traveling and meeting other cultures: ideas, destinations, reviews and tips
La Dolce Vita - Traditional Italian Restaurant in London, UK
Restaurant La Dolce Vita (Kensington, London, UK), entrance; restaurant is marketed as a traditional Italian place.
Looking at these signs I would say La Dolce Vita is a British-Italian breed of restaurants adapting Italian food to local traditions
La Dolce Vita menu - thankfully, you learn from it that despite things like omelettes and Pasta Pavarotti (non existent in Italia), the restaurant is catering mostly to Italian cuisine.
Staircase to the basement where restaurant is located
La Dolce Vita
Address: 43 Brompton Road, Kensington, London SW3 1DA
It seems like every big European city has a restaurant (or bar, or cafe, etc.) called "Dolce Vita." Well, true or not, there is one in London, UK. One of the pluses of this restaurant is its location - between Harrods (a huge and famous department store in London) and Harvey Nichols (another department store specializing in designer lines of clothing). By the way, this area is also a place where many high fashion stores (for example, on and off Sloane Avenue). So, if you are ready to drop after shopping and want to have a lunch, consider La Dolce Vita - a small restaurant claiming to deliver a traditional Italian cuisine.
Actually, a dinner at La Dolce Vita can be a good idea too, especially if you are looking for a place where you can find good food on a budget. Antipasti (appetizers) and primi piatti (first courses) are from £10. Secondi piatti (main courses) are from £25. The wine list is representative enough and can offer wines from various Italian regions at a reasonable price. I would recommend to try any dish in this restaurant perhaps with the exception of pizzas (they are clearly not up to a real Italian pizza baked in wood burning oven - in fact, the restaurant does not have one).
As many other food establishments in countries other than Italy claiming to deliver on a promise of the genuine Italian cuisine, La Dolce Vita in London has inevitably to account for local tastes. Because of this, you shouldn't be surprised to see on its menu things like omelettes (esseitantially unknown in Italy) or pasta a la Pavarotti (I guess name recognition helps selling). But do not be pushed away by all this from La Dolce Viat in your search of Italian food. La Dolce Vita menu can offer plenty of traditional Italian dishes, and what's more important, most of them are close to what you may find in Italy itself.
One of the minuses of the restaurant is that it is located in basement, and there are no windows. On a plus side, the restaurant is neat and tidy, and this produces good impression. Decor is not lavish and somewhat subdued and includes accessories that can be attributed to both cultures, Italian and British. But overall result is rather pleasing.
I would like to add that where this restaurant is lacking in the sophistication of food, it excels in excellent service. The restaurant is small (I guess its maximum sitting capacity is about 40 - 45 guests), but you will find yourself surrounded by attention to all your wishes, following your pace and without being intrusive. Recommended.
Restaurant La Dolce Vita is located on Brompton Rd. (in Kensington, London, UK) between Harrods and Harvey Nichols (closer to the latter). View on Harrods from the approximate location of the restaurant.
Restaurant La Dolce Vita exit as seen from inside
Another view on the restaurant dining room
Detail of the restaurant decor