On a recent Sunday afternoon, we went to La dolce vita, an Italian restaurant in Thamel. La dolce vita meaning the good life is located in the middle of Thamel opposite to the Kathmandu Guest House. Having opened in 1986, the restaurant has a long history of serving Italian food in Kathmandu.
Leaving the busy streets of Thamel and walking up the stairs to La dolce vita, you arrive at a quiet and comforting setting. On the entrance wall, we learn that the restaurant is on the first floor, the espresso bar is on the second floor and the terrace is on the third floor. We went into the restaurant and got seated closer to the windows. One can get a good panoramic view of Thamel’s lively streets from the restaurant.
In a few minutes, we were greeted by Binod Giri. We asked what the popular items are at La dolce vita and he suggested we try out the crostini misti and gnocchi parmesan. While the food was being prepared, I talked to Binod about the restaurant’s customers, its history and the decors. La dolce vita has occupancy of 170. I learned that the restaurant is mostly visited by tourists who learn about the place primarily through word-of-mouth. At the time we went, there were two groups of tourists at the restaurant and about four groups on the terrace. While I was chatting with Binod, Suman took photographs of the restaurant and was keen to capture the essence and feel of the place; from the posters and plates that decorate the wall to the wine cellar and the espresso bar.
The appetizer crostini misti was delicious. Crostini misti, an assortment of mozzarella, pesto, olive paste, mushroom, tomato, basil, eggplant, zucchini and spicy cheese on toasted breads was a tasteful delight. I especially liked the mozzarella, pesto and spicy chesse and Suman enjoyed the spicy cheese very much. Our other dish was gnocchi parmesan; potato gnocchi in creamy parmesan sauce. The creamy parmesan sauce was thick and heavy. It was very filling and we were quickly full. The presentation of the dishes was commendable. The cappuccino we got was good; flavorful and subtly sweet.
After our lunch, we toured the espresso bar and the terrace. One thing you will notice right away at La dolce vita is its ambience. The restaurant, espresso bar and the terrace all exude the look and feel of an Italian restaurant. The terrace is especially comforting with a garden, plenty of chairs and tables. Since La dolce vita is located at a premier spot in Thamel, you might have some trouble finding parking. But besides the parking situation, if you’re in the mood for authentic Italian food, visit La dolce vita next time. We recommend you try the crostini misti and cappuccino.
Photo by Suman Maharjan.