Volo in Roscoe Village
I finally tried Volo Saturday and enjoyed it quite a bit, although I question (albeit slightly) whether the dining experience was worth the price paid. I think that I prefer Avec a little, and find Avec to be a little less expensive, although perhaps not as creative.
We arrived at the restaurant at about 8pm (on a Saturday), worried that we'd have to wait a long time. We were so wrong. There were several tables open such that I'm a little concerned about their future. They only take reservations for parties of five or more though, perhaps scaring some off.
My friend and I shared four small plates (they offer only small plates), a cheese plate (we selected 5 cheeses) and a dessert. For small plates, we had the shaved fennel and rare roast beef w/ spicy greens and crushed black pepper. The roast beef was perfectly cooked rare as advertised and well matched with the fennel, although perhaps just a tad undersalted.
The duck confit with crisp potato and roasted garlic puree was very good (although maybe lacking in potato and garlic?) and came with a bit of a red wine reduction (definitely could have used a little more of the reduction -- it was fantastic).
The halibut with summer vegetables and anchovy was also quite tasty, as were the seared scallops with a quail egg and some American sturgeon caviar (perhaps my favorite of the four).
For dessert, we split a chocolate brownie (dense and relatively moist) which was served with a side bowl of chocolate mousse (more of a milk chocolate mousse -- I would have preferred a bit richer and less sweet) topped with some sort of chewy chocolate-hazelnut nougat which really made the dish because of the different textures.
Service was fine and friendly, but perhaps slightly less polished than the cooking. Wine service offered some nice flights (of 3 wines each), although I think their practice of bringing all 3 wines out at a time was a little awkward. I'm looking forward to trying it again -- there were so many interesting dishes on the menu that I might just have to return a couple of times. You can check out the menu at www.volorestaurant.com (although not all menu items are listed online).
I was there recently, too, and also had a great experience. I find it surprising I don't see it mentioned much on these boards. We were able to eat on the patio, which was a nice, quiet oasis from the city streets. Besides the delicious tapas we ordered, they also send out warm olive oil with happy little garlic cloves swimming around in it, and some hot, crusty bread to soak it all in.
We kept it simple with the large cheese plate, (included manchego, humboldt fog - always a crowd favorite, and an aged gouda); a proscuitto/arugula "rocket", sweet pea, parmesean and ciopollini onion flatbread, and the requisite summer dish of heirloom tomatoes, basil, mozz, etc.
I'm perhaps overly critical of restaurants' wine lists, but Volo's passed the test. We washed down our food with a fresh, light Cotes Du Rhone, made with a 100% grenache grapes. At under $40/bottle, it was a steal.
On a previous visit, we sat at the bar, and spoke with the wine director whose past stint was a wine buyer for an Italian restaurant, so there are also some unique Italian offerings there that you won't find at other places. His wine knowledge was impressive, which should be expected, but with wine's popularity skyrocketing, that doesn't seem to be the case in as many fine dining establishments as one would hope, (even so-called wine bars can let me down with uninformed staff).
I went to Volo tonight after hearing about it from a friend. It was great!
Very lowkey, relaxed atmosphere. And our waiter was excellent- and very knowledgeable about wine. For entrees we had the duck confit, "stuffed pig", bacon and mushroom flatbread pizza that was divine, and for appetizers we had a proscuitto and arugula "rocket" which was very yummy and the steak tartar which had a bit of a kick. We also shared a chowder which I didn't care for but my boyfriend liked. Dessert was a cake made with olive oil with marscapone and peaches. Yummy! It was very good
Everything is served tapas style. If it had not been wet outside, we would have sat in their outdoor patio out back- very quaint!
Mondays are 1/2 bottle nights, FYI. I will definitely be back