boast items for breakfast, lunch and dinner pairing both seasonal ingredients with authentic menu items along the way. As the release states, breakfast highlights include the lemon ricotta pancakes, and a savory croissant and egg white frittata paired with a bold cappuccino or latte; for lunch, the startufata pizza, risotto al frutti di mare and eggplant parmigiana, are among the favorites. Then finally in the evening, signature plates like veal milanese, whole branzino and veal ossobucco tortelli headline the menu.

There’s a more casual component to the new upscale eatery as well, the bar (which is visible from the street) features espresso and coffee service by-day and specialty Italian-inspired aperitifs, cocktails and digestifs by night.

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 “Dolce’s interior is equally as approachable as its menu. Complementary, yet distinct from the hotel experience, the mid-century classic Italian design of the space speaks to the timeless narrative of the restaurant concept,” said Lynn Rinaldi, General Manager at Dolce Italian, in a statement. “The choice of materials are all localized nods to Philadelphia, while signature accents showcase a more contemporary influence.”

Some may recognize the new Philly concept’s name as well. Although it’s new to the City of Brotherly Love, un 2015 Dolce Italian took national stage, winning Bravo TV’s newest culinary competition series, “Best New Restaurant,” in Miami. But the concept first got its start in 2012 when Dolce Italian opened its first location in South Beach at the Gale Hotel, and then later on went to open in Ocean Resort and Casino in Atlantic City in 2018. Now the expansion has made it to Philly. 

The restaurant’s goal is to capture the timeless spirit of Fellini’s 1960’s Rome, or bring ‘la dolce vita’ to life with its “effortless charm and approachable sophistication.” According to the release, the restaurant’s first executive chef Paolo Dorigato brought to each restaurant his lifetime of culinary passion, driven by his upbringing in Trentino, Italy, coupled with international experience at legendary restaurants including Le Cirque and Cipriani. Dorigato expresses Italian cuisine in its purest form with his simple yet bold, authentic and seasonal menus. Signature Dolce classics range from handcrafted pastas to elegant seafood risotto, meatballs over creamy polenta, and a selection of specialty Neapolitan pizzas. The bar showcases an extensive wine list and specialty cocktails such as a barrel-aged Negroni and Aperol Spritz.

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For the opening location in Philadelphia, the restaurant’s indoor seating can accommodate 127 guests (as COVID-19 restrictions allow), in addition to a private dining space that can accommodate up to 12 seated guests. At this time, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. with a limited pizza and antipasti menu available at the bar from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Breakfast and lunch will be available on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dolce will be closed on Mondays and reservations can be made via OpenTable or directly through Dolce Italian’s website at dolceitalianrestaurant.com. For more information, follow @dolce_italian on Instagram.

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