What’s cooking with rose and annie

Lincolnville’s Dolce Vita makes pizza — and lots of it – to help friend fighting cancer

Posted:  Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 5:30am

LINCOLNVILLE – Dolce Vita is off the beaten path. Way off the beaten path. Take Route 1 to Lincolnville Beach and turn left of 173. Go past Slab City and Youngstown roads and you're almost there. All I can say is it's worth the drive. The pizza is to die for.

Owner Rose Lowell said September 10 that they were hosting an all-you-can-eat pizza pie event to help the Christina Barrows family. Christina has been suffering with breast cancer for three years.

"We, as a community, have been helping out and delivering meals for the family for three years," she said. "Three years is a long time for treatments and she is better, but the need is financial now and that's where we are trying to help."

"Lincolnville has rallied to help me put this on," she said. "We're just hoping we can put together some real money for them. It's really a great worthwhile cause."

Dolce Vita has been in business for six years. Rose learned how to make pizza in Italy and she travels there every year to learn more.

Her pizza crust is among the best. How does she make it?

"I can't tell you that," she laughed. "I'm sorry, but I just can't tell you that."

Rose said her favorite pizza is Red Grape.

"It's red grapes, fennel sausage and blue cheese," she said. “We haven't had one of those tonight though a third of the way into this we've made about 80 pizzas. We made 160 pizza doughs and it looks like we might use them all. The Red Grape pizza is my signature pizza here at Dolce Vita."

Every Saturday, Dolce Vita is at the Belfast Farmer's Market.

"The bakery part of Dolce Vita is only on Saturday at the market because we have been so busy with catering," she said. "And we do prepared, delivered meals on Mondays."

Rose said the prepared meals represents a side business that she and Annie Mahle from the J&E Riggin schooner started last fall.

"We've been really busy with them through the summer," she said. "We put a menu out every Monday for delivery the following Monday. A lot of young professionals who don't have time to cook order them."

Rose said young people buy two or three meals a week. Elderly people buy them and portion the meals out to save them from cooking.

The menu gets posted on the Lincolnville bulletin board and a Facebook page called What's cooking with Rose and Annie.

"Costs range from a single to family size and it depends on the size of the family," Rose said. "It contains a large soup or quiche, an entree with two sides, a salad and a loaf of bread to go with the meal. And, yes, we bake all our own bread."

Rose said everything is made form scratch and they source as much local ingredients as possible.

Monday's menu (September 11) is: Roasted tomato and basil soup, chicken roasted with white wine and herbs, creamy mashed potatoes, honey-glazed Brussels sprouts and beets, apple, cranberry, walnut salad and fluffy dinner rolls. The cost is $50 for a single and goes up with the size of the family.

Familiar faces at Dolce Vita included Ken and Del Paquin, former owners of Atlantica Restaurant in Camden. Atlantica closed two years ago and I had thought the Paquins had moved into retirement.

Imagine my surprise when I walked in and saw Ken manning the wood-fired oven and Del in the kitchen busy making pizzas.

On Sunday, September 17, the Paquins will help host a farm-to-table meal at Dolce Vita.

"Cooking with Fire," is the name of the dinner. Under the tent and by the fire. The dinner begins at 5 p.m.

The menu includes hot and cold antipasta from land and sea, wood-fired oven braised lamb shanks, savory herb semolina bread pudding, scalloped potatoes gratin, charred cauliflower, carrots, and cippolini onions and plum crostata.

The limited seating meal is by reservation only and according to Ken they are going fast. The cost is $75 per person. BYOB.