Business SpotlightsUncategorized

Dolce Vita Café, Yorktown

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By Abby Luby

Frothy cappuccinos, rich caffe lattes, and steamy Chai teas are just a few tantalizing drinks at the Dolce Vita Café which just opened in the hamlet of Yorktown Heights. Dolce Vita in Italian means “sweet life,” an appropriate name for a place that can treat your palate to enticing desserts and drinks. Complementing the many luscious libations are delicious traditional Italian cakes such as Tiramisu, Ricotta and Pistachio Cake, Cannoli, Tartufo Cake Cappuccino, and more.

The café’s grand opening was Saturday, May 18 at 1877 Commerce Street in Underhill Plaza. Owners are wife and husband Anduela and Marsel Prela who purchased the storefront in December 2018. They spent about four months renovating the space that now accommodates about 50 people. It’s bright and airy, especially when the floor to ceiling front window opens out to the sidewalk lending to a street café feel. Soft lighting, marble top tables and a few deep green velvet couches gives the café a relaxed atmosphere.

The café’s soft opening was on May 7 and since then there’s been a steady flow of customers. “Our busiest times are afternoons and evenings since our soft opening,” said Anduela Prela. “We are getting a feel for when people like to come and what they like to eat. Some have asked for certain breakfast dishes such as grilled sandwiches. We want to respond to our customers’ requests.” The Prelas originally opened at 6 a.m. but few showed up and they changed their hours to open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.

All pastries at the café are made by Bindi, an internationally known Italian dessert company whose Arthur Avenue distributor delivers to Dolce Vita once or twice a week. Traditional cakes on the menu include carrot cake, red velvet and cannoli. Also on the menu is Cassata, a traditional sweet from Sicily that is a round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese and candied fruit. And what Italian styled café would be complete without several flavors of Gelato? Cold summer drinks include creamy frappuccinos, smoothies and flavored iced coffee.

 Not everything on the menu is sweet. There are waffles, croissants and an Albanian pastry called Byrek, which is a rolled filo pastry filled with spinach and cheese. Byrek has its place at the café because the Prela family is from Albania. They have lived in Westchester for over a decade and are Yorktown residents. Anduela and Marsel Prela have a daughter in third grade at Brookside Elementary School in Yorktown and a baby boy just born on March 6. Marsel Prela owns a construction business and Anduela Prela teaches middle school in the Bronx. This is the couple’s first venture into the restaurant business and helping them to run the new family owned café is Marsel’s sister, Arta Prela.

The notion of opening a special eatery to imbibe a good cup of cappuccino along with a delicious dessert came after the closing of TWIST Frozen Yogurt & Sweet Shop in Yorktown’s Roma building. “We realized there was no place to go for a sweet dessert, especially a place that was kid friendly,” said Anduela Prela. “Dolce Vita Café is where you can meet a friend in the afternoon or have a nice dessert after going out for dinner.” Future plans may include some type of live entertainment to add a certain ambience. “But for now, the café as it is, has much appeal.”

Dolce Vita Café is open Monday-Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call

914-352-6464 or visit


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