Puccini's La Dolce Vita

Puccini's La Dolce Vita is Bloomington's fancypants Italian restaurant. I've been there 2-3 times and have never been super impressed. This time the food was good, but it wasn't excellent. And from this type of restaurant (and their prices) I expect better. When Christine and I went in to get seated they asked us whether we wanted Italian or Ethiopian food. This was confusing. Apparently half of the restaurant is now Ethiopian? Are they owned by the same people? Is Puccini's doing so badly that they had to rent out half of the resaurant? I don't know. But it's weird.

The ambiance is certainly nice. We ate outside on the patio, which is lovely on a nice evening. The restaurant also has a reputation for very formal, attentive service. We didn't get that either. The service wasn't bad by any means but it also wasn't much different than the service you'd get at somewhere like Olive Garden.

Christine and I started off with a bottle Rose, which our waiter didn't know anything about (though he did ask his manager who answered our questions). It was nice and promised to inspire us to engage in "rowdy games of full contact croquet." Well, our plans for the evening were not amended to include croquet but the alcohol certainly made the Olympics more interesting. For our appetizer we shared the Baked Brie. It was delicious, gooey inside with warm pesto and almonds on top. It was a large portion of cheese but was only served with four toasted slices of baguette. Definitely not enough for all of the cheese. The cheese was big enough to share with more than two people, the bread, not so much.

For our entrees, Christine had the salmon while I had the seafood pasta. The salmon was served with a yummy pear-port sauce and sides of risotto and asparagus. My pasta had a really nice pesto sauce but was a bit bland. The shrimp were nicely cooked but the scallops were small and chewy. The best part of the dish was the delicious asparagus pieces and the perfectly al dente fettucine.

We skipped dessert, which might have been a mistake on our part. According to several sources, their desserts are fantastic. Apparently the tiramisu is delicious. But we were too stuffed and tipsy by that point to manage any more food in our bellies. Plus we had things to do, people to see. So, instead of going to Puccini's for dinner I recommend heading to the square and eating at Samira's (more about them later) instead. Then try Puccini's for some dessert and coffee.

Puccini's La Dolce Vita
420 E 4th St
, IN 47401
Get Directions

(812) 333-5522
Puccini's La Dolce Vita on Urbanspoon

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