One of the reason’s Federal Hill is so popular is because of its Italian eateries including Caffe Dolce Vita.
Caffe Dolce Vita is owned by Gianfranco Marrocco (who also owns Mediterraneo Caffe, Amici Sports Bar & Grille, Wise Guys Deli, Smoke, Skarr and Hotel Dolce Villa).
Gianfranco moved to America with a dream of doing something big. Missing the outdoor cafes of his native country gave him the idea to create an authentic Italian Caffe and in 1992 he open Caffe Dolce vita, the first outdoor Caffe in Providence.
Caffe Dolce Vita is located in the heart of picturesque DePasquale Plaza up Federal Hill.
Caffe Dolce Vita is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and during warmer months you can enjoy the alfresco dining Gianfranco brought to Providence.
My partner and I were lucky enough to not only dine at Caffe Dolce Vita but also stay overnight at Hotel Dolce Villa, located right next to the restaurant. We also checked out Smoke Lounge, but more on that later.
Let’s focus on the food!
Caffe Dolce Vita is one of our favorite restaurants in Rhode Island.
The Italian food is extremely authentic and would make any “Italian grandmother” proud!
The Caffe’s decor is very sleek with a contemporary Italian Modernism, with warm tones of ochre, copper and bronze.
There is plenty of seating inside and outside, a huge black marble bar and one of the friendliest wait staffs around.
Jen and I took advantage of their Prix-Fixe Dinner For Two ($49.95).
This amazing deal includes the following:
Choice of - Pitcher of Sangria, Mimosa, Margarita or a Bottle of House Wine (choice of Chardonay, Merlot or Cabernet).
First Course – Choice of side – House Salad, Caesar Salad or Caprese Salad.
Second Course – Choice of any 2 – Entrees, Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads or any Pastas.
Third Course – Choice of Tiramisu, Imported Gelato or Biscotti.
We chose the Pitcher of Sangria and Caprese Salad (fresh house-made mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil).
For entrees I ordered the Gnocchi Ripieni Con Spinich (potato dumplings filled with ricotta and spinach tossed in a plum tomato sauce..I added chicken to it as well).
Jen ordered the Chicken Parmigiana (breaded boneless chicken breast, fried and topped with a San Marzano plum tomato sauce and mozzarella).
I also tried a side order of their Italian grilled sausage.
The food was to die for! Italian food all comes down to the sauce and the sauce at Caffe Dolce Vita is some of the best around. Super light and flavorful.
The portion sizes were generous and provided plenty of leftovers for later that night!
For desert I ordered the Tiramisu and Jen ordered the Biscotti.
I don’t know how we managed to fit desserts in our belly, but we did….proudly!
Honestly the food, ambiance and serve get a 10-out-of-10.
You can tell how absolutely fresh every ingredient is and that the chef must love his job!
- Sunday-Thursday – 8 AM – 11 PM
- Friday-Saturday – 8 AM – 1 AM
- Saturday-Sunday Bruch – 8 AM – 3 PM
GOOD TO KNOW: Caffe Dolce Vita also offers a Prix-Fixe Lunch Menu for $14.95 per person and dinner Pre-Fixe menu from $49.95 per couple. Click HERE for more information.
HOTEL DOLCE VILLA / 63 DePasquale Avenue / Providence, RI 02903 / 401-383-7031
After dinner Jen and I proceeded to check into Hotel Dolce Villa for the evening.
This trendy boutique hotel and is unlike any other in Rhode Island. The hotel has a mixed personality of country-side Italy and South Beach, Florida!
Our 2 bedroom suite was delightful with it’s white and green interior, fireplace, kitchen area, 3 TV’s and amazing balcony overlooking DePasquale Plaza.
There is plenty of room for two couples to enjoy this unit. We sat on the balcony and soaked in the atmosphere and pretended we had been transported to Italy, because that is certainly what it felt like!
GOOD TO KNOW:
- Dolce Villa proudly displays a rainbow logo on the bottom of their web site
- Dolce Villa offers valet parking in a private lot and comfortable suites that are idea for extended stays. Rate for valet is $20 per night.
- Dolce Villa offers 14 suites, 9-one bedroom units and 5-two bedroom units.
- All rooms feature memory-foam beds, pull-out memory foam sofa beds, fully equipped kitchens, whirlpool tubs, living area, and state-of-the-art electronics for entertainment and business purposes.
- Two-bedroom units also include fireplaces.
- Hotel has a non-smoking policy
- Check-in time: 2 PM / Check-out time: 11 AM
ALL SUITES INCLUDE:
- Memory Foam Beds
- Sleep sofas also with Memory Foam
- Fully equipped kitchens
- Flat screen televisions
- DVD, VCR, and CD players
- FREE High Speed Internet
- FREE Complimentary popcorn, hot chocolate, and Biscotti
- 20% Discount to properties sister restaurants
THE RESIDENCES AT HOTEL DOLCE VILLA – Yes, you can RENT units as well! Click HERE for more information.
SMOKE LOUNGE / 114 Spruce Street / Providence, RI 02903 / 401-780-8975
Since the night was young we headed over to Smoke Lounge which is one of Providence’s hottest night spot. Smoke Lounge offers the ultimate luxury of smoking tobacco indoors with a full liquor bar, walk-in humidor, hookah pipes and a great selection of cigarettes.
Although neither Jen and I smoke, we did enjoy the sexy vibe of this high end lounge!
Smoke is fully equipped with a great ventilation system that lifts smoke up and out of the building so that both non-smokers and smokers can comfortably enjoy food and drinks together.
Smoke also has state of the art sound systems which transform the space into a high energy lounge.
There are six 42-inch flat screen TV’s for watching your favorite sports teams and lots of space of private parties.
The dim lighting, dance poles, private rooms, huge bars, couches and outdoor terrace made us feel as if we stepped into a nightclub in New York or Las Vegas!
We were told that Thursday’s (at the time of our visit) were Latin / House Music night with a large gay following, which is very cool and very much needed up Federal Hill!
Smoke Lounge is definitely a great place to chill out, relax, have a quick bite, drink, smoke — DANCE and just have fun!
It is an extremely popular club and seems to attract lots of hotties so don your best apparel ladies and gents!
MENU: Click HERE for Smoke’s menu.
- Monday-Thursday – 12 PM – 1 AM
- Friday-Saturday – 12 PM – 2 AM
- Sunday – 12 PM – 1 AM
GAY & LESBIAN FACTOR: The Marrocco Group is extremely gay & lesbian friendly! I had the pleasure of working with the very charismatic Gianfranco Marrocco who has been very welcoming to Gay Travel Information and eager to be spotlighted on our site. He has treated my partner and I wonderfully at each of his restaurants, lounges and hotel. Federal Hill is increasing becoming more and more popular with the gay & lesbian crowd and the majority seems to be flocking to Marracco’s group of restaurants/lounges. I felt extremely comfortable at Caffe Dolce Vita, Hotel Dolce Villa and Smoke Lounge. Yes, the majority of people that go to Smoke seem to be straight, however, Thursday Latin / House Music night is getting quite the gay following! We should support that and help it grow! I am eagerly “OUTING” Caffe Dolce Vita, Smoke Lounge and Hotel Dolce Villa as LGBT friendly and worthy of our business.
What a fantastic night away my partner and I had! Dinner at Caffe Dolce Vita, dancing at Smoke Lounge and beautiful overnight accommodations at Hotel Dolce Villa.
Gianfranco Marrocco is known as “THE KING OF THE HILL” and I can clearly see why.
The man had good taste. Plain and simple.
Out & About Travel / Gay Travel Information