Just announced yesterday, Dolce Italian is set to open on the ground floor at the Godfrey Hotel this coming Tuesday. This marks the second location from LDV Hospitality (the team behind New York's Scarpetta empire), with the first being in Miami.
The space, which you can see in the gallery above, is refined, but not too fancy to discourage casual passersby. Wood table tops with comfortable chairs decked out in a resplendent orange, along with a number of half-circle booths feature throughout the room. Marble runs the length of the L-shaped bar, which is stocked with a dazzling array of liquor bottles that are backlit for even more emphasis.
Dolce Italian held a preview party last night, showcasing a few cocktails (including a play on the Moscow Mule with cucumber that should prove refreshing to guests in the spring and summer months), and a large number of hors d'oeuvre portions of menu items. A full menu will be available early next week, so keep an eye out for that.
Executive chef Paolo Dorigato, fresh off the Miami location's win on Bravo's Tom Colicchio-hosted Best New Restaurant, was in the kitchen pushing food out and expediting. Dorigato, whose expressions on the Bravo show were often serious or dour, was caught smiling a number of times throughout the evening and posed for pictures with guests.
Meanwhile, chef Andrew Deuel dealt almost exclusively with the two whole pigs stationed at the pass. A full pig head was on display next to its splayed-out carcass, which featured a crispy, cracklin' exterior. The second pig was trotted out later in the evening to much excitement, with both standing on display for foodies to snap pictures of throughout the event. If the restaurant had one showpiece last night, these two little piggies were it.
Also spotted in the kitchen was former RIA and Balsan chef Danny Grant, who recently exited his executive chef position at Miami's 50 Eggs. What role Grant, who helmed RIA to two Michelin stars before he left for Miami, has at Dolce Italian is not known yet, but be on the lookout for an update on that soon.
Beginning Tuesday, May 19, Dolce Italian will be open Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until midnight. They are located on the southeast corner of LaSalle Street and Huron Street at the Godfrey Hotel.