Downtown Melbourne restaurant brings back Old World Italian cuisine
Easily settling into a cozy and classy space that has changed hands a few times over in recent years, The Dove III seems to have found the perfect home in up-and-coming Downtown Melbourne.
“The timing was just right,” says owner Carlo Mattiello of the restaurant’s re-opening on the corner of New Haven Avenue and Municipal Lane.
As the son of John and Fran Mattiello, the owners of the original The Dove that opened over 20 years ago in Satellite Beach, Carlo says he feels honored to carry on the family business. His parents sold the beachside restaurant in 2003, which later closed in 2010. Ready to get back in the game, however, the family opened The Dove III on Halloween of last year.
“Without my parents, The Dove III wouldn’t be here,” says Carlo. “I have some big shoes to fill.”
While the new restaurant is owned and operated by Carlo and his fiancée, Christina Yost, Carlo’s parents play important roles in The Dove III. John came out of retirement to help get the restaurant off the ground, and also serves as the restaurant’s executive chef, bringing back authentic Italian cuisine offered at the original The Dove to Space Coast diners. Much to the delight of longtime locals, John’s signature creations, such as his Pasta Fagioli soup, are once again offered at The Dove III.
While the menu’s Napolitano cuisines obviously feature cooking styles of Southern Italy, Carlo says travels to places including France, Switzerland, Germany and South America have also helped influence The Dove III’s menu. “And because we’re in a smaller location than the original, we can pay more attention to detail and focus more on our nightly specials,” he adds.
The Dove III boasts classic Italian fare with a sophisticated panache. The lunch menu is reasonably priced with a variety of dishes to appease the appetites of downtown shoppers or the local business crowd. Christina’s Caprese Salad — made with tomatoes, house made mozzarella and balsamic vinegar — for example, is a light and fresh daytime option.
During dinner hours, The Dove III is a lesson in fine dining witnessed by only a handful of other restaurants in the area. For starters, Escargot and Smoked Salmon top the menu, as does Carpaccio, comprised of sliced raw beef, parmesan cheese and virgin olive oil.
A variety of pastas, cuts of prime filet, veal, chicken and seafood dishes make up the menu’s dinner entrées. The Shrimp Sofia – consisting of fresh shrimp tossed in a cream sauce and linguini – is an appetizing choice for seafood and pasta lovers. And the Veal Marsala — a veal loin made with sweet marsala wine, portobello mushrooms and onions and served with rice and vegetables – is a unique choice, and recommended by Carlo for first timers. As guests depart, they’re given fresh bread bagged at the door, a touch reminiscent of the original The Dove.
Says Carlo, “We’re bringing back Italian dining, the way it was meant to be.”
THE DOVE III
Address: 836 E. New Haven Avenue, Downtown Melbourne
Phone: (321) 725-3683
Hours of Operation: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Closed Sunday
Features: Nightly dinner specials; extensive wine list; available for private events