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Inviting Everyone to the Table: Dolce Vita Aims to Make Fine Dining Accessible

Inviting Everyone to the Table: Dolce Vita Aims to Make Fine Dining Accessible

Sadik Demir

Sadik Demir has been working in restaurants his whole life — or at least since he was ten. “I was always in kitchens, learning new things, working at different places, like hotels, restaurants, catering,” he says. “I was a chef since I first knew myself.”  

A life in restaurants has now led to Demir owning his own place: Dolce Vita in Nyack, which opened in 2022, and where the mission is “to create a fine dining experience that is accessible, affordable, and open to all in the heart of Nyack.” 

When asked to expand on his mission, Demir emphasizes that he wants to put high-quality food on the table for a reasonable cost — to “make people feel like their money is worth it,” he says. “People don’t have to spend an arm and a leg when they go to dinner.” 

Dolce Vita offers a compelling spot to put this plan into action; its location at 66 Main Street is the former home of the once-popular establishment O’Donoghue’s, a restaurant with a long and storied local history. 

And so the friendly vibe Demir cultivates offers a certain continuity, even as the menu has changed. The new list of options focuses on seafood and

Popcorn Shrimp Tossed in Sweet Chili Lime

Italian fusion cuisine with varied offerings — from arrabbiata and other pastas to bouillabaisse to 11-ounce burgers and 16-ounce black Angus cowboy steaks, one of his personal favorites. Dolce Vita also features a full bar menu, with several entrees (including flatbread pizzas), along with a list of homemade desserts like chocolate mousse and Spanish flan.  

Fresh ingredients, Demir emphasizes, are especially important. “I shop almost every other day,” he says, adding that he tries to source from local farms when seasonably available. 

While this is Demir’s first time owning his own restaurant, he is certainly a veteran of the business, working in his previous chef role for 21 years. Even though he’s the owner now, he’s still in the kitchen seven days a week — and naturally, owning the place comes with unique perks. Aside from cultivating the menu, which includes a list of specials that changes every couple of days, running Dolce Vita has allowed him to create the kind of hospitable environment he feels is vital for a restaurant, particularly with the impacts of the pandemic in mind. 

“I keep long hours, between twelve in the afternoon and twelve midnight, so nobody gets rushed out of the dining room,” he says. “They can sit down, chit chat, you know, catch up with their friends. I don’t want people to feel like they are under pressure, that they have to leave by nine, nine-thirty. I’m a chef and owner, so I can always whip something up for people.” 

That sort of intimacy is ultimately the heart of the restaurant. After all, it’s a cozy space, with only 44 seats in the dining room, plus 12 at the bar (and with that in mind, reservations are not necessary, but recommended!). 

Demir, originally from Turkey but now hailing from Piermont, says that thus far, the local response to Dolce Vita has been great. “Business has been really good. Ninety-nine percent of my dishes, people love!” 

Dolce Vita
66 Main Street, Nyack, NY 10960
Open every day, 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Photos by Samantha Finch 

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