Modern Italian: Dolce Coming to The Gale South Beach in January

Slated to open at the beginning of the new year, Dolce promises moderate prices and honestly updated Italian classics.

Located in the newly renovated Gale South Beach, the restaurant's space spans across three areas, and will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.

With Italian-born executive chef Paolo Dorigato at the helm of the menu and culinary supervision, could this be contemporary the Italian food South Beach's needs?

Decide for yourself.

John Meadow, partner of Dolce and others including Scarpetta, offered, "the restaurant will strike a balance squarely between the more casual restaurant in our portfolio [at LFV Hospitality] and out upscale brands with made-from-scratch Italian cuisine and approachable prices."

Dorigato, a former executive chef of New York establishments The Rainbow Room and Cipriani Wall Street, has combined the menu to match the influences from his hometown in Trento, Italy with techniques learned from his mentoring chefs.

And while the menu is still in development, it will include the hotel restaurant standards like salads, pizzas and pasta, as well as modernized Italian classics like veal milanese. Salads and antipasti will be priced from $9 to $19 per dish. Expect to find roasted red and yellow beets, endive, goat cheese and orange segments, and burrata with Boston lettuce, cherry tomatoes, crispy shallots, and apple wood bacon.

Priced from $13 to $19, pizzas range from the Tartufata with a blend of mozarella, fontina, and robiola truffle cheeses to the Zingara with spicy salami, roasted peppers, onions, and fior de latte mozzarella.

Pastas, on the other hand will offer spaghetti al pomodoro, short rib cannelloni with porcini cream, and pappardelle with duck ragu, baby spinach and pumpkin ravioli and smoked ricotta.

Of course, wine will serve as the backbone to the dishes. Dolce will have about 20 wines by the glass and about 120 bottles from Italian and American selections.

There is a limited preview menu available this week during Art Basel through December 9.

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Alex Rodriguez