THE trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you’re hungry again.

This splendid sentiment is attributed to George Miller (presumably the Australian Mad Max film producer/director), who as far as I’m aware has not eaten at La Dolce Vita in Scissett.

My wife and I had that pleasure last week and we empathise with Miller’s appraisal.

I have to admit La Dolce Vita took us by surprise, bringing as it does a warm touch of the Mediterranean to a former Methodist chapel on the Wakefield Road.

We had booked a meal for eight, but arrived early. Up the stone steps, the entrance to the restaurant is unspectacular, sort of what you would expect from a Methodist hall, and at first glance I wondered if they were open.

But we were then greeted by a friendly waiter, who ushered us into a large open-plan dining room with a spacious bar/reception area and found us a table.

The dining area is decorated in minimalistic shades of magnolia, there were claret cloths under the glass table tops and comfortable magnolia chairs. The large windows are decked with matching claret blinds and the floor has large magnolia speckled tiles.

Subtle, subdued spotlighting illuminates the tables from the lowered ceiling, creating an impressive, atmospheric aura and the background music was distinctively Italian.

The cooking area has a large open hatch and diners can watch the chefs in culinary action, at work on their creations. In front of the hatch are display refrigerators containing their sweets, ices and other delicacies.

Our personable waiter Nick, who we later learned is Albanian, brought us drinks from the well stocked bar, while we pondered our orders from the extensive menu.

In the meantime we were delivered a wooden tray carrying a bowl of fine balsamic vinegar and bread slices. We asked for olives and a large dish of tasty black and green varieties was produced.

It was more than a coincidence that from the wide range of Antipasti on the menu we both opted for the Torre di Salmone – smoked salmon and Atlantic prawns layered with red peppers and Marie rose sauce. The portions were hugely generous and the combination of seafood, vegetables and green salad base is a taste sensation.

We went our separate ways on the main course, Carol choosing the Risotto Veneziano, an authentic Italian dish of traditional rice cooked with mixed seafood, white wine, garlic and parsley and topped with rocket leaves, while I opted for the Tortelloni Di Mare, lobster and queen scallop-filled sizeable pasta parcels in a creamy tomato sauce with slightly more than a hint of chilli. Served up in a large bowl and sprinkled liberally with ground pepper and parmesan cheese, it looked terrific and, displaying all the colours of the Italian flag and more, it tasted just as good as it looked.

Carol, a second generation Italian, has the qualifications to judge the fare, as she is a mean cook herself with Mediterranean creations, particularly risottos, not unnaturally, featuring strongly among her ‘signature dishes’.

I did not have to ask her opinion of the La Dolce Vita version of her choice, her smile said it all – the Venezianio had passed the test with flying colours.

To remind herself of holidays in sunny Italy for ‘pudding’ she ordered a Flute al Limoncello, a delicate sorbet laced with Limoncello liqueur, served up, as its name would suggest, in a fluted glass.

Again she found this choice to be seriously good.

I had another beer while she savoured her sweet course.

We just love Italian food and La Dolce Vita did not disappoint, but the restaurant also serves up traditional British dishes. We visited on a Wednesday which is La Dolce Vita steak night with money-saving offers. There was also chicken and fish on the menu and an interesting additional blackboard of special dishes. You can have chips, potatoes and a wide variety of English vegetable side dishes – indeed the gentleman on the next table to us was tucking into a handsome portion of steak and chips.

Carol, “a non-meat eater”, remarked on the extensive range of vegetarian-type dishes on the menu among the antipasti, pasta and pizza, Specialita della Casa and Contorni (side dishes).

Our evening at La Dolce Vita had turned out to be a huge success. I can confidently say that we’ll be back – and soon.

The last time I tasted comparable Italian food as good as this I was in Italy. The Italians have a certain way of doing things and they possess that certain style and simple sophistication.

And after all, as Leonardo da Vinci (no less) remarked: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

La Dolce Vita

145, Wakefield Road Scissett, HD8 9HR

Tel: @01484 861199


Opening hours@5pm-9pm; Sat 5pm-9:30pm; Sun 12:30pm-5:30pm


Disabled access@ The restaurant has an exemption due to its listed building status. Staff are always willing to help anyone with access issues.

The bill@ £51.40, including all the drinks

Would you go back?@ Already planning a return