Dolce & Chianti – Cucina & Cocktails Offering Vibrant Dining Fare in a Hip Atmosphere | Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas, NV, December 2021
• GAYOT’s Rating: 14/20
• Cuisine: Italian
• Open: Tues.-Thurs., Sun. 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Brunch Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Located in the southwest on Durango just north of Rochelle, Dolce had only been open a few months when in 2020 it was forced to shut down along with the rest of our city’s eateries. When it reopened a year later, it was rebranded Dolce & Chianti Cucina & Cocktails, a new name to match a revamped décor and menu.
The dining room is awash in white tones and lemon motif, with white walls, curtains and tablecloths; crystal chandeliers; and pillows, chairs and menus encrypted with lemons, and several vases filled with the citrus fruit. Also, quite noticeable is a decent sized stage with grand piano in the main dining room, which is put to good use with a variety of live easy listening entertainment on Wednesday through Sunday evenings.
Helming the kitchen is executive chef Risson Medina, who said, “As a young boy a lot of my time was spent in the kitchen. Everyone in my family is an exceptional cook, so I always felt that my future was inevitable to become a chef. I moved from Florida to Las Vegas in 2018 to work at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace. The Las Vegas nightlife and restaurant scene continues to motivate me to create. Exciting the guests through delicious dishes and quality service is my life’s purpose.”
The northern Tuscan-inspired menu chef executes includes shareable dishes such as pizzetta Emiliana with pomodoro, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto and arugula; tuna crudo with olive oil, baby heirloom tomatoes, red onions, shaved fennel, micro arugula and lemon-caper vinaigrette; and braised fresh mussels served in a white wine butter sauce.
Main courses run the gamut of pastas, seafood and fine cuts of meat. For pasta, standouts are the rigatoni alla Bolognese with soffrito, beef, basil and Parmesan; and cavatelli Salsiccia with sausage, wild mushrooms and arugula light cream.
Seafood lovers have lots to choose from, with the likes of seared salmon Tuscano with creamy garlic, artichokes, spinach, roasted veggies and lemon; pan-roasted branzino with couscous, kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes; and jumbo prawns served with saffron risotto and a fennel and arugula salad.
For the carnivores, there are filet of beef and 14-oz rib-eye, both finished in garlic chili butter, veal Milanese or Parmesan and rack of lamb coated in Italian bread crumbs served with mint and demi sauce.
Try one of the five desserts: housemade lemon ricotta cheesecake, panna cotta, tiramisu, salted caramel budino with butterscotch custard and gelato.
A weekend brunch, served Sat.-Sun. from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., offers unique items such as blueberry spinach salad with spinach, blueberries, toasted sliced almonds, feta, mint and maple vinaigrette; burrata avocado toast with avocado mousse, red onions, cucumber, baby heirlooms, house vinaigrette, greens and toasted pine nuts; short rib frittata; and lemon ricotta pancakes with whipped mascarpone, berries and powdered sugar.
The Italian cuisine of chef Medina is matched with a wine list of nearly 80 labels mostly from Italy, France and Napa, with 18 offered by the glass.
> Bob’s tips;
• Unique seats are the banquettes with high back couchlike seats, which just might make you feel like a king or queen viewing your subjects. .
• As beautiful as the dining room is, the circular bar surrounded by a large crystal chandelier, is also quite stunning.
• If you like lemons, you’ll feel right at home here, as the lemon theme can be found pretty much everywhere you look and are even embossed on the serving plates.
• A fun drink served during brunch is the “Topless Mimosa,” a gigantic bowl allowing you to have plenty to share with your friends.