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The Italian Job

December 03, 2015

The Mens Book Atlanta

“Food, fashion and lifestyle—they all intertwine,” says John Meadow, founder of LDV Hospitality, who recently opened his second concept, Dolce Italian at Buckhead Atlanta. Meadow’s company name is a nod to la dolce vita, and he is indeed bringing the beautiful life to Buckhead. The moment you step inside any of his restaurants, it is easy to see why the 34-year-old has had such incredible success building the brand behind 10 successful Manhattan eateries (such as Scarpetta, Barchetta, Lugo Caffe, American Cut and Corso Coffee), as well as 10 others in Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Atlantic City.

Recently featured as the winner of Bravo network’s culinary competition Best New Restaurant, Dolce Italian offers up a beautifully packaged taste of Italy. The 150-seat dining room has a sultry sophistication, boasting a collection of midcentury-modern furniture and art mixed with Old World woods, leather and tile. As I settle into my seat on the generous 50-seat wraparound terrace, I feel as if I am soaking in the scene of an Italian piazza. A chilled glass of Gavi di Gavi is the perfect companion as I enjoy the bustle of the Buckhead Atlanta shops below and peruse the menu. Classic comfort dishes like perfectly prepared pastas and Neapolitan-style pizzas are mixed with more sophisticated offerings like a rich seafood risotto loaded with shrimp, scallops and calamari ($24). “It’s not about the gimmicks or artistry of one person’s culinary point of view,” says Meadow of the restaurant’s straight-shooting approach to Italian cuisine. Meadow believes in letting the ingredients speak for themselves. “From my perspective, there’s only one approach to spaghetti al pomodoro.”

The on-site mozzarella bar is a testament to Meadow’s ingredient-led manifesto. All made to order, my caprese salad ($14) arrives at our table as a marvelous mound of melt-in-your-mouth heaven. I am thankful I followed our server’s suggestion to pair the mozzarella with the Dolce meatballs ($14), as the combination is sheer perfection. The Neapolitan pizza is sure to satisfy any aficionado. Cooked in a wood oven at 900 degrees, the crispy outside gives way to a chewy inside. My selection of the Primo Amore ($17), featuring burrata, arugula, Parmigiano and San Marzano tomatoes, easily wins my heart for best pizza in Atlanta. For the main event, I tuck into a hearty helping of fettuccine alla Bolognese ($21), brimming with tender braised beef, veal and pork. A glass of Moscato d’Asti ($6) proves the perfect complement to my cocoa powder-dusted tiramisu ($8). As I savor my last sips, I have fully relaxed into the luxuriously languid pace of European-style dining.

Dolce Italian captures the spirit of Italian cuisine at its finest. “Dolce is about socializing and indulging in the hospitable charm of the Italian dining culture,” says Meadow. “Atlanta is a city built upon hospitality and amazing food, and we are thrilled to introduce a restaurant reflective of the city’s well-established dining scene.”

DOLCE ITALIAN

The Facts 
3035 Peachtree Road NE, 678.686.2267

The Hours 
Dinner: Mon.-Thu., 5:30-10pm; Fri.-Sat., 5:30-11pm; Sun., 5:30-9pm; Brunch: Sat.-Sun., 11:30am-3pm

Smart Sips 
While waiting for your table, snag a seat at the bar and order the Palermo Old Fashioned ($13) with Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Amaro Nonino and vanilla syrup.

Best Seat in the House 
Overlooking the buzz of the Buckhead Atlanta shops below, the generous wraparound terrace offers the spirit of an Italian piazza, Southern-style.

Link to original article here.