At one point in time, there were 10 different places in the Little City to get pizza. It was a crusty, cheesy paradise. And while there have been a few closings and relocations in recent years, Falls Church still packs some serious pizza pedigree. But even in F.C.’s glory days of slices, pizza was never presented in the way it is at a small wine bar in Fairfax.
Dolce Veloce specializes in cicchetti, also known as snacks or side dishes (think Italian tapas), and one of its most popular dishes is the pizza cone. Yes, pizza in a cone – that’s a thing.
Resembling an ice cream cone with a flat top, it’s got all the ingredients of a traditional pie, just with more dimension. The conical pizza dough, which looks sort of like a cake cone, filled to the brim with cheese and sauce can be left at that or, like a savory version of Coldstone, there’s also a selection of mix-ins available. During our visits, the favorite combination was pesto, spinach and sausage but the tried-and-true cheese and pepperoni duo was no slouch either. Despite sounding and looking like a novelty, the cheese-and-meat-filled cone works and is tasty at that. Plus, where else can you double fist a pizza and a glass of pinot?
Most of the rest of the menu is divided into tiers of dishes priced between $6.99 and $11.99. The cheaper end of the spectrum includes panini like the veggie-stuffed Vegetariano (roasted zucchini, red and yellow peppers, eggplant and herbed goat cheese) or the meaty Modenese (salami, prosciutto, mortadella, provolone, arugula, roasted red peppers and tapenade) and in the middle are cicchetti like calamari (both grilled and fried), crab cakes, steak skewers, a variety of meat and cheese plates and more. And while 12 bucks is on the pricey end when compared to the rest of the menu, the lineup of risotto here is not to be missed, especially the risotto ai gamberi and its cheesy mix of arborio rice, crispy pancetta flakes and quartet of shrimp– it makes the extra dollars worth it.
Since Dolce Veloce is a wine bar, naturally it has quite the selection, evident by a dining room stacked ceiling-high with the stuff. A binder full of options are available by the bottle or glass and there’s also a full bar in addition to bottle and draft beer.
While the regular menu is reasonably priced, the best time to visit is undoubtedly during happy hour. Six days a week (it’s closed Sunday), from 4 – 7 p.m., a limited happy hour menu is available which slashes prices in half on many dishes. Specials include fried balls of rice (arancini) stuffed with meat and cheese and dressed with marinara, a mix of truffled regular and sweet potato fries (patate fritte), stuffed shells, caprese and several more. Those pizza cones, regularly $5.99, are also included and pretty much a must-order at just $3.50.
First time visitors may find Dolce Veloce a bit hard to find, so look for its neighbor and sister restaurant Dolce Vita, which is more visible from the street and shares a parking lot with the wine bar.
Dolce Veloce • 10826 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax • 703-385-1226 • dolceveloce.com