La Dolce Vita - Cleveland

4.3
888 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Italian
Welcome to La Dolce Vita Bistro - “The Sweet Life,” a restaurant and bistro created to recapture the bell-époque charm of “The Italian Drug,” opened here by Dr. Anthony Caruso in 1914. In the tradition of the great European bistros, La Dolce Vita is devoted to providing a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for everything from eight course dinners to coffee and Calvino. We strive to prepare the perfect meal, or the perfect cappuccino, and let you enjoy it at your leisure. Our pasta is cooked fresh to order, our sauces and dressing are painstakingly prepared using only the finest ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, the freshest vegetables, imported whole tomatoes, fresh basil and Italian parsley... and your table is reserved for the evening.
What 888 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
OT
Cleveland
6 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We had a reservation through Open Table. When we arrived they told us that they could seat us but we wouldn’t get our food for at least an hour. They said they had more people show up than they anticipated.

It happens, I guess, but they could have called to let us know or declined the reservation. Very unprofessional.

We went across the street to Trattoria, got seated immediately and had a great meal.

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

Reservation seemed to be for nothing. I reserved on open table. And then called to confirm. We get there one minute before our reservation and... no table for us. Had to wait outside for 20 minutes before they sat us and even then it was “we won’t have a server for you”. What the heck is the point of a reservation? It was 35min after our reservation we finally got some water at our table and then they picked it up, giving us a free taste of pasta and salad. From then on the service was fine. So they made it right but a really poor start. We had grandparents and young kids so not ideal. Food was really good.

MB
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Very disappointed in our recent experience. Having been here more than a dozen times over the years and big fans of the food, vibe, etc., we were discouraged that we had to wait for almost 30 minutes before a server made contact, part of our entrees never arrived, were seated at a filthy, plastic fold-up table, and interrogated by a passing server if we had a reservation or just seated ourselves (we did have a res and were seated by the host). The food was under-seasoned and just "ok" -- the kitchen dialed it in and it was obvious. On a busy summer night, we get it, it's hot, etc., but all the passion and joy for the restaurant we usually see from the staff was missing. Really not sure if we'll be going back, which is unfortunate because it was always one of our favorites. :(
BUT! To end on a positive, Terry came around with a bowl of Cacio e Pepe before dinner, which he served himself as a little treat, and it was a bright spot in an otherwise dreary evening.

DV
Cleveland
41 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

They were busy but the owner and staff welcomed us and made us feel at home. The food is authentic Italian neighborhood fare, generous portions, exactly what we were looking for.

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Food and service was exceptionally poor...would never return and absolutely do NOT recommend!

D
Cleveland
8 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 1

We dined LaDoce Vita for my wife’s birthday and the experience was not good. I placed my reservation on OpenTable as I usually do for this restaurant. However, the hostess informed us that since our reservation was placed on OpenTable we will have to dine on the side of the restaurant or outside, and was advised to call instead of booking online. I found this rather interesting and did not make an issue of it because of the special occasion. We decided to take a table at the side of the restaurant. Our overall experience wasn’t good unfortunately. If this is the new normal going forward I recommend the restaurant post clearly your procedures! You advertise on Open Table and someone who does not frequent the restaurant or new in town using Open Table could be disappointed for misinformation. Also the side restaurant ambience was less appealing with clutter and dying plants
Overall the food was good, waitress nice, and the owner was hospitable

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal while visiting Cleveland! The complementary fruit and ricotta desert was a perfect ending.

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

No air conditioning. They were out of 2 wines.

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fans on a super hot day was unexpected. Food was great. Try the gnocchi with Pesto Omar on anything.

JC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food!! The owner came and spoke with us at the end of the meal, great food and wonderful all around experience!!

C
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Although a good dining experience, it was the unique "opera" night with a fixed menu and live singing. It would be advisable for La Dolce Vita to post Opera night with a disclosure there is a fixed menu on the Open Table reservation system so people know in advance what to expect.

JD
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

When you go to an Italian Restaurant, you expect certain things. One of them is not listening to Hispanic music the whole time you are there. It kind of ruined the ambiance. The patio was very busy and the wait staff worked hard to keep up. The food was great. We had to wait a long time for the check, but as said before, they were very busy.

JV
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

La Dolce Vita was an interesting little place in the heart of Cleveland's Little Italy, which was jumping on a Saturday evening, especially during All Star Weekend! We had an outdoor table, which added to the fun as we could see all the neighborhood comings and goings during out meal. The food was good - if I had any complaint AT ALL it would be that the portion size was too big for someone staying in a hotel with no way to enjoy leftovers, and I hate to waste food. There were a few surprises, such as the owner coming around with a bit of Cacio e Pepe, and some fresh fruit for dessert (although that didn't stop us from ordering the gelato as well!) Would definitely recommend.

