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La Dolce Vita Diners Live 'The Sweet Life'

The quaint Italian restaurant is a favorite among locals who can't get enough of the fresh, flavorful dishes.

La Dolce Vita, the quaint Italian restaurant near Stephen Street and Talcott Avenue, truly lives up to its English translation, "The Sweet Life." The amazing food, exceptional service and intimate setting at La Dolce Vita are as good as it gets.

When my husband and I first walked into La Dolce Vita, we were greeted by the bartender and seated immediately by the waitress. Right away I noticed the vase of fresh flowers on our table. The d├ęcor was cozy and comfortable, and there was plenty of room to spread out.

When the waitress came over to explain the menu and take our appetizer order, she was shocked to hear that we had never been there before. We asked what she recommended, and she responded, "Everything is wonderful."

As soon as the waitress left with our order, a woman from the next table leaned over and told us there wasn't a dish we wouldn't like. She was also shocked that it was our first time, and assured us that we would be back again.

We started our meal with Zuppa Di Cozzi, mussels steamed in garlic, tomatoes and spices. The smell of the dish was intoxicating, and the mussels melted in our mouths. My husband and I have frequented Italian restaurants all over the Chicagoland area, and this Italian staple was truly the best we have had.

We polished off the dish, and considered ordering more. The only thing that stopped us was a recommendation from a woman near us who said we "better be prepared for the generous portions."

When we looked at the menu, we noticed that lasagna was not an option. The waitress explained that everything at La Dolce Vita was made to order, and since lasagna takes so long to prepare and cook, it wasn't a viable option. A close substitute for lasagna is the Cavatelli Al Forno, which was just as delicious as lasagna.

The Fettuccine Con Pollo Giardino is the perfect meal for those who don't like heavy pastas. With grilled chicken and freshed vegetables tossed in olive oil, garlic and herbs, the dish was light, fresh and very flavorful.

Our favorite dish was Filetti Di Pesce Orancia, or Orange Roughy. The fish was cooked perfectly and served in an amazing white wine sauce with lemon and capers.

La Dolce Vita also offers a wide range of steaks, veal, and fresh fish. The steaks are a bit pricey (averaging around $28 depending on the cut), but we heard from several customers that the steak and fish are well worth the money, always incredibly fresh and delicious, and one of the main reasons La Dolce Vita has so many recurring customers.

For dessert, we ordered Tiramisu. Normally, I'm not a fan of the coffee-flavored cake, but something about this place told me to go for it. I'm glad I did, because it was one of the best desserts I've ever had. I was a little upset I only ordered one and had to share it with my husband, so I was excited when he finally put his fork down and I got to finish the rest.

With excellent food, a friendly wait staff, loyal locals and a quaint atmosphere La Dolce Vita really is "the sweet life." You will not be disappointed.

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