100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 19, Truffled Egg Toast at Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita 002.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

It's back!

After being closed for far too long in the wake of a Dumpster fire (the arsonist has since been arrested), Dolce Vita reopened on August 25 with the same menu of excellent pizzas and pastas as it's always offered. And while the softly charred pizza crust is as good as ever here, it's still Dolce Vita's signature truffled egg toast that I crave each time I visit. Because if there's one thing a Marco Wiles restaurant does well, it's truffles.

As the entire thing is covered with truffle oil (which you can make a case for or against, and which I generally loathe in most instances), it comes to your table smelling like a bag full of rotting gym socks that have been left to mold in someone's trunk for a few months. But as with other smelly pleasures in life -- stinky tofu or washed rind cheeses, for instance -- the off-putting aroma carries with it the blissfully earthy, funky, deep, dark and dirty, hedonistically wonderful taste of black truffles.

But that's not all.

Your giant piece of "toast" is also topped with a snowcap of parmesan cheese and a runny egg yolk before being broiled lightly to meld it all together. Cut it open and the egg yolk flows forth, providing an equally rich dipping sauce for your lavish slices of black truffle and parm-y hunks of toasty bread.

The list so far:

No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac
No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's
No. 98: Custard at Petite Sweets
No. 97: Caprichos mixtos at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito
No. 96: Pineapple-wasabi burger at Lankford Grocery
No. 95: Farmer's MKT Pizza at Phoenicia's MKT Bar
No. 94: Potatoes at Money Cat Brunch
No. 93: Breakfast tacos at Sunrise Taquito
No. 92: Hot dog at Tacos D.F.
No. 91: Avocado gelato at Frozen Cafe
No. 90: Chicken sandwich at JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers
No. 89: Beer-battered asparagus at Hearsay
No. 88: Honey Badger omelet at Kraftsmen Cafe
No. 87: Pastelitos de carne at El Jalapeño
No. 86: Pancakes at Union Kitchen
No. 85: Wild boar and crab pizza at Boheme
No. 84: Breakfast croissant at BB Donuts
No. 83: Pretzel at Anvil Bar & Refuge
No. 82: Short rib sandwich at Shepherd Park Draught House
No. 81: Grilled shrimp po-boy at Pappadeaux
No. 80: Dahi puri at Shiv Sagar
No. 79: Aporreado at Los Corrales
No. 78: Oxtail francobolli at Aldo's Cucina Italiana
No. 77: Tonkotsu at Cafe Kubo's
No. 76: Spinach danish from Angela's Oven
No. 75: Pupusas at El Petate
No. 74: Pheasant dog at Sammy's Wild Game Grill
No. 73: X-Tudo burger at Friends Pizzeria
No. 72: Esparragos gratinados at Tintos
No. 71: Gua bao at Yummy Kitchen
No. 70: Geisha dog at Happy Endings
No. 69: Oyster po-boy and gumbo at Goode Co. Seafood
No. 68: Ceviche at Sirena Seafood
No. 67: Caldo de mariscos at Taqueria Arandas
No. 66: Banana pudding at Pizzitola's
No. 65: Fried catfish and gumbo at Cafe-A-La
No. 64: Soft-shell crabs at Banana Leaf
No. 63: Macaroni and cheese at Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse
No. 62: Torta burger at El Gran Malo
No. 61: Black bean burger at Ziggy's
No. 60: Parillada at Pampa Grill
No. 59: Peanut butter and jalapeño jelly burger at Wicked Whisk
No. 58: Eggplant involtini at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
No. 57: Lone Star dog at James Coney Island
No. 56: Sushi at Sushi Miyagi
No. 55: Palestinian chicken at Al Aseel
No. 54: Roast beef sandwich at Local Foods
No. 53: Mexico City plate at Molina's Cantina
No. 52: Tacos at Brothers Taco House
No. 51: Branzino at Lucio's BYOB
No. 50: Beef sweetbreads at Feast
No. 49: Golden Doomba Special at the Rice Box Truck
No. 48: Malted waffle at City Cafe
No. 47: Banh mi bo kho at Cafe TH
No. 46: Chicken fried steak at Triple A
No. 45: Larissa plate at Harry's
No. 44: Spaghetti carbonara at Coppa Ristorante Italiano
No. 43: Wings and grits at The Breakfast Klub
No. 42: Frito pie at C&D Burger Shoppe
No. 41: Pollo con mole at El Gallo de Jalisco
No. 40: Fried avocado taco at H-Town StrEATs
No. 39: Rigatoni in bolognese sauce at Paulie's
No. 38: Chorizo kolaches at Peña's Donut Heaven
No. 37: Sashimi at Dadami
No. 36: Half-pound burger at benjy's
No. 35: Fried chicken at Haven
No. 34: Whole-fried speckled trout at Liberty Kitchen
No. 33: Moules congolaise at Jeannine's Bistro
No. 32: Pancakes at Fountain View Cafe
No. 31: Pineapple with chile en polvo at Canino's
No. 30: Fried chicken at Barbecue Inn
No. 29: Dirty Burque at Green Seed Vegan
No. 28: Egusi at Finger Licking Bukateria
No. 27: Brisket and turkey at CorkScrew BBQ
No. 26: Menudo at La Mexicana
No. 25: Shrimp and grits at Shade
No. 24: Kinilaw at Reef
No. 23: Lamb at El Hidalguense
No. 22: Gumbo at Danton's
No. 21: Chicken-fried water buffalo at The Hay Merchant
No. 20: Roasted cauliflower at Roost

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Location Info

Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca

500 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Hell yeah! This dish brings to mind those fall nights camped out in a stone farmhouse waiting for the sun to rise and the wild boar to start wandering about. We'd snack on grilled bread (no truffles sadly) , cheese and salami washed down by local red wine, while planning our morning hunt. I'll try this dish just to jog loose those great memories


Blarney. That's reactionary and extreme. What needs to vanish is the indiscriminate use of truffle oil on everything from mac n cheese to french fries. The oil itself is fine, and your argument is like saying that the ubiquitous ketchup should die because it doesn't taste of real vine-ripened tomatoes.

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @Kagan34 Ketchup is at least made with tomatoes.  That can't be said be truffle oil, which is made by a perfume company.  Read the article.

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @Steven  @Jalapeno I posted that article because it was a humorous take on what should be a well-known fact.  But the first time I actually read it was from Gordon Ramsey.


 @FattyFatBastard  @Jalapeno The guy who wrote the thing you linked to. Do you just believe anything you read on the internet, without considering the source? Or did you forget the author's in the past couple hours?


 @FattyFatBastard Quoting that article: "Most chefs I spoke with said they were undisturbed by its artificiality, although they are quite concerned with its “proper” usage, which chiefly comes down to restraint: less, in this case, is more."


FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @Kagan34 Spoken from someone who has never had shaved truffles, I see.  I guess you're a fan of scratch and sniff, as well.


 @FattyFatBastard I guess then that I am a perfume company when I make truffle oil at home. Or a friend makes it for his restaurant. Anyway, even admitting that some commercial varieties are scented with a chemical compound, do you think you could tell the difference between real truffled toast and a synthetic variant? I'd be willing to bet you couldn't.

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