V
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Had dinner with my son at La Dolce Vita. we were seated outside. it was busy. The atmosphere was friendly, casual and great. The service was little behind since they were busy, but still ok.
The food was amazing, I had Pesto Omar with shrimp and my son had cheese ravioli, both were outstanding.
Would definitely come back.

OT
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Had a 730 dinner reservation. Arrived at 715 and was seated right away. Ordered bruschetta as an app and it arrived within 20 minutes and was very good. Unfortunately the meals that we ordered for our main course took over 90 minutes to arrive. (Both were pasta dishes). Several staff members noticed that we had been sitting without food for a long time and gave us token responses about how our food would be “coming right up” but time jus went on. Finally the server admitted that our order never made it to the kitchen. They did comp half of our bill and the food did taste good - but after such a long wait inside a very warm restaurant we were exhausted and it basically ruined our evening.

GC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a group of 10 and everyone of us loved our entrees. bread, appetizers and salads were delish too. An old Cleveland favorite! Authentic Italian!

O
Cleveland
30 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food. Owner always comes by with a special street. Great street tables and people watching.

S
Savannah
2 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Very quaint. Was disappointed that we had seen and add stating Monday nights were opera nights only to find out that was not the Monday we were there.

The owner/chef (?) came tableside with some fresh cooked pasta in a cheese sauce that was excellent. Our meals were a little less desirable, but still ok. Portions were nice size. I wanted for a little bit of salt or garlic in my basil pesto. The noodles my friend had looked like green noodles and had no taste at all. The fresh fruit plate at the end was a bonus.

The ambience is lovely and the wait staff very personable. I would love to try again.

LE
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

La Dolce Vita is one of our favorite places to visit in Cleveland, The food is always amazing, the owner is always so very welcoming, service always great, love the atmosphere. Just a great place to to hang with friends and have a great time

BZ
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fantastic, Terry makes you feel at home as he treats everyone like family. Best Veal
Parmesan I have had in years.

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Decent food. Eclectic decorations. Helpful and courteous staff. Hostess was amazing. Average value.

J
Cleveland
18 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Very average. Server overwhelmed but pleasant nonetheless.

JB
Cleveland
6 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Neighborhood place, warm friendly, good food. I can't wait to go back.

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love La Dolce Vita. Amazing food and wonderful staff. Benissimo!

OT
E. Tennessee
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the food and the ambience of this quaint little restaurant. The owner was so nice and welcoming, and we had an amazing time.

KB
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The owner walked around with fresh pasta and for dessert we got fresh fruit and cream.. Just special added touches! We had a great time!

OT
Cleveland
20 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Wow! Another great meal and one of Cleveland's gems. We were there for a double birthday celebration, and Try and staff did not disappoint.

We had the perfect outdoor table, on a perfect late-spring evening. The food was both delicious and plentiful. As usual, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, and we left with snacks for the weekend.

With so many "trendy" restaurants opening up throughout Cleveland "chic" neighborhoods, people should not forget how much fun there is in Little Italy. And Little Italy wouldn't be so much fun without Terry Tarantino holding fort at La Dolce Vita. He makes the entire experience all the better.

Finally, another reason to visit here; the Neighborhood. We're never rushed at the restaurant. And both before and after our meal, we can walk around a neighborhood of shops. It's so much more than just meeting people for a meal, then going separate ways. Our entire evening took over three hours.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

CN
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dining experience. Sat outside and enjoyed the vibe of the neighborhood. The food and service were great.

JS
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Giving La Dolce Vita five stars across the board hardly does it justice! On a scale from 1-5, they score 50!!!! The food was beyond amazing, just absolutely fabulous! The service was stellar and the atmosphere was incomparable to any other! Just an overall FANTASTIC experience!

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

B day dinner, absolutely marvelous ...food soooo withering Italian ( I am one, so I know !!)....ambiance a blast too

G
Cleveland
8 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Over priced food that was not very good. Service was slow.

RC
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Next time we are in Cleveland we know where to go for seafood with pasta .LOVE IT

ES
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious, genuine Italian food served most graciously in a delightful setting and an authentic neighborhood.

OT
Detroit
43 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Eggplant was outstanding, everything else was good, they forgot my whole table appetizer of buffalo mozz w peppers but there was plenty of food. Overall happy with dinner.

YK
Toronto
9 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love La Dolce Vita. Brought friends to Little Italy who had never been threre, and they were VERY pleased with our restaurant choice!

A
Naples
13 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pre-marathon meal!

S
Cleveland
13 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 1

Mother’s Day meal with family. Loved this restaurant and owner of 30 years. Excellent appetizers, meals and drinks! Will definitely return.

KH
Columbus
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mother’s Day.

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mother’s Day dinner was a great experience. Owner was very attentive to our party and staff was awesome.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Fantastic food
Service was not the best
Felt rushed to order but everything seemed to take forever to come out.

1
2
3
23