In my previous post, I told you about this wonderfully designed place in the heart of Mabini St. Manila. Honestly, I’ve been feeling sad at the state of decay that Ermita is in now until I discovered this hidden gem with all the Venetian masks inside the Casa Tesoro building.
Chef Tiziano Cavallini lords it over the kitchen of Dolce Vita. He hails from Modena, said to be the food capital of Italy, and has worked in a four star Michelin-rated restaurant there. In his long career, the chef has cooked for the likes of Queen Elizabeth and Luciano Pavarotti. I guess Philippine foodies are lucky to have someone like Chef Tiziano retire here.
My first visit to Dolce Vita floored me because I tasted their quattro formaggi (four cheese)pizza which I consider the best among those I’ve tasted so far. This pizza layers together mozzarella, gorgonzola, taleggio and blue cheeses and is then baked in a wood-fired oven. Dollops of the chef’s special balsamic cream intensifies the flavor, and even a non-pizza lover like me gets mystified.
The pizza piccantina made of spicy Italian salami, mozzarella and tomato was good too. While the resto’s twelve-innch pizzas are usually priced at P500, their happy hour treat from 2 to 6 p.m. is a must-try because you get 50 per cent off! 😀
In the tradition of good ol’ fine dining, warm bread is served for free by the house along with a dish of butter and liver pâté . I especially like the latter, and it’s good to know that the Chef is already selling some of his deli-style preparations like the sliced eggplant in olive oil which is packed in a bottle.
Minestrone – the classic, hearty soup with assorted vegetables like diced carrots, potatoes and zucchini. I never fail to order this in an Italian restaurant because it’s so comforting.
I love the pizzas in Dolce Vita more than the pastas because it seems the pasta portions are found wanting. So far, we’ve tried the spaghetti vongole, the gnocchi quattro formaggi and chef’s pappardelle with smoked salmon,porcini mushrooms and ricotta cheese sauce. I prefer their pasta with formaggio because their cheeses are so good!
Their steaks, meat and seafood dishes are quite on the expensive side but at least their servings are generous. During my last visit, I ordered their braciola de maiale a soffietto – three layers of grilled porkchop stuffed with taleggio cheese and parma ham with a siding of roasted potatoes (P590). It was yummy!
To end your meal, classic Italian desserts like tiramisu and panna cotta are on the menu. We chose to have Crema Dolce Vita , a chilled vanilla dessert with crispy caramel topping. I must say it was perfectly done, with the right flavor and consistency of the flan.
Dolce Vita Steakhouse Manila
Address:Casa Tesoro (beside Citystate Hotel)
1335 A. Mabini St.
Tel. No. 526-3993