Ermita, Ermita! I’ve worked in this area for the past 10 years and even hang out here during that era when Penguin Cafe, Hard Rock and other restos still ruled it in Remedios Circle. Fast forward to 2011 and it seems the area now is a hodge-podge of Korean joints, condos being constructed and the giant mass of concrete called Robinsons mall.
I was certainly glad to find my favorite Italian spot amid the speeding jeepneys of Mabini St. (Mabini, incidentally was the site of all the girlie bars in the 80s, until Mayor Alfredo Lim closed them all down). You won’t miss the beautiful Casa Tesoro (or the Tesoro Building) because it is one of the last remaining American colonial structures on the strip.
The resto used to be an antique shop. Federico Fellini greets me at the entrance because Dolce Vita is named after the classic 1960 Fellini film La Dolce Vita (the sweet life) starring Marcello Mastroianni.
This is my favorite nook to have a cozy dinner over wine and any of Dolce Vita’s sumptuous Italian specialties.The first time, I went crazy over the Venetian masks that dotted the place.
The masks are ornate and certainly eye-catching.The restaurant owner, Mr. Jakob Van Der Hulst, reportedly exports the masks to other countries where they are snapped up by the likes of Donatella Versace.
The resto exudes an aura of being classy all throughout. I love how they designed the place so that it blends well with the American colonial theme of the whole building.
My attention was caught by the attractive mushroom lamps by the long bar which is made of wood and stocked with all kinds of wines and spirits.
More lamps to adore. I like the umbrella design of the light in this corner which adds to the elegant appeal of the place.
Intricately-designed accents in the function room which look like driftwood. Either you love it or hate it, but they’re certainly unique.
This Dolce Vita gets my vote as the most romantic Italian restaurant in Manila. Up next: the food!
Address:Casa Tesoro (beside Citystate Hotel)
1335 A. Mabini St.
Tel. No. 526-3993
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