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Dolce Vita World Bistro Logo

New Dolce Vita off to a great start
Posted by Yolanda Wright/Post-Standard on August 06, 2009
Courtesy of
Calling itself a "world bistro bar & kitchen," Dolce Vita, an ambitious newcomer in the Syracuse Stage neighborhood, may be close to stealing the lead role for creativity from its Armory Square competition.

The remarkable part is that it all worked for us on a recent Wednesday evening. The food was delicious at medium prices. Service was outstanding, and the settings with bare black tables, white china and mottled rose walls with photos and local art are perfect backdrops.

A large world globe hangs from a vintage black tin ceiling, and dark bead-board creates a border between the dining area and an attractive bar with three TV screens taking the Yankees to another win.

Dolce Vita's clever menu puts the diner on a grand world tour to Greece, Mexico, Bombay, France, India, Italy, Egypt, Japan, Texas, New Orleans, the U.S. backyard and more.

Dolce Vita's menu offers 18 appetizers ($5 to $9) and a trip to the Egyptian Pyramid for $15. Soup or salad are included with entrees or a-la-carte ($3 to $9). Diners continue traveling with bistro food ($7) and a world tour of cheese ($15), followed by four vegan dishes and homemade pasta ($10 to $15), seven chicken and pork items ($13 and $14) and six call-your-own cut - 8- to- 48-ounces of beef - ($12 to $38), with four style choices.

Our dinner started with a bottle of Bella Sera Pinot Grigio ($18) and an amuse bouche from the chef in a warm "cassoulet" of tasty chicken and sausage.

It was ready to be used on small bread slices tucked in a burgundy napkin in an upright metal spiral. A spoon with the warm, well-seasoned "salsa" was a rare convenience, and our waiter's pouring each wine refill was a another treat, as replacement silver appeared and used dishes vanished.

Hot Mediterranean minestrone with Greek feta cheese provided a hearty kick from its thin broth and vegetables in this old-fashioned soup.

"Brutus" Caesar salad with homemade dressing, croutons and fresh romaine leaves took the traditional route.

Our entrees ($13 each) never missed a beat with reasonable size and flamboyant flavor. Rustic Italian-style, a quartered piece of tender roasted chicken breast starred on a plate with soft, roasted Parmesan tomato slices, artichoke hearts, Greek kalamata olives and, best of all, basil risotto.

For me, the overly generous serving of the highly seasoned olives was more than this terrific dish needed, but using a cup-formed risotto as a side dish was worth a repeat.

"Cowboy Francais," an 8-ounce strip steak, medium-rare, as ordered, had been pan-seared with brandy-scented bacon, garlic, red-pepper strips, onion and mushrooms. The rich medley was a hit.

Other entree stops included a Mexican pork stir-fry ($13), ravioli du jour with "world-infused" sauce and filling ($15), homemade fettuccini with Italian tomato sauce ($11), vegan lasagna with grilled vegetables, tofu, vegan "cheese" and tomato-basil sauce ($10) and vegan Japanese tempura du jour ($10).

Two desserts, $5 each, were made by our amazing, capable waiter, put real "dolce" in our lives. He called one an "authentic" Italian tiramisu with layers of flavored lady fingers, layered with mascarpone, topped with grated chocolate and decorated with whipped cream.

A French Napoleon had crisp layers of puff pastry with a creamy filling and decorations of fresh strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream. Each dessert was overwhelming in size and could have served at least two diners. The friendly maker smiled and said, "There are always boxes." He was right.

Dolce Vita is owned by Frank Vigliotti, who also owns the adjoining Franco's Pizzeria.

The newcomer accepts reservations, and a small off-street parking lot is next to the building. Public lots are in the area.
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Dolce Vita - 907 East Genesee Street Syracuse, NY 13210
Dining Hours: Monday & Tuesday 4pm-9pm,
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 11am-10pm, Saturday 1pm-10pm, Sunday Call for Reservations
Bar Hours: If you’re here, we’re here!
On Street and Off Street Parking Available.