Since becoming a brunching Bitch last summer, I have had the pleasure of running around Chicago, brunching at all different types of restaurants, and sharing my thoughts and experiences with readers. Occasionally I even get invited to brunch somewhere, which is exceptionally nice!
My brunching adventures have led me to discover new things about myself. For instance, I never knew how much I loved an Italian brunch. I absolutely love a good Italian brunch now! So when the fantastic people at Dolce Italian invited me to come check out their brunch, I was elated.
My dear friend Bruna is leaving me for Colorado next week, and I have been trying to soak up as much time as possible with her until her departure. When I invited her to brunch, she was equally as excited, and we decided to take full advantage of a gorgeous Chicago day and follow it with a trip to the Field Museum—a perfect Sunday in the city.
Dolce Italian is a beautiful restaurant located on the ground floor of the Godfrey Hotel. It is the third Dolce, with two sister restaurants in Atlanta and Miami, respectively. It boasts a beautiful interior with fine Italian leather seats, beautiful lighting, and chic mid-century modern decor. The restaurant wasn’t too busy at 11 a.m. when we arrived, so Bruna and I chose a comfortable large booth by the window.
We were delighted when the waitress came by to introduce herself, and informed us of the bottomless Bellini and mimosa special—we were off to a great start. We choose one of each, Bruna opting for the Bellini. As our drinks were being prepared, Bruna and I anxiously looked over the menu as we were starving, and everything sounded delicious. As plates of food continued to go by to other tables, we were salivating. There were so many options.
For starters we decided to get two antipastis; tuna tartare and a traditional caprese salad. The pizzas sounded absolutely scrumptious, so at the recommendation of our server we decided to get one to try. We went with her favorite: the brunch pizza. I love a good brunch pizza. The tuna arrived first and looked gorgeous. It came with a side of house made chips that were crunchy and delicious. The caprese looked equally as beautiful.
We dove right in and began in our morning filled with “oohs” and “ahhs” following bites of food. The tuna was delicious, but Bruna and I agreed that it did not need the sauce on the bottom. It was a red sauce, certainly for an Italian touch to the dish, but as tuna lovers, we would have been fine with more minimal complements to the dish.
The pizza was perfect. A crispy, thin crust, topped with sausage gravy and two poached eggs. I could have eaten the whole thing if it weren’t for my desire to try other entrees.
Because decision-making was so difficult, Bruna and I decided to share our next round of entrees as well. For something sweet, I was dying to try the semolina waffle. I loved that they put an Italian twist on it by using semolina flour. Our server insisted we try the pasta frittata as well. We had been debating between that and the breakfast pizza, but she somehow convinced us that we needed that as well. C’est la vie, we’ll take it!
We were through with our first round of beverages, and I decided to try one of the “manly” cocktails they offer on Sundays as a part of their new “Gentleman’s Brunch” feature. I opted for a whiskey libation, one with simple syrup and mint. It was yummy! Not too “manly” for my liking.
As our food came out, we soon realized that Chef had decided we had not ordered enough food; he sent over their signature Dolce panini! I don’t know what came over us, but we were game. Bring it on. Everything, I must say, looked delicious.
As we dug into our beautiful meal, Bruna and I were both in awe at how fantastic everything tasted. The semolina pancakes were super sweet, almost dessert-like, but were the perfect hint of sugar to complement our savory dishes. I loved the panini sandwich as well! As we began to fill up, Bruna and I knew we should set that aside and take the rest to go for leftovers.
The pasta frittata was interesting. I was definitely pleased we had decided to go with both the pizza and the frittata, and not chose the frittata over the pizza. The pizza was my favorite out of the two. The frittata was an ooey, gooey, pasta-stuffed egg pancake. It was certainly unique; very cheesy and pasta-like. I enjoyed a few bites, but that was enough for me. It was heavy so I could only eat so much.
As we wrapped up our meal, our server insisted we ate least try a bite or two of dessert. I decided to switch from bubbles to caffeine and ordered an espresso. Soon enough, dessert arrived at the table, and it was divine in presentation. In front of us was a tiramisu and a flourless chocolate cake with a Nutella gelato and candied hazelnuts. Both dishes were perfectly decadent and delicious. Despite being stuffed, Bruna and I did a pretty good number on the desserts. The perfect complement to my espresso, they finished off our wonderful meal in the best way possible.
The Bitches Say: A. There is no question as to why Dolce Italian was named “Best Restaurant” last year; Dolce’s Sunday brunch is executed perfectly, and every dish is a perfect reflection of all that is loved about Italian cuisine.
127 W Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Dolce Italian serves Brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.