Though La Dolce Vita, another participant of the Fall 2013 Detroit Restaurant Week, was established in the Palmer Park District of Detroit nearly two decades ago, it is entirely possible that you have driven past the restaurant countless times without even noticing it. La Dolce Vita may be located on Woodward, one of the most recognized street names in Detroit, but it’s inconspicuous nature allows the restaurant to remain one of the Motor City’s best kept secrets.
As La Dolce Vita is marked mainly by a large wrought-iron gate covered in vines and greenery, emblazoned with a small and simple “ldV” sign, once you’ve spotted the venue, you may still be uncertain that you are in the correct location. Though the restaurant itself appears largely anonymous and the area surrounding La Dolce Vita does not inspire visions of glamour, once you have turned off of Woodward onto Cedarhurst, pulling into a valet lot crowded with BMWs, Cadillacs, and Mercedes, the truly enchanting experience of dining at La Dolce Vita will begin.
As the valets park and watch over your car, enter the charming interior of the restaurant, which has a dark and romantic, yet warm and familiar feel. With pewter chandeliers casting sparse lighting in the evening, pristine white tablecloths, and walls adorned with black and white art (as well as black and white family photographs), La Dolce Vita is the perfect locale for a romantic date night.
Large, arched windows also offer a view onto one of the draws of La Dolce Vita: the beautiful, inviting courtyard. Bordered on one side by the restaurant and the other by a 20-foot ivy-covered wall, the lovely courtyard feels Secret Garden-esque, an oasis tucked away from the streets of Detroit.
Adding to the allure are tree trunks wrapped in white lights, vibrant flowers, an ornamental fountain and street lamps, all amongst floral gardens surrounded by ivy. The patio, which also features a private banquet room for up to sixty guests, has been voted as the Best Patio in Detroit in Hour Detroit magazine for many years.
La Dolce Vita is not only known for it’s warm, romantic ambiance, but also for the deliciously traditional cuisine. The menu features items with influences from both Northern and Southern Italy, many of which are simple, traditional, and classic. What makes the dishes at La Dolce Vita stand out is that each is exceptional in both preparation and in taste. Make sure to inquire about the daily offerings, and to select a complementary glass of vino from the restaurant’s noteworthy wine list.
For this season’s Detroit Restaurant Week, the menu at La Dolce Vita includes an Endive Salad, Corn and Morel Risotto Croquettes, the Roasted Rack of Lamb, and the ever popular Cannoli. The full menu for Detroit Restaurant Week can be seen here.
Though the season of patio dining may be coming to a close, the delicious flavors and romantic ambiance of La Dolce Vita will be sure to bring you back to this hidden gem all year-round. And be sure to like La Dolce Vita on Facebook!