Classic vibes and Italian dishes at Dolce in the W Hotel

-Brenda Hillegas

Center City Philadelphia’s Dolce Italian restaurant is located within the W Hotel, at the corner of Broad and Chestnut. Walk in and you’ll immediately feel like you’ve been whisked away from Center City and transported into a vintage Italian restaurant. I was getting ’60s / ’70s vibes here with classic designs and cocktails to match the atmosphere. We enjoyed a late dinner, but I’m looking forward to returning to sit at the bar with a cocktail in hand and an appetizer or two.

Featured above: Blackberry Ginger (rye, honey ginger, blackberries, mint and ginger beer) and Cucumber Gimlet (cucumber vodka, simple syrup, lime and black pepper). Not pictured was an incredible Blood Orange Old Fashioned (bourbon, blood orange liqueur and orange bitters). Also on the menu is a Sidecar, Paloma, a few mocktails and beers on tap and in bottles, plenty of wines and spirits.

It’s not going to be easy to pick something off the antipasti menu! You have to at least share a starter; they range from light options like the burrata caprese (shown here) and tricolor salad to dishes like meatballs, eggplant parmigiana, and grilled octopus. Everything on this portion of the menu was calling my name. But there’s nothing quite like fresh heirloom tomatoes and burrata. I made the right choice.

Pizzas, pastas, chicken, seafood, steak and veal are all a part of Dolce’s dinner menu. I’ll return soon for the truffled spinach ricotta ravioli, but on this trip I went with a Contadina pizza, covered with some of my favorite toppings!

The Contadina includes broccoli rabe, eggplant, peppers, mozzarella, tomato

The veal was perfectly breaded and while I only had a few bites (my husband’s order), I’d definitely recommend it. The endive and arugula salad was beautifully put together. The Scottish salmon and roasted lemon rosemary chicken also were also potential choices. Next time!

There were a handful of desserts- tiramisu and affogato are on the menu, of course. But the butterscotch budino seemed like a great option to share. It was creamy and light, with fresh strawberries and a chocolate chip cookie cut into two.

And even though it was close to 9pm, I couldn’t say no to a piping hot macchiato. Dolce serves breakfast as well, Tuesday to Sunday from 7am to 11am. So whether you’re just in the neighborhood or staying at the W Hotel, you can stop in for a coffee, omelettes, fruit and standard breakfast sides. Brunch is served on weekends.

Dolce is also a prime spot for a happy hour (Tuesday – Friday between 4:00pm – 6:00pm at the bar) or a pop in for one last drink before calling it a night. This summer, you can enjoy rosé flights for $16 or come on Wednesdays through 8/31 for Center City SIPS. The SIPS specials include $6 Italian Palomas, $5 Pomelo Rosé and $4 Peroni Ommegang Witt beers. Half priced appetizers include select pizzas, tuna crudo, Dolce meatballs and fritto misto.

To make a reservation, click here. Visit the website for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch hours throughout the week. Dolce also has locations in Miami and Atlantic City.

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