By: Nori Evoy & Cassie Lewis
Anguilla is world-famous for its five-star cuisine. Its restaurants are in the league of the Nobu's and Cipriani's of the world, except you enjoy your meal while sitting by the Caribbean Sea.
Of course, those meals often come at five-star prices, too. But, you don't have to pay $300-$400 (for four people) for outstanding dining by the shore.
One restaurant that gets rave reviews over and over is Dolce Vita. "Excellent Italian, comfortable dining, affordable price, and right on the beach at Sandy Ground."
Bene! Bene! Let's go!...
Dolce Vita: Italian Beach Restaurant & Bar
On Sandy Ground
It is no secret that the beaches of Anguilla are most breathtaking when the sun is shining at its brightest. When the sun goes down, though? The water view shouldn't be slept on, and Dolce Vita has a front row view!
Approaching Dolce Vita By Night
The still waters depict a shiny, reflective, rippled floor to the horizon in the distance. The fading sunlight, the coming moonlight and lights from yachts glisten atop the water in total companionship, as smaller fishing boats come in to moor around the harbor.
Sandy Ground Sunset Seen From Dolce Vita
All of this can be seen from the comfort of your dining table in the oh so sweet, Dolce Vita restaurant.
Tip: Make reservations ahead, and request a table on the edge of the deck, closest to the sea. The view of Sandy Ground's sailboats lit up against the night sky gives you the best of both worlds... tranquility straight ahead, and the chatter of the lively, popular restaurant inside.
From the moment you step foot inside Dolce Vita, you are made to feel right at home. From the warm and welcoming owner, Abbi, to the kind waitresses who impress with how they remember all of the specials from memory. The entire Dolce Vita team is exceptional.
Louise & Cassie with Abbi...
We Love You, Abbi!
Abbi Ibraham owns and runs Dolce Vita. He is the former manager of the old Luna Rosa Italian restaurant in Anguilla. Abbi has been in the Italian restaurant business for many years.
Chef Christopher Bacchiega joined Abbi in Anguilla when Abbi decided to embark on his own venture. Chef's creations, and the menu, is authentic Italian, with an Anguilla twist, taking advantage of the island's natural ingredients... seafood.
The meal begins with Le Bon Pain's freshly baked bread served with Dolce Vita's 'Aceto Balsamico' (Balsamic oil) and olive oil.
For starters, the caprese salad, mussels in a white wine sauce, and calamari are light ways to begin the meal.
Our friend, Louise swears by the Polpette all Parmigiana. Fat, juicy meatballs are bathed in tomato sauce and baked with melted mozzarella cheese. It is a heartwarming dish.
Polpette all Parmigiana Appetizer
Another favorite starter?
Soft and thin slices of eggplant are covered in cheese and a tomato sauce. An 'egg-cellent' choice for a vegetarian!
Another vegetarian-friendly favorite starter? The "Gnocchi Alla Gorgonzola."
Gnocchi Alla Gorgonzola
It is so hard to believe this is a starter! The serving size is almost the size of a main. As for taste? These gnocchis are pillowy pieces of heaven, resting in a rich tomato sauce. 100% yum!
After appetizers, Dolce Vita's menu is divided into three sections:
Pasta, meat and seafood. My parents adore the pasta, and it's Louise's favorite part of the menu.
Chef Christopher does the "classics" well. Everything from bolognese to seafood spaghetti is on the menu.
Don't miss the daily specials, too. Dolce Vita's specials always include a daily ravioli special and a daily risotto special.
Another special you may see on the menu from time to time is the "Lobster Pasta." It is far too good to miss out on...
Huge chunks of lobster are tossed in a cream sauce with spaghetti and parsley. Rich in seafoody-creamy flavor and texture, each bite is better than the next.
All of the pasta dishes are flavorful and al dente, just the way we like it. The combination of homemade pasta, homemade pasta sauce and seafood cannot be beat.
When it comes to seafood dishes, Chef Christopher impresses yet again.
Dentice Alla Griglia
The Dentice Alla Griglia is a good choice. Red snappers are caught regularly in Anguilla, and Dolce Vita's are caught that day. A whole red snapper is grilled to perfection and drizzled with their balsamic oil and evoo. Sumptuous and moist, it is nearly velvety. To top it off, the seasonings accentuate the natural flavors of the fish. Need I say more? ;-)
For the price in Anguilla, these dishes are hard to beat.
After (or during) your meal, Abbi soon arrives at your table, personally ensuring that you have enjoyed your meal, and the evening on the whole.
At Dolce Vita with Owner Abbi
Abbi is a wonderful man, with a warm personality. He is passionate about his business, you can tell by the sparkle in his eye. He is a man who loves what he does!
By the time we reach "dolce" (desserts) we are normally ready to burst... yet still, creamy cheese cake, tiramisu, chocolate mousse and Italian ice cream with amaretto cookies call your name.
Nutella Cheesecake Dessert
The Nutella Cheesecake is especially memorable. Made with cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone and Nutella, this dreamy dessert is served with a rich coconut sauce. Spongy, smooth and syrupy, it is also a work of visual art.
With drinks, wine, appetizers, entrees and dessert, and considering the superb service, setting and location, the bill is extremely reasonable (especially by Anguilla standards!).
A popular restaurant, Dolce Vita has a first in class reputation for good reason.
Directions: Dolce Vita is located on the Sandy Ground "strip", before you reach Johnno's, if you're coming from the south/don't pass Elvis' on your way into Sandy Ground.
Hours: Open nightly 6:00 to 9:30pm, closed Tuesday. Open every night for dinner in December.
Menu: Click here