Sweet deals and sweet meals - it's no wonder why the folks behind this mostly Filipino-inspired restaurant/bar went with the name Dolce. The globe-scouring menu - covering Japanese, American, Italian and of course Filipino fare – may confuse some patrons, but this is definitely a place worth trying for at least a little taste of Pacific Island flavor.
While the surrounding area (some say Irving Park while others claim Albany Park) already hosts a number of ethnic eateries, most are either fairly shabby or too family-oriented (read: no bar). So residents have dubbed Dolce a diamond in the rough with its embracing brick walls, comfortably cast lighting, tin ceilings and hardwood floors. Sepia-brown chairs crown tables filmed with cloth and stamped with tableware.
While the food is the focus here, Dolce’s flat screens and warm staff make the place a good choice for both feasts and sporting events. For these functions, expect wallet-friendly fare like kuya rolls (thin egg rolls) and sushi to go along with beer-bucket specials.
Though the menu does include standard bar food (hamburgers, Caesar salads, etc.), we recommend trying some of the more exotic dishes. Start with the BBQ sticks: four grilled pork skewers marinated in a zesty Filipino sauce and spices. Then segue into either the Oscar's Tocino (sweet Filipino sliced pork served with white rice and fried plantains) or the staple Dolce grilled pork chops made with a special in-house sauce.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: David-Anthony Gonzalez