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“Too cold, too crowded, and average food”
Review of La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita
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Ranked #164 of 1,844 Restaurants in Cleveland
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Transit: RTA bus stop in front of restaurant.
Level Contributor
48 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Too cold, too crowded, and average food”
Reviewed March 2, 2013

We visited on a cold night, true, but this restaurant doesn't have a good way to block the frigid wind that chills the entire restaurant when the door opens. I know that space is tight, but there were too many tables jammed in a small area-it looked like they added quite a few just to fit more people in that night. All of that could have been forgiven if the waiter actually cared about delivering good service - we had to ask for everything. Perhaps he was extremely busy (maybe because of all those extra tables) but it seemed more like he wanted to process guests through as quickly as possible rather than ensure everyone had an enjoyable experience. The food was decent, but we probably won't be back.

1 Thank Geauga61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Mentor, Ohio
Level Contributor
152 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Our Artic Experience”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

WE ate at this restaurant tonight. The hostess sat us very close to the front door. I told her I was concerned that It was going to be very cold. We had my 83 yr old mother with us. We ended up being seated at the table even though I said I would prefer to be seated away from the main door. It was very cold. The service was very slow. We waited a very long time for our food to come out. We we were done with our meal the waitress seemed to just ignore us. The hostess finally walked by and I asked her if she would get us our bill. We were very cold at this point.

We again had a very long wait. The waitress finally brought the bill. We then got to wait some more to get the bill payed and leave.

Both my son and I got one of the evening specials Chicken Sambolca. The portion was very small. We both left hungary. My wife and mom both had good meals.

I would not plan on going back to this restaurant.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Dashadow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, OH
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The Bitter Taste of "The Sweet Life"”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

La Dolce Vita, or "The Sweet Life" restaurant in Cleveland's Little Italy leaves a little to be desired in the sweetness department. We had a 7:00 reservation on a Saturday night, and the reservation was confirmed earlier in the day. We waited for a full half-hour before a table was available.
There are two levels of the restaurant, and the upper level with the bar has far more charm than the lower level. In fact, the lower level is dirty, cold, drafty and separated from the back room by a large black plastic curtain hanging from the ceiling. The haphazardly-hung twinkle lights provide the only "atmosphere." Frankly, a good mopping of the floor was in order, followed by a complete remodeling.

Our waiter was new, and he told us so. That was made obvious by his poor service and near-complete lack of attention to us. Our orders, which were not complex, did not arrive after 45 minutes of waiting. In fact, it was only after we complained to our waiter that he took any action. He told us the kitchen was "backed up." I mentioned to him that Osso Bucco is not a prepared-to order dish, and Seafood Pasta is not complex, so tell the kitchen that customers are complaining.

The orders finally arrived at 8:30, a full 90 minutes after our reservation. The Osso Bucco was excellent, though the risotto it was served on was underdone and barely warm. The Seafood Pasta was loaded with fresh calamari, shrimp and scallops, the pasta was perfectly al dente, though the whole thing was underseasoned.

Now the good news: Owner Terry (did not get his last name) truly seemed to care about our plight. For our troubles, he gave us a free eggplant appetizer, free glasses of very nice wine, and a free dessert to split. He took our criticisms with what appeared to be true concern, and did a lot to ameliorate our less-than-sweet experience.

Overall, this restaurant needs some help in the cleanliness and service department in order to be a sweet spot where we would like to dine again.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank talkingman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Ohio
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Excellent food & service”
Reviewed January 22, 2013

We have eaten at this restaurant several times now and have never had a bad experience. The Caprese Salad is one of our favorites, and all the pasta dishes are delicious. There is plenty of food, we usually end up taking home a box of food for lunch the next day.
Big thumbs up for this Italian Bistro-type restaurant. It's become one of our favorites when we are in Little Italy in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Rebecca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
186 reviews
121 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Great dining choice in Little Italy”
Reviewed December 19, 2012

We've been eating here for many years and always find the food reliably good. A great spot to visit in the summer and sit outside and watch the activity on the street. Love their delicate cheese ravioli in a light tomato sauce, spaghetti arrabiata is good, a casserole with peppers, tomatoes, cheese, etc. is delicious. Always happy to have visited.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank skm4444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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