Today's deal lets STLers in on the city's biggest secret to be revealed since the time it was determined that the Budweiser brewery gnomes did not fly back to their home planet but had merely gone extinct. For $15, you'll get $35 worth of award-winning Italian cuisine and decadent desserts at La Dolce Via, a family-owned café in Forest Park Southeast.
If you're wondering what's for dinner at La Dolce Via, you’re not alone. The menu rotates regularly, depending on what's in season and what strikes Chef Ramon Cuffie's fancy. Past delicacies have included smoked trout with crème fraiche, pickled cucumber salad, radish sprouts, and baguette slices. Seared yellowfin tuna with fresh fennel and cannellini-bean salad and seared sea scallops with fresh strawberry risotto have also been spotted emerging from the kitchen and can be trapped by your server in a convenient butterfly net and brought directly to your table. Just inform them of any dietary restrictions (allergic to awesome, etc.) and warm up your taste buds by savoring the restaurant's homey ambience. Small plates range between $8 and $15, while large plates range from $18 to $28.
Desserts remain a little more constant, just like your desire to end your dinner with one. Try the mascarpone cheesecake with biscotti crust or the volcanic Vesuvio (rum-chocolate sponges layered with whipped cream, almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate flecks, and a hint of candied orange peel, topped with chocolate-espresso glaze). Cakes are $5 per slice, while fresh-baked brownies and cookies are between $1 and $3. These sinfully sweet sweets are best enjoyed with a sinful sweetie of your own in tow.
Chef Ramon Cuffie's flair with scallops and seafood, among other things, has drawn the best kind of attention from the press. The Riverfront Times voted La Dolce Via Best Kept Secret, Best Bakery, and Best Indulgence:
- On our visits, we've enjoyed a brilliant pairing of salmon and split-pea broth, deeply flavored chicken confit and beef drizzled with fifteen-year-old balsamic vinegar. And of course we always finish with a selection or two from La Dolce Via's amazing array of baked goods. – Riverfront Times
- There are those who can leave La Dolce Via without having dessert, but we’re not among them. – Joe and Ann Pollack, St. Louis Eats and Drinks
- Few places make me happy the way La Dolce Via does. – Mike Saxvik, Urbanspoon
Turn, Turn, Turn
La Dolce Via offers a seasonally rotating menu, invocative of the Ecclesiastes adage turned Byrds' lyric: "There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)." The seminal pop parable goes on to suggest there is "A time to kill, a time to heal; A time to laugh, a time to weep." It's a lot to keep track of, which may account for the cutting of the following lost verses, recently rediscovered by lady archaeologist, Jill Bennett. ("Just archeologist is fine," adds Bennett.) Here are some excerpts from the original full version of the text:
- "A time to stab, a time to superstab"
- "A time to eat, a time to be eaten (by pumas)"
- "A time for talking to your roommate about the dishes, a time for just letting it go"
- "A time to build, a time machine"
- "A time for brunch, if we have time before the 2:15 showing of Couples Retreat”
Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.