Dolce Italian | River North | Italian | Restaurant
Italian spot in the Godfrey Hotel, the second iteration of a Miami restaurant that took the title on the Bravo reality show Best New Restaurant.

Our Review

Dolce Italian arrived in Chicago this spring with the distinction of being the second incarnation of a Miami restaurant that was named the best new restaurant in America on a Bravo program called Best New Restaurant. A reality-TV victory isn't an unimpressive laurel to rest on, but you have to wonder about the savvy involved in opening another nostalgia-tinged Italian joint in River North, the gurgling, engorged belly of Chicago's Italian-food beast. People who watched the show may have trouble reconciling the food presented on BNR with what's on offer here. They've taken a decidedly populist approach: Neapolitan-style pizzas, house-made pasta, entrees like veal scallopini and roast chicken. The Caesar was chopped beyond recognition and absolutely drenched in a creamy dressing (I never learn my lesson about these things). We busied ourselves instead with the bread course, a combination of thin slices of airy, chewy Italian bread and delicious, crispy Parmesan-and-garlic-seasoned olive oil flatbread. Dolce serves a perfectly serviceable Neapolitan pie for $16 that's big enough to share between two or three people. The ricotta cavatelli were soft, dense, and filling, like mini gnocchi. The lamb ragu was unremarkable, but the dish's prospects were improved by a bed of garlicky, crisp broccoli rabe. Had the Bravo program that handed Dolce an honor had been called Good New Restaurants, I might be able to get behind that assessment. But as it is, Dolce Italian isn't even the best new Italian restaurant in River North.

Gwynedd Stuart

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Price: $$$$
Payment Type: Accepts cards

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