What an evening! My husband arrived home in time from work for me to whip on a t-shirt and jeans as we had an errand to run where we live in Bridgeland. Low and behold on the way home, we passed Dolce Vita AGAIN and wondered what it was all about. We always crane our necks to look inside up and down and around but can never see in! A couple of nights I took the time to look up the reviews on this place and the news wasn't that good. So, we have lived in this hood for about 4 months and have avoided it. We thought we would step inside tonight on the way by and have a peek in. We were warmly greeted and invited to go check out the new 2nd level "pizza bar". (LDV) It has only been open for 1 month. OK, I thought I could have been dressed better to sit downstairs anyways and I wasn't, so upstairs we merrily went. PLEASANTLY surprised. The upper level is warm and inviting and by the time we left (we got there early around 530pm) it was at full capacity. (Many X-mas parties) The upper area is nothing at all like the lower area where it appeared dark and unwelcoming. But I could be wrong about the main level, we did not venture in down there too far... So, we were greeted by a new waitress and kind of seated ourselves by the window and menus were brought to us. Fireplace roaring, the place was fresh and clean and I was surrounded by manly black chairs but warm wood and fixtures. I loved the beams in the ceiling. My husband got to try out a new beer tonight which he loved from Austria (Stiegl) and he was even given the option to sample first! He wanted to try one other but the Keg was out, no biggie. I tried a Chianti red wine to start and it was lovely. Mozzarella balls (fried) on the appy list was not missed by my husband (a mouse in his former life according to him).I KNEW these would have to be ordered. The waitress advised we should have the focaccia bread with it to add to it but, not my fave so we skipped that but ordered the balls to come out with our pizza. The balls were large (2), fresh tasting and nicely breaded. A great score. The pizza - thin crust, Napolitana style, wow, you can see that huge oven as soon as you walk in. THIS is pizza I have been looking for in Calgary, fresh ingredients, good selection. We ordered the San Francesco style pizza which has a trufflle oil base, arugula, prosciutto, asiago cheese and grape tomatoes. ($16) YUM! No guilt! It was like a salad on barely there carbs! The pizza was not overloaded with the pricey toppings but was just enough. We loved having the mozza ball sauce, nice and tomatoe-y to dip the pizza in. I really could not believe how many beer they had there but my husband ordered a second Stiegl and I ordered a red wine, valpolicella. Very nice, even more body than the first one and went well with food as the waitress had in fact mentioned. She could not comment too much on the food as she was so new - this is why I believe anyone starting in a new restaurant as a server should have a scheduled tasting of everything. But, that is my opinion - we were on our own to order and we did well. We had a great time. This spot had a true Italian feel to it and I felt like I had been transported back a bit in time to another place. Not cheap but not overpriced and no frills EX, no candies come with your bill at the end! We have to commend our server though, as true foodies, we took our time with everything and she was ever present and gets an A for effort. The bill without tip was $63 including GST for 2 drinks each, a shared appy and shared pizza. We looked at the dessert menu but we will save that for another time. (No tiramisu!?) And there will be another time, very soon!
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