I called up a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time and we decided to come to Dolcetto. I had wanted to try this place on several occasions, having passed by it several times.
This restaurant does Italian-style tapas, which was something I hadn’t really tried before. I’m all for spanish tapas but was a little weary about Italian tapas…I do love my pastas!
As a result of my craving for pasta, we ordered the Homemade Gnocchi with Truffle Cream. I have to say the look of this was not very good. It came in a dish of about 15-20 gnocchi’s , drenched in a thin truffle cream. It was very plain-looking and didn’t appeal too much to me. However, as soon as I bit into it, it was absolutely delicious! The gnocchi was of a soft, chewy, sticky consistency, and the potato mixture inside was surprisingly flavourful. The truffle cream provided that extra bit of flavour, and the fact that it was of a thin, almost soupy consistency made balance with the thick texture of the gnocchi. The spiciness of the pepper just peaked through and I kept wanting more.
We also ordered the dish of the night, which is the Arancini with portobello mushrooms inside, topped with parmesan cheese and served with a tomato-based thin sauce that had a taste of tabasco sauce. Arancini are Italian-styled rice balls, and these were massive. I didn’t enjoy these very much, mostly because I didn’t like the sauce, but the arancini was too dry to eat by itself. The portabello mushrooms also didn’t add any significant amount of flavour to the dish, which was extremely disappointing.
One of the main categories of dishes there was pizzas, so we ordered one. We went with the Bianca style pizza with squash, pancetta and mozzarella. Bianca pizzas are those without tomato sauce, just the pizza crust and cheese on top. The squash was sliced very thinly and seasoned with herbs. The pancetta is a type of bacon, adding just the right amount of meaty goodness to the pizza. The mozzarella was of a melted, creamier consistency. I thought this was quite well done. The portion size was perfect, and the mix of ingredients was also good. I like that they kept it simple, minimizing the number of ingredients they put onto each pizza, so I’d definitely recommend getting at least one of these!
Finally, we had the veal cheek braised in red wine, which was coincidentally served with mashed squash. We were a little sad that we had squash in two dishes, but since both dishes were quite good, we enjoyed it. The veal cheek was tender, but was a little difficult to cut as they didn’t give us very good knives, and the piece was quite thick. There was some soft cartilage that was in there, which was a little annoying. Overall, I thought this dish was okay, but perhaps my expectations had been a little high. The flavour and texture is good, but it didn’t wow me.
I do have to say that their service is quite casual. As I walked in, the Hostess had wanted to leave the area even though she saw me coming, but since I had made eye contact with her, she had to stop half way and come back to greet me. I could totally see her thought process, where for a step and a half through her walk, she contemplated not greeting me right away. Furthermore, when I told her we had made reservations, she told me to just sit at “that middle table there”. There were two “middle tables”. She just pointed and then left to do something that I guessed was far more important.
Finally, I didn’t get any menus for at least 10 minutes. A little disappointed at that, but perhaps it’s because they want a more casual atmosphere. But in my opinion you can be casual without being cold and uncaring.