Alrighty, then. Finally tried La Dolce Vita, downtown on Broad St.
Excellent. It doesn't quite compare to the best restaurants in the country (especially in terms of atmosphere), but this is true Italian fare (Milanese), lovingly prepared from high-quality ingredients largely imported from Italy.
We had a lovely Italian wine from Montelpiciano (sp?), with a (cooked) Margherita carpaccio (mozz, basil, and tomato toppings), followed by a classic meat and cheese lasagna. Delicious. One of the more satisfying meals we've ever had, anywhere. The pasta in the lasagna was so tender and yielding, and the whole dish was just incredibly satisfying, wonderfully subtle and almost mysterious in the layering of flavors, with a lovely caramalization of the cheese on top. Great food, really really lovingly prepared, if I may repeat myself.
Go with a date and share a few plates, and ask for some olive oil with your bread; they will appreciate that. And have your carpaccio on pieces of bread. That's the way to eat it, really: by spooning it on pieces of bread, one bite at a time.
The place has a weird atmosphere, sort of a cross between "small American college town cheapness" and "small ancient Italialian town refined/casual". Great view from the second story windows, though.
This place should be treasured by us here in Athens. Really good food, honest and true to its origins. We were impressed. Bravo!
And the chef is a great guy, too. If he smells a foodie in the house, he will come to your table and shoot the bull. Sweet fellow, very passionate about his food.
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