La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita is a delightful oceanfront restaurant in Belmar serving lunch and dinner every day.

Outside is a canopied patio with about 20 tables which can be closed in during inclement weather and is a delightful place to enjoy the beach beyond and people watchand there are sure some characters around! While the inside is very nice, we’ll save that for the cold weather, outside is the place to be.

Inside, a marble bar with redwood wine racks behind it, is separated from the dining room by a ½ wall. The walls are done in a beige patterned wallpaper and the room has marble columns, funky hanging globes in a track lighting arrangement and tile floors. The 14 or so tables in the dining room are elegantly set with white tablecloths and sparkling accessories. Large windows on two sides allow you to take in the scene outside.

I have an old adage, when the bread is warm, good things are to come and that was the case here. The pastas are delicious and could be meals unto themselves. Pappardelle Amatriciana sautéed onions, pancetta, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, San Marzano tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Or the Tortolini ai Funghi Graitinati filled with goat cheese and tossed with wild mushrooms, asiago, proscuitto, scallions and cream.

Entrees, served with roasted potatoes, string beans and carrots, were equally satisfying. I had a wonderful Pollo Savoya, tender chicken breast with sweet peppers, cherry peppers, garlic, rosemary and a balsamic demi-glaze. Jen’s Veal Fiorentina was sautéed in a lemon white wine sauce, topped with spinach and melted mozzarella and sprinkled with roasted tomatoes.

The wine list is small but very fairly priced. Most whites are under $35 and reds under $40. We had a wonderful Gavi at $24 on one trip and a surprisingly well priced Amarone at $48 on another.

ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: Can be a little loud, but an outside table on a comfortable night can be pretty romantic.