Dolci in Craighall Park has always been known for beautiful Italian pastries and cakes, but the erstwhile pastry shop is now serving a full breakfast and lunch menu with coffees and teas.
In the space of a few weeks, some of the dishes have already become staples. Highlights include anchovy spread on real Italian toasted bread; Eggs in Hell, a Righi family favourite of poached eggs in arrabiata sauce; prawn tails in chilli with risotto; spaghetti con zucchini, and cotoletta (chicken schnitzel served with boiled baby potatoes in butter and parsley, sliced tomato and homemade cheese sauce). Everything is made on site, where possible.
Dolci Café owner Jackie Righi-Boyd comes from restaurant-industry blood. Her mother, Luciana Righi, once ran Tre Nonni nearby, and, together with Jackie’s brother Giancarlo, opened Assaggi, also not too far away. Initially Jackie vowed never to have a career that had anything to do with food, but in her final year of university she embarked on a pastry course and ended up apprenticing herself to a pastry chef in Ravenna, Italy.
On returning to South Africa, Jackie restricted herself to pastries until she and her husband Clayton Boyd realised that what Italians and European-style cafés do best is share everyday food with friends, neighbours and strangers.
Lovers of Jackie’s pastries need not fear, however. Her wares, such as the bombolone, pasticcini and cannoli, remain exquisite. There’s just more opportunity now to see, taste and love them, after doing some work with the WiFi over breakfast, meeting friends over a bottle of prosecco, or enjoying lingering lunches with the extended family.
Dolci Café is open Tuesday to Friday from 7.30am until 6pm, and on weekends from 7am until 3pm. (Closed on Mondays.)