We live in Newport and have been to Il Dolce about 10 to 15 times and think its a hidden gem. As a local,I would definitely suggest those visiting the Newport / Costa Mesa area consider it. It's not down by the bay or beach - more up in the Newport Blvd / Harbor Blvd business district (corner of 19th St and Harbor Blvd.), but we go for the food not the location. Its more of a foodie experience.
The pizza dough is so sweet and light. Definitely the best pizza dough I have ever had. They have a wood burning pizza oven and the pizza's toppings are unique. Our favorite is the Fig an Ricotta cheese pizza when its in season, but we've tried many of them - all excellent. The size is more of an individual pizza, so my wife and I usually get a couple of split them.
I also have tried several of the pastas and one was especially awesome - combination of mushrooms and truffle oil. Had the salmon dinner once and was also excellent.
The ambiance is nice but could be better. It's small (seats around 40), open and casual. It they were located down by the beach or not on a busy intersection, it would be rated as one of the top restaurants in the area.
I believe the place is family run with the Dad as chef, Mom helping back of the house, and son as one of the waiters. I think they are originally from Argentina. They have always been very nice when we go.
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