Gaetano Mascolo never lost two memories from his childhood: his mother’s cooking and playing the guitar with his father in a local neighborhood bistro named “La Dolce Vita.”

Years later Mascolo, known to most as the “Guy” in “Toni and Guy Hair Salons,” decided to open a namesake restaurant where he and the neighbors could “enjoy a favorite pasta with a little wine.”

“We believe in treating people the way we like to be treated,” says partner Edward Stanton. Stanton and a third partner, Bradley Woy, have been hard at work setting up this month’s “grand opening” party.

“It’s been two-and-a-half years,” laughs Stanton. “We’re ready to stop being a ‘well-kept secret.’”

The theme of the décor and the food at La Dolce Vita is “An Italian Love Story.” Walls display photographs of Mascolo’s mother and father, and the dishes served are made with the family’s southern Italian recipes, re-created “by taste and smell.”

Stanton’s wife, Xarxe, provides such romantic touches as rose petals in the fountains and on ice in the bathrooms. Murals of Italy line the walkway portion of the restaurant, and the woodburning oven is open to the main dining room, wafting pizza smells about.

Dishes include garlic crab claws, homemade soups, and mix-and-match pastas and sauces such as cream proscuitto and chicken braciole. In keeping with the restaurant name – la dolce vita means “the sweet life” – dessert offerings are crème brulee, tiramisu, chocolate mousse cake and Italian wedding cake.

FARFALLE WITH PESCATORE CREAM SAUCE

(one serving)

3 Tbs. olive oil

1 oz. white wine

1 tsp. minced garlic

pinch salt

pinch pepper

½ oz. butter

½ oz. parmesan

1 oz. shrimp

2 oz. cubed salmon

2 oz. cubed white fish (Halibut preferred)

2/3 cup heavy cream

½ cup flour

4-5 oz. cooked al dente bowtie pasta

Pre-heat olive oil in pan. Lightly roll the shrimp, salmon and white fish in flour. Place all battered seafood into the olive oil, and saute for four minutes. Add white wine and garlic, let reduce. Add heavy cream, parmesan cheese and butter; reduce heat, and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Finish by adding 4-5 ounces of pasta, folding gently in sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.