My Italian is about as good as my Spanish, but I think the name of this restaurant in Valle San Lorenzo is something to do with sweetness or goodness. My assumption is based purely on the 1960s film La Dolce Vita. Therefore, from that snippet I’ll leave you to decide just how accurate I am.
We hadn´t intended going to the Dolcetto but there was a change of plan at the 11th hour and we found ourselves driving down the back streets of the town and more or less stumbled upon it. I had heard some conflicting reviews of the restaurant. One group said it was one of the best Italians in the area while a very good friend, who I normally trust because our tastes are similar, said it was OK … just a beer garden and nice if you wanted to take kids somewhere to let off steam, but other than that, nothing special.
It is quite deceptive, from the outside, it looks like hundreds of takeaways but once you are through the frosted glass side door the restaurant opens out into a large dining room, decorated with charm and elegance.
Luici and Marco the owners run a typical Italian restaurant where emphasis is placed on the family. It is the perfect place to bring your children. There is a huge fenced in garden with a playground and a terrace with pretty views where you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine before your meal.
It didn´t take long for us to realise that the service is good, friendly and professional. We were handed an extensive menu of Italian specialties that included homemade pastas and desserts.
We chose to share between the three of us two starters of cheesy garlic bread with tomato and Parma or perhaps it was prosciutto ham.
For my main course, I opted for the linguini with prawns, zucchini and tomatoes in a light creamy sauce. I can honestly say it was the best homemade pasta I have ever tasted. My veggie friend went for the spaghetti with squid (Yuk), muscles, prawns and tomato, while OH chose the fillet of pork with a tropical sauce that included pineapple, peach and apple.
For pudding, we went for the panna cotta lovely, light and rounded off the meal perfectly. Two glasses of red wine, two bottles of water, coffees and copitas came to under €45.
It was 8.30 when we arrived on a Thursday evening and there were a couple at the table on the opposite side of the dividing wall and a large family in the room adjacent to the outside terrace and gardens. By the time we left, the restaurant was full probably 50 or 60 local people. This in itself says how good it is – I would expect it to be busy at weekends but mid-week is normally unheard of.
Despite the varying reviews, my personal opinion is if you want a reasonably priced meal, somewhere that pays attention to detail, has friendly service, a nice atmosphere and serves the finest Italian food from a kitchen that goes beyond what is usual in such establishments, spoil yourself and go to the Dolcetto.