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“Beyond excellent!”
Review of La Dolce Vita - CLOSED

La Dolce Vita
Price range: $21 - $31
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean, Delicatessen, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol
Wiltshire
Level Contributor
43 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Beyond excellent!”
Reviewed October 5, 2011

I originally reviewed La Dolce Vita in June 2011, and on each subsequent visit the food and service have got better and better. La Dolce Vita has actually surpassed all my expectations to the point where I would give it more than five stars if I could.

Our most recent visit was on 1st October, and our professional, helpful host Tomasso greeted us warmly. There is currently a special offer when ordering some of the starters with a marked pasta, gnocchi or risotto dish, where you can get both for £9.95 (I think), and is exceptionally good value. However, we decided to go for fish and meat dishes this time. The menu is extensive and - as well as the traditional favourites - contains interesting options that aren't often seen on Italian menus. I didn't spot a pizza section (which didn't bother me as I rarely choose pizza), but they have everything else!

When trying to decide on a suitable wine to accompany our meal, Tomasso was happy to provide knowledgeable advice based on our tastes, and suggested a couple of wines that might be suitable - in the end we decided on a £19.99 Montepulciano D'Abruzzo (although the wine list contains options that are cheaper, and encompasses a varied range of styles and prices).

My starter of sardines in a rich tomato sauce with capers and olives was a generous portion and thoroughly enjoyable. My husband predictably chose his favourite - calamari - which was tasty, tender and not greasy. My sliced beef fillet (Medaglione Enzo) was perfectly cooked, deliciously tender and contained no excess/visible fat, and was smothered in a strongly flavoured sauce of red wine, mushrooms, onions and black pepper, which accompanied it very well. My husband's sea bass cooked with white wine and sweet cherry tomatoes was a decent sized portion and wonderfully cooked. The vegetables weren't overcooked as they often are in restaurants, and the sautéed potatoes were crisp and not at all oily - probably the best we've ever eaten.

As before, the option was there to change sauces around from one type of fish/meat to another or omit certain ingredients, if we had wanted to (we didn't).

At the end of the meal, our host was happy for us to wait for a while before ordering dessert, and listed the options to us (all freshly made in house). We chose our desserts with some difficulty, and both were delightful. I'm quite fussy with tiramisu, as I don't like lots of cream, but this was a generous slice, topped with just a little cream and very good indeed. Tomasso kindly offered to have it made a different way if we let him know ahead of our next visit, if we wished! (I enjoyed what I had, so wouldn't dream of putting them to any inconvenience.) It's very rare to find such flexibility, dedication and customer focus, and we left feeling special. We noticed the other customers receiving the same level of service as well, and quite a few were obviously returning customers like ourselves.

Do ignore the shopfront of the restaurant, which runs alongside the road - it badly needs a makeover, and I suspect the somewhat drab exterior has put off some potential passing trade. Proceed directly inside and you won't regret visiting. With a recent renewal of their 5-star hygiene rating from Swindon Borough Council, there's no reason not to! This restaurant is now superb in every way.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank KyotoDreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

73 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    50
    15
    4
    0
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Best service in swindon, food to match!”
Reviewed September 4, 2011

We visited this restaurant on the back of reviews read on Trip Advisor. We don't normally write reviews, but we felt that the attention to detail shown by Tomasso, our waiter, warranted extremely high praise.

After reading the reviews and looking at the menu online, we were confident that this restaurant was going to deliver a high standard of food. However, we didnt anticipate the amazing service from Tomasso, he really didnt put a foot wrong from the moment he greeted us to the moment he held the door open for us to leave.

We were first impressed by his knowledge of the wine list. We dont normally drink italian wines so we wanted to make sure we picked something that we would like. When asked about particular wines he was able to give great information that helped us with our decision. In the end we went with an italian merlot but unfortunately Tomasso returned to explain that they only had a larger bottle of this in the restaurant and he offered us a chilean merlot instead. It was an absolutely incredible wine, and to make it even better, it was offered to us at the same price as our original order despite us suspecting this was a much more expensive.

The food served at this restaurant was really faultless. I ordered the Penne alla Franco and my girlfriend ordered the Tagliatele Gamberetti. Both dishes were incredible and cooked perfectly to al dente, something which escapes many italian restaurants in Swindon. For mains I had Filetto Rossini which was cooked perfectly, served hot and had a delicious sauce. My girlfriend had Veal Escalope which was also impeccable.

The only minor criticism we have is the fact the restaurant was only 40% full. We suspect this is due to the decor as everything else was really amazing. I just wish that people in Swindon would choose, quality of food and service over what the place looks like, If they did they would find a fantastic restaurant in Le Dolce Vita.

Thanks again to Tomasso for making our night. Such a talented and diligent waiter deserves a packed out restaurant.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DJM888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, UK
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Excellent food, great staff, would go again”
Reviewed August 13, 2011

My husband and I went after reading reviews on tripadvisor. We both enjoyed the food, couldn't fault it. The portion sizes were good although the dessert sizes were a little small. It reminded us of a hotel we stayed in in Italy. And we both liked the murals on the toilet doors!

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Butterfly012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiltshire
Level Contributor
43 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Accommodating staff and great food”
Reviewed June 23, 2011

I visited the La Dolce Vita initially for lunch one weekday, and was surprised to have the place to myself! During this visit, my insalata tricolore (avocado, mozzarella and tomato) starter was disappointing - the tomatoes didn't have much flavour, and the avocado was so unripe I could hardly cut it with a knife! However, my main course of penne vodka e salmone and green salad was tasty and just the right sized portion.

I booked a table for the following Saturday night, for me and my husband, plus my parents who would be visiting. The host and chef were very accommodating to my fussy parents' needs, cooking the funghi trifolati (mushrooms) without garlic, and also excluding the garlic from the sauce that came with their fish main courses. I chose Medaglione Enzo, which is fillet of beef with onions, mushrooms, black pepper and red wine sauce - really unusual for me, as 99% of the time I'll go for fish or pasta! I was very happy with my choice - the beef was tender and the sauce was delicious. The accompanying vegetables were nicely cooked, and the Merlot we chose we was juicy, tasty and great value. Peroni is available on draught, a nice selection of desserts were available, and there's a decent wine list.

The service was friendly and pleasant, and we were sorry to see that the restaurant was more than half empty on the Saturday night. If their standard remains this high, La Dolce Vita deserve success.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank KyotoDreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Nice, quiet and average . .”
Reviewed May 19, 2011

I went with a group of friends and was surprised at how quiet and empty the place was for a Saturday night. We all had a good meal. The service was quick and extremely polite. All of the food came out together and hot which is not always the case when there is a group of 8. The restaurant and food is nothing fantastic, but not bad value.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank KellyRowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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