In August we visited Boston. My wife had to attend a conference and asked me to join her. I took a flight from JFK and in about an hour I was hanging out in Downtown Boston. We were there for about four days. This was just long enough for me to run around the Downtown area to see what the city had to offer. Boston has a lot of history. There are several companies that offer “Land and Sea” tours. One part of your tour takes place on dry land. The second part of the tour brings you into the water. The narrator provides interesting places to see and visit. If you do not feel like purchasing a book and doing all of the research on your own, this is a great alternative.
Besides the beautiful buildings and structures, Boston has great restaurants and bakeries. The first restaurant that we had dinner at was called “Provisions”, located at State Street and Atlantic Avenue.
The menu has many options that are very good. For my appetizer, I ordered a bowl of the New England Clam Chowder. Liz ordered the House-Cured Salt Cod Fritters. Provisions also makes very good drinks. Pictured below is a Gin Martini served with one olive.
I chose the Chicken & Waffles served with Bourbon Pecan Syrup as my main course. This entree is served with Jersey whipped potatoes and sautéed kale. In addition, I ordered the Caesar Salad with the dressing on the side. My wife opted for the Beer Battered Fish & Chips served with Lemon Caper Tartar sauce, Black Kale and Brussels Slaw.
We walked around Boston at night. During our visit we came across the St. Aggripina Festival in Little Italy. This celebration reminded me of the Feast of San Genarro Festival held every September in New York City.
As we walked around the neighborhood we saw the dozens of Italian restaurants and bakeries throughout the neighborhood. It was very hard to choose which one to visit. We finally decided to visit Dolce Vita Ristorante. As you look at the next photo, Liz is checking out the menu and the owner Antonio Franco Salvati (Pictured on the right) walks up to her and says; “This is the restaurant that you want to eat at.” Liz smiles and says; “We would love to but it is very crowded this evening.” (It was not only crowded, but there was a wait to be seated) “Please come back another evening and you will be my personal guests. I have officially invited you.” Liz responded, “Ok, we will be back tomorrow for dinner.”
The next day we returned to the restaurant and received a warm welcome from Franco. He asked us where we would like to sit. We sat right in the front of the restaurant. It provided us with a wonderful view of the neighborhood. We received our menus. As we were reading the selections, Franco walks over and tells us about tonight’s specials. This made our choice for dinner even harder. When you receive your menu, check out the front of it. If there is a signature on it, it’s a good chance that it belongs to a celebrity, or an athlete that you might know. My menu had Kim Kardashian’s signature on it. Liz’s menu had Kobe Bryant’s signature on it.
Franco recommended the Bruschetta and garlic bread. Our waiter brings out a tray of the Bruschetta and garlic bread. It is wonderful. The only problem was that it was really good, we did want more, but we didn’t receive our entrees yet.
For my main course I ordered the Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo. Liz ordered the Frutti Di Mare. I highly recommend either dish. The food is so good here that the next time that we return to Boston, this will be the very first restaurant that we will have dinner at.
On the night that we had had dinner, we had the pleasure of listening to one of the local artists. Antonio, plays an instrument while belting out Italian love ballads. At 93, Antonio is young at heart, and loves to perform for anyone who is having dinner. His presence added to a very wonderful evening. One of the things that also makes this restaurant so special are the paintings on the walls. Each painting was created exclusively for the restaurant. After dinner, you have to learn about the stories of each painting, and their significance to the restaurant.
In the painting below, see if you can notice something special in the painting. If you can’t figure it out, I will share the secret with you at the end of the article.
Another interesting tidbit about this restaurant comes from the name. When I asked Franco about its origin, he explained to me that the restaurant is named after a movie with the same name. If you Google La Dolce Vita, the original movie from 1960 will show up via YouTube.
One last interesting fact about the painting below. When you visit the restaurant, ask Franco about the significance of the painting. He loves sharing the story, and it’s pretty interesting. It gives you a little more insight about the history of Boston.
On the day that we were heading home, I stopped in to interview Franco for the article. Not only did he share some pretty amazing stories, he was nice enough to take a photograph with me. Dolce Vita Ristorante is located at 221 Hanover Street, Boston, MA.