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My friend, Tim, chose Dolce for his birthday celebration this year. He loves Atlantic Station, though I still can’t figure out why. Stepping inside Dolce, you immediately notice that not only is Dolce’s decor pretty but it is full of pretty servers and pretty people. The chandeliers and tables are all gorgeous as well.
We were the first to arrive from our party and mentioned this to the hostess who told us they were getting our table ready. About 10 minutes later apparently they were still getting our table ready even though the place was nearly empty. She walked by me several times and I tried to make eye contact with her – just looking for a status update but I was ignored. I think they wanted the entire party there before seating, cause when the remainder of our group arrived we got seated right away.
It is pretty dark inside, save for the curtained off private dining room that is all white. As it was pretty dead on this particular Thursday night, we asked to be seated in this dining room. Too bad it was already booked, or that would have made the evening much more pleasant. I hope for the sake of Dolce it is more busy on weekend night or I don’t know how they can stay in business.
We started off with a couple martinis. At $10 a piece I would have expected them not to be so stingy with the liquor. My first drink, the lemoncelli with chamboard was way to sweet. I couldn’t enjoy it one bit and had to send it back for another. This was just meh, definitely not worth the $$. You are probably better off to take your chances with wine at Dolce but I just decided to stick it out with my drink.
There is also a 2 for $39.99 menu where 2 can share and appetizer and dessert and get 2 entrees of their choice. NOT a good value as they don’t offer anything that stands out – mostly bland pasta entrees and if you add up the price it is the same as if you ordered the items a la carte.
I had already honed in on the mussels with artichokes in a garlicky broth for an app and the gnocchi with sausage for an entree. Both seemed reasonable at 10 bucks a piece. Glen had the veal, and others tried the scallops, halibut, chicken parm and filet minion.
As far as the apps, the trio or “must haves for the table” (as they are referred to on the menu), we sampled the fried sampler with calamari, shrimp, scallops and zucchini. It was tasty, however, it is mostly the zucchini with far less shrimp, calamari and scallops. But at $12 a bowl it was reasonable for sharing. The mussels, on the other hand, were a bit of a disappointment. I never knew mussels could be so tiny – they were not much bigger than a peanut. I enjoyed the broth much more. In fact we had to order 2 more bread baskets, so we could sop up all that broth.
Honestly, I was pretty full by the time my gnocchi came, so I really didn’t mind that it was rather small. That’s why I intentionally ordered the mussels first. And while it was small, gnocchi tends to fill you up pretty quickly. While it did taste homemade as advertised, it was waaay too spicy. And I’m a girl who adores hot and spicy foods. It was so spicy it wasn’t all that enjoyable unless I took break in between bites to let my mouth cool off.
But the other entrees were great – Veal was cooked perfectly and a big portion – Glen cleaned his plate completely. I sampled the halibut with truffles which was cooked to perfection with a parmesan bread crust that made it divine. The scallops were also quite tasty – they were 4 large scallops in a brown butter sauce. And the butternut squash that came as a side was delish with a great consistency.
The remaining pasta dishes (lasagna, veggie pasta) seemed to be ho-hum with no pizzazz. It seemed more like they were on the menu as an obligation with no heart put into these dishes.
After the plates were cleared, our server asked if we knew what we’d like for dessert. I asked for the dessert menu as we hadn’t been given one. Now, there were 11 people in our party, but we were brought 1 dessert menu, same thing with the drink menu. I don’t get it. Are they afraid we are going to abscond with their menus?
The chocolate cake and other desserts didn’t seem to excite me too much so I took a pass, but did taste the ice cream dessert. And I was glad I didn’t spend $8 for it.
Service is a severely lacking here. I would think they would be happy to have guests as dead as they were, but I didn’t get the feeling anyone at Dolce cared if we were there or not. And while I like they idea that they price things on the lower end of the scale ($10 dishes) it is just too bad they taste like $10 dishes. If you really want to have a decent meal, you’ll need to for the $20+ dishes here to get it. And save your $$ on the drinks and just order wine.
261 19th St
Atlanta, GA 31132
Extras: Monday night dining is half off.