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Dulce Cafe

Posted by TIF 11 Jul 2011 9 Comments

With contributions from MEZ

Stepping into Dulce Cafe, the newest restaurant in Sutton Station on Fayetteville Road, makes you feel like you’re sitting in your Nana’s living room. The intimate space has large comfy chairs, a lavish chandelier and other regal ornamentation, green tea lights on the tables and the bar, fresh lilies and orchids, mahogany wood, brushed metal, large windows with classically braided curtain ties, green walls with goldenrod accents, coffee table books, and a running water fountain–all seemingly put in place to create ‘la dulce vida‘ for diners who find themselves in Southpoint wanting French press, espresso drinks, or in-house made pastries and gelato.

While there, Carlos, the owner who is from Columbia, offered to make a custom sandwich for me–a mozzarella, pimento cheese, and tomato panini (on ciabatta). All sandwiches come with chips or a salad and I chose the salad. For dessert, I had an alfajore–a South American shortbread cookie stuffed with dulce de leche.  My sandwich was a little messy, but super flavorful. The bread held up to the filling, the pimento cheese had great spice and surprisingly went well with the gooey mozzarella and soft tomato. I forgot to ask for my dressing on the side, but the salad was lightly dressed, allowing the rich flavors of the summer vegetables to shine. And the alfajore was like edible silk. It literally melted in my mouth with each bite and provided the perfect sweet treat for what was admittedly my second lunch.

Although I went to Dulce Cafe during their soft opening, I will say that their service was impeccable. Upon entering, I was offered samples of gelato, brioche, and coffee cake. And throughout my solo dining experience, the staff engaged me with conversation and smiles. Perhaps it was the great service, delicious food with clean flavors, use of local ingredients, free wireless, or songs from the Black Orpheus soundtrack playing faintly in the background, but Dulce Cafe is definitely on my list to try again.

Mez also enjoyed her time at Dulce and says: I loved the zippy yellow and green coloring of the place, and the seating area with cozy lounge chairs and a chandelier right when you walk in the door may become prime weekend real estate for me when in need of a dessert! Can’t wait to try one of those, but I focused on food this trip, choosing the chicken salad sandwich on rye. It was a light, tasty rye and the chicken salad was great—small dice with a dressing that could have used some more herbs to punch up the flavor just a tad. Offering a mixed salad instead of chips as a side is welcomed by me, especially since their house dressing was delicious. I think it was a creamy raspberry vinaigrette.

Dulce Cafe

5836 Fayetteville Road

Suite 106

Durham, NC 27713

919-797-0497

9 Comments »

  • Amy said:

    Dulce is a great addition to the Woodcroft area! The staff members are friendly and attentive, and the baked goods, all made in house, are fantastic. You’ll often get bread and muffins straight out of the oven. The gelato is delicious, and you’ll likely be asked for feedback on the flavor choices offered. I can’t wait to try the lunch menu!

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  • burgeoningfoodie said:

    Wish I had known about their Soft Opening since I live right there. That cookie looks huge… was it or was it just in the way it was shot? I’d gladly just buy some dulce de leche in a bowl ;-) The sandwiches do look yummy. It would be nice to have it open as a brunch spot on both days of the weekend.

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  • Karen said:

    Gelato and sorbeto flavors have been wonderful every time we’ve gone. Our 9-month old baby girl is a huge fan!

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  • GGPR said:

    My wife and I stopped in last Saturday for iced coffee and enjoyed the experience. Nice cosmopolitan vibe as we sat in the lounge area and watched a little bit of the Womens World Cup consolation game on the TV. The coffee cake was moist and not too sweet (that’s a good thing). Very curious about the BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado mayo and tomato) and will have to come back for lunch and gelato sometime.

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  • MVS said:

    I’m a big fan of their gelato, it’s delicious! Looking forward to trying a sandwich next time I go. It’s a perfect addition to the neighborhood and I love that I can easily walk there in the morning for a coffee or in the evening for dessert.

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  • SCH said:

    Had lunch their yesterday. Very nice atmosphere. Do order the BLAT; it was delicious. Just the right amount of bacon and that lovely avocado. I also had a cup of the gazpacho which was very refreshing and not too salty. I am so happy to see a kitchen that doesn’t over salt. I wish I hadn’t been too full to try the gelato.

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  • steve said:

    My wife and I went for gelato tonight. I had coconut and guava, and my wife went for chocolate and caramel. The gelati were fresh and full-flavored, and not too heavy. We didn’t try the pastries, but they looked good.

    Nice decor, calm vibe.

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  • Rebecca said:

    Dulce has a great atmosphere during the day. I am a student who needs to get out of the house to work and it is a perfect setting to sip on a coffee and write away. Just enough stimulus to feel like you’re around other humans, but quiet enough to get work done. The coffee is good– I haven’t tried the food yet, but I’m sure I’ll cave one of these days!

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  • TarheelJ said:

    My wife and I went there for lunch and had a wonderful meal. I had the caprese sandwich and my wife had the reuben. We loved both sandwiches and ended up splitting both. The caprese was on nice ciabatta bread and toasted with fresh basil, tomatoes and mozarella. Excellent! The reuben was nice buttered grilled (pannini pressed) with thick slices of pastrami and great tasting made freshpickled slaw (their version of kraut.) We’ll definately plan on going there again for lunch!

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