From the pristine Pumicestone Passage to the enviable views of the Glass House Mountains, Caloundra is one of the Sunshine Coast's most popular tourist destinations. But … It's the 'out-of-season' period when privileged locals can really enjoy what this Sunshine Coast gem has to offer.
Recently, hubby and I enjoyed a 'date' night out at Bulcock Beach at the fabulous La Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant, located smack bang on the beautiful esplanade, overlooking the Pumicestone Passage. Did you know that La Dolce Vita means 'the sweet life? Perfectly apt!
We booked an early dinner and had a choice of 'inside' or 'outside' dining. We chose the 'outside' dining area, which is theoretically still indoors but has fabulous panoramic windows, offering diners an ever-changing view towards the ocean and mountains - depending which side of the table you sit at.
La Dolce Vita offers a very extensive Menu with everything from divinely delicious Antipasto and Starters to typical Traditional Lasagne, Pasta dishes, Italian Style Hot Stone Pizzas and absolute yummy Desserts. When faced with so much goodness, I tend to rather go less than more and decided a one-off 'Mains' was the way to go.
My choice for Saturday evening dinner was the 'Eye Fillet on Creamy Buttered Mash Potato, Wild Mushrooms and Red Wine Jus' ($40). The two hundred grams of grain-fed eye fillet - cooked to your preference - was served on the creamy buttered mash potato with pan-fried Swiss Brown and Field mushrooms. The seasonal greens were stacked on the potato and drizzled with red wine jus - everything was enticingly presented and cooked to perfection. My initial reaction was 'wow, this is a heap load of food', but as most of my meal was of the vegetable variety, surprisingly I coped very well and did the Chef proud with my 'clean' plate. (Writer's verdict 10/10)
Hubby's choice for the evening was the 'Seafood Marinara' ($35) from the Pasta Menu. The fresh surf clams, prawns and calamari, tossed with fresh spaghetti, extra virgin olive oil, a hint of fresh chilli and finished with a touch of Napoli sauce, looked a bit on the 'scant' side compared to my king's banquet of steak. Hubby was content with the proportion of food, but disappointed that the quantity of calamari and spaghetti far exceeded that of the clams and prawns, which were few and far between.
The service staff at La Dolce Vita were attentive, our drinks were constantly topped up and our food arrived promptly.
I just loved the ambience created by the ceiling decor
I have the latest Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Surrounds Entertainment Book, which for my readers who might not be aware, offers a variety of discounts at restaurants and cafes. La Dolce Vita in Caloundra is actually in the 2019/2020 Entertainment Book, under the 'Contemporary Dining' section. When I presented our Entertainment card at payment, the staff member very kindly let me know that La Dolce Vita had in fact requested not to be included in this specific Entertainment Book issue, so she could not 'mark' my card, but would still honour our discount. This is a pretty big deal, especially in light of the fact that 'you and your guest enjoy one complimentary main course when another main course of equal or greater value is purchased'!
Kudos La Dolce Vita! That's a huge plus in my book!
This was our second out-of-season visit to La Dolce Vita in Caloundra. We love the availability of street parking in Bulcock Street, we love having the opportunity of walking along the esplanade, without being jostled by holidaymakers and we especially love knowing that we have a first-class restaurant right on our doorstep, with some of the most enviable views on the Sunshine Coast.