Volterra

★★★★☆
Top Italian restaurant on Historic Ballard Avenue
  • 5411 Ballard Ave NW

    Seattle, WA 98107

    Cross street: 22nd Avenue NW

    Map & Directions
  • 206-789-5100

About Volterra

Categories
Hours
Mon-Thu 5pm-12am Fri 5pm-1am Sat 9am-2pm, 5pm-1am Sun 9am-2pm, 5pm-9pm

Food

Food
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I recently attended a big birthday bash for a close friend of mine at Volterra and I was very impressed with the restaurant, food, and service. I started with the Oil soup which I really enjoyed and then I ordered the Wild Boar even

3
★★★★★

I recently attended a big birthday bash for a close friend of mine at Volterra and I was very impressed with the restaurant, food, and service. I started with the Oil soup which I really enjoyed and then I ordered the Wild Boar even

.

You can do no wrong here. Eveyrthing is very delicious and they have a nice selection of wines to go with your meal. I dont even think its too expensive for what you get. When I came back from the dentist once, I treated myself to a very nice meal with some friends, but I had to get pasta only because my teeth hurt too much (at the time).

2
★★★★★

You can do no wrong here. Eveyrthing is very delicious and they have a nice selection of wines to go with your meal. I dont even think its too expensive for what you get. When I came back from the dentist once, I treated myself to a very nice meal with some friends, but I had to get pasta only because my teeth hurt too much (at the time).

.

Went to this place on a friday night with a few friends. The food was amazing we ordered a couple bottles of wine with was great. The service was very attentive and very friendly. All in all had the best time!!

2
★★★★★

Went to this place on a friday night with a few friends. The food was amazing we ordered a couple bottles of wine with was great. The service was very attentive and very friendly. All in all had the best time!!

.

We arrived excited to try yummy Tuscan food. We had made our reservation telling them we were celebrating our anniversary and yet in an empty dining room they sat us literally right next to other people, explaining "they were so booked up".
We should have left then, with an extra hundred dollars in our pockets and minus the food poisoning.
Our unhelpful, cold, and rushed waiter (why so rushed? no one was there!) couldn??t suggest anything for appetizers "everything is good" is his advice. So we ordered Oil Soup and Bruschetta, can??t go wrong right? Also we got a couple bar drinks.
Just trying to enjoy our evening we start to chat taste some olive oil on the bread, good tasting ok, get our drinks, the waiter stops by again and again asking if we want to order the main course because "the chefs are waiting" (warning two I should have left) so we decide to get a pasta dish (fresh pasta mmm) and a wild boar special (sounds good, let??s try it).
those two arrive, I don??t feel well but I was thinking maybe it??s the smoky smell from the ladies next to us, (how many packs a day does it reach that level of stink?) he brings my wild boar and the first of the three chops is amazing, the next two are (no I am not exaggerating or kidding) completely covered in browned (because of the sauce) fat, thin ribbons fat, not a speck of meat. NOW the waiter cannot be found, I sit and watch my wife enjoy her meal pick at the 3 baby carrots and 6 small potatoes (delicious) and try and try to get his attention/ FINALLY he comes back I tell him the Wild Boar 30$ special is all fat he gets pissed at me (cause I cooked and butchered it?) and say you should have told me earlier I could have fixed it, I am thinking "how about you stop and check Mr. one table to help lousy Russian waiter guy?
Next he shows up and without a word gives us dessert menus, (eh) and without asking brings this apple cake dessert (it was a heavy cake, no apple flavor, a heavy sweet syrup and whipped cream, not good, wife had been planning on ordering tiramisu but I played along, and saw they planned on making me pay for my all fat wild boar. thanks!
So I went home sick, but not full of great food sick, just goodnight wife I am going to be sitting on the toilet until 2 am sick,
Just say no, to re-volt-tera.
Go down the street to anywhere else, heck I think there is a McDonalds not too far.

0
★☆☆☆☆

We arrived excited to try yummy Tuscan food. We had made our reservation telling them we were celebrating our anniversary and yet in an empty dining room they sat us literally right next to other people, explaining "they were so booked up".
We should have left then, with an extra hundred dollars in our pockets and minus the food poisoning.
Our unhelpful, cold, and rushed waiter (why so rushed? no one was there!) couldn??t suggest anything for appetizers "everything is good" is his advice. So we ordered Oil Soup and Bruschetta, can??t go wrong right? Also we got a couple bar drinks.
Just trying to enjoy our evening we start to chat taste some olive oil on the bread, good tasting ok, get our drinks, the waiter stops by again and again asking if we want to order the main course because "the chefs are waiting" (warning two I should have left) so we decide to get a pasta dish (fresh pasta mmm) and a wild boar special (sounds good, let??s try it).
those two arrive, I don??t feel well but I was thinking maybe it??s the smoky smell from the ladies next to us, (how many packs a day does it reach that level of stink?) he brings my wild boar and the first of the three chops is amazing, the next two are (no I am not exaggerating or kidding) completely covered in browned (because of the sauce) fat, thin ribbons fat, not a speck of meat. NOW the waiter cannot be found, I sit and watch my wife enjoy her meal pick at the 3 baby carrots and 6 small potatoes (delicious) and try and try to get his attention/ FINALLY he comes back I tell him the Wild Boar 30$ special is all fat he gets pissed at me (cause I cooked and butchered it?) and say you should have told me earlier I could have fixed it, I am thinking "how about you stop and check Mr. one table to help lousy Russian waiter guy?
Next he shows up and without a word gives us dessert menus, (eh) and without asking brings this apple cake dessert (it was a heavy cake, no apple flavor, a heavy sweet syrup and whipped cream, not good, wife had been planning on ordering tiramisu but I played along, and saw they planned on making me pay for my all fat wild boar. thanks!
So I went home sick, but not full of great food sick, just goodnight wife I am going to be sitting on the toilet until 2 am sick,
Just say no, to re-volt-tera.
Go down the street to anywhere else, heck I think there is a McDonalds not too far.

.

We had my friends' graduation dinner here. The food was great and the service was attentive but not pretentious. We had a couple bottles of wine, one of them tasted funny and they gladly exchanged it for a new bottle.

2
★★★★★

We had my friends' graduation dinner here. The food was great and the service was attentive but not pretentious. We had a couple bottles of wine, one of them tasted funny and they gladly exchanged it for a new bottle.

Pros: Attentive Service

Cons: Parking

.

I had relatively high expectations. Just as another reviewer noted, I too have been to Volterra, and this is not that food. That said; we were built up very well at the bar for our mild disappointment in the food. It has been about two years since I have been back, but the signature cocktails and the cheese plate we had still gave me lasting impressions. They also make an incredible cappuccino.

My advivce is to go and have a casual experience with a date and get sloshed at the bar.

1
★★★☆☆

I had relatively high expectations. Just as another reviewer noted, I too have been to Volterra, and this is not that food. That said; we were built up very well at the bar for our mild disappointment in the food. It has been about two years since I have been back, but the signature cocktails and the cheese plate we had still gave me lasting impressions. They also make an incredible cappuccino.

My advivce is to go and have a casual experience with a date and get sloshed at the bar.

Pros: Good drinks and appetizers.

Cons: The food was decent but not worth the price.

.

I was there last night for dinner and had a great time. The waiter tended to our needs as my date and I sat and chatted taking our sweet time.. He never once made us feel rushed and the food was great.

Two cocktails and i was feeling a nice little buzz so thanks to the bar tender...

i would recommend Volterra

2
★★★★★

I was there last night for dinner and had a great time. The waiter tended to our needs as my date and I sat and chatted taking our sweet time.. He never once made us feel rushed and the food was great.

Two cocktails and i was feeling a nice little buzz so thanks to the bar tender...

i would recommend Volterra

Pros: old seattle feel

.

I hate for the first review I write, after moving here and signing up with citysearch, to be a one-star business but that's the way it goes, I guess. As it happens, this is the first restaurant my new neighbors took me to. They all raved about the food but they also knew that I spent thirty+ years as a chef, so they were kinda holding their breath.

I don't want to waste a lot of words on this because A) I don't speak unkindly about other chefs easily and B) what I ate wasn't worth a lot of analysis. Let me just say that this restaurant is named after a real place in Italy; a beautiful hilltop town that sits next to the under-appreciated (by Americans) wine town of San Gimignano. I've been there several times, eaten the food, made the food for years, and still have friends there. This is NOT that food. This is over-thought, weird, artsy, pretentious faux-Italian food, no matter what Wine Spectator says. I've loved this food for decades and have found the occasional restaurant in which the chef was from there; one in St. Louis is among my favorite eateries in the country. But what was on my plate here had some extremely silly and wild liberties taken with it. Everything from the appetizers to the desserts showed a hand that takes itself way too seriously and the staff, while polite, treats this stuff as though it had come down from The Mount on a platter carried by Moses. I tasted nothing that had any real skill or thought attached.

I was told that Seattle is not a great restaurant town like New Orleans, NYC, or San Francisco. Judging from some of the reviews I've read of this place, I can see why.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I hate for the first review I write, after moving here and signing up with citysearch, to be a one-star business but that's the way it goes, I guess. As it happens, this is the first restaurant my new neighbors took me to. They all raved about the food but they also knew that I spent thirty+ years as a chef, so they were kinda holding their breath.

I don't want to waste a lot of words on this because A) I don't speak unkindly about other chefs easily and B) what I ate wasn't worth a lot of analysis. Let me just say that this restaurant is named after a real place in Italy; a beautiful hilltop town that sits next to the under-appreciated (by Americans) wine town of San Gimignano. I've been there several times, eaten the food, made the food for years, and still have friends there. This is NOT that food. This is over-thought, weird, artsy, pretentious faux-Italian food, no matter what Wine Spectator says. I've loved this food for decades and have found the occasional restaurant in which the chef was from there; one in St. Louis is among my favorite eateries in the country. But what was on my plate here had some extremely silly and wild liberties taken with it. Everything from the appetizers to the desserts showed a hand that takes itself way too seriously and the staff, while polite, treats this stuff as though it had come down from The Mount on a platter carried by Moses. I tasted nothing that had any real skill or thought attached.

I was told that Seattle is not a great restaurant town like New Orleans, NYC, or San Francisco. Judging from some of the reviews I've read of this place, I can see why.

Pros: Nice part of Ballard

Cons: Food, service, BATHROOMS!!!

.

I am surprised at the recent posts regarding bad service and food because I just had a great experience last weekend. I had been wanting to try this restaurant for quite some time and think it's one of the better restaurants in town. The tables are close together and it was noisy at times but I liked that it wasn't another pretentious wannabe hip restaurant. Our server was very knowledgeable, pointed out her favorite items and suggested wine pairings based on my preferences. I had the lamb chop which the server recommended be cooked medium (she said the chef tends to undercook the meats). Although, I would have preferred something a little more rare it was still delicious. My friend had the wild boar cooked medium rare and it was rare but very good. I would order that again! The portions were on the larger side so I had plenty to take home and overall I thought for the quality of food and experience, it's a very good value. I can't wait to go back again.

2
★★★★★

I am surprised at the recent posts regarding bad service and food because I just had a great experience last weekend. I had been wanting to try this restaurant for quite some time and think it's one of the better restaurants in town. The tables are close together and it was noisy at times but I liked that it wasn't another pretentious wannabe hip restaurant. Our server was very knowledgeable, pointed out her favorite items and suggested wine pairings based on my preferences. I had the lamb chop which the server recommended be cooked medium (she said the chef tends to undercook the meats). Although, I would have preferred something a little more rare it was still delicious. My friend had the wild boar cooked medium rare and it was rare but very good. I would order that again! The portions were on the larger side so I had plenty to take home and overall I thought for the quality of food and experience, it's a very good value. I can't wait to go back again.

Pros: Great service, good value, wine list, cocktails

Cons: Parking

.

I highly recommend this restaurant. It was cozy, the food was excellent, the service was attentive. In fact the food exceeded my expectations -- the menu descriptions don't do it justice! For a "fine dining" establishment, the prices were reasonable.
My only complaint is with the wine list, which is pricey. We were celebrating a special occasion, and let ourselves be talked into a more expensive bottle than we might normally order. It was decent, but it wasn't fabulous. Not worth the extra $$.
I would definitely go again.

2
★★★★☆

I highly recommend this restaurant. It was cozy, the food was excellent, the service was attentive. In fact the food exceeded my expectations -- the menu descriptions don't do it justice! For a "fine dining" establishment, the prices were reasonable.
My only complaint is with the wine list, which is pricey. We were celebrating a special occasion, and let ourselves be talked into a more expensive bottle than we might normally order. It was decent, but it wasn't fabulous. Not worth the extra $$.
I would definitely go again.

Pros: food, service, ambiance

Cons: wine list

.

We have visited Volterra 3 times hoping the satisfactory would change to an outstanding, but it has yet to impress us.
The food is good, not excellent, the atmosphere is nice, but the prices are extremely high for the amount of poor service you get.
I am more than happy to pay for service alone with semi-decent food. But it is the other way around. The food is actually good--but the service is horrible.
I don't think we will be back. The 3rd time was the charm...and the atmosphere is not enough to keep us returning.

3
★★★☆☆

We have visited Volterra 3 times hoping the satisfactory would change to an outstanding, but it has yet to impress us.
The food is good, not excellent, the atmosphere is nice, but the prices are extremely high for the amount of poor service you get.
I am more than happy to pay for service alone with semi-decent food. But it is the other way around. The food is actually good--but the service is horrible.
I don't think we will be back. The 3rd time was the charm...and the atmosphere is not enough to keep us returning.

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.

Best meal I've had in Seattle. Outstanding food, service, ambiance. The real highlight was the Wild Boar Tenderloin with Gorgonzola sauce. But, we were greeted warmly at the door by 2 cute hostesses, our server was well informed about the menu and led us down a very tasty path, and the room is really beautiful and sophisticated. I am in love with the alabaster light fixtures which the server told me came from the city of Volterra and were designed by the owner. WIll be back soon.

2
★★★★★

Best meal I've had in Seattle. Outstanding food, service, ambiance. The real highlight was the Wild Boar Tenderloin with Gorgonzola sauce. But, we were greeted warmly at the door by 2 cute hostesses, our server was well informed about the menu and led us down a very tasty path, and the room is really beautiful and sophisticated. I am in love with the alabaster light fixtures which the server told me came from the city of Volterra and were designed by the owner. WIll be back soon.

.

I asked if the sturgeon on the menu was the endangered kind. The waitress asked the chef and returned with the message that it was and that I should read "The Zen of Fish" to get over my concerns about endangered fish. I ordered the wild boar. The waitress asked how I wanted it cooked, saying they served it medium rare. I requested medium well. She said it was served with a lot of sauce so that I would not see the bloody juices if it were cooked medium rare, which is in fact how it came. Though the food was excellent the overall impression was that the guest was not what mattered to them (exception being the hostesses who were very warm and helpful). We will not eat there again.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I asked if the sturgeon on the menu was the endangered kind. The waitress asked the chef and returned with the message that it was and that I should read "The Zen of Fish" to get over my concerns about endangered fish. I ordered the wild boar. The waitress asked how I wanted it cooked, saying they served it medium rare. I requested medium well. She said it was served with a lot of sauce so that I would not see the bloody juices if it were cooked medium rare, which is in fact how it came. Though the food was excellent the overall impression was that the guest was not what mattered to them (exception being the hostesses who were very warm and helpful). We will not eat there again.

Pros: good food, nice hostesses

Cons: insulting attitude

.

This place was not as I imagined. The decoration is pretty general, no special at all. The food is pretty good, but just regular. The service is not bad but they charged for cake cutting (I brought birthday cake from outside). I have never get any charge for cutting cake at any restaurants, even the cheap restaurant. If the charge is 5 dollar for one table, it is fine. But they charged $3 each person. Crazy. I will never ever come back here. There is much better italian food in Seattle. I do not recommend to come here, especially for birthday!!!

0
★☆☆☆☆

This place was not as I imagined. The decoration is pretty general, no special at all. The food is pretty good, but just regular. The service is not bad but they charged for cake cutting (I brought birthday cake from outside). I have never get any charge for cutting cake at any restaurants, even the cheap restaurant. If the charge is 5 dollar for one table, it is fine. But they charged $3 each person. Crazy. I will never ever come back here. There is much better italian food in Seattle. I do not recommend to come here, especially for birthday!!!

.

We love this place! One of the best places anywhere for a special occasion or celebration. It is utterly reliable. Never had a bad meal or a "kitchen nightmare" at Volterra. I love everything they do AND the way they do it. Their Chestnut Pancakes from the brunch menu -- ummmm! Their original cocktails (by Kathy Casey) are fresh and fine.

A meal at Volterra is pricey, but you will get plenty of it -- not like some places that serve pretty plates with teeny portions and charge you for a full sized meal. We splurge for Volterra about 2 or 3 times per year. Consistently excellent every time -- if you can get a table.

I would suggest they consider a change in housekeeping. Volterra is much too fine to seat patrons in corners festooned with cobwebs or bring out glass/dinnerware with lip-prints or crusty food still apparent thereon. Recently, I was invited to be seated on a banquette that had spilled food smeared all over it.

And then there is the striking young busser who circles the dining room silently and continuously, dressed all in black and scanning each table in sequence. He is nice, he is cute, and he clears your table promptly, but what's up with that constant circling? As a diver, I felt exactly the same as if i were down on the reef with a large black tip shark circling constantly overhead.

These are minor considerations that have no impact on the flavor and efficiency of the meal, just the overall dining experience.

2
★★★★★

We love this place! One of the best places anywhere for a special occasion or celebration. It is utterly reliable. Never had a bad meal or a "kitchen nightmare" at Volterra. I love everything they do AND the way they do it. Their Chestnut Pancakes from the brunch menu -- ummmm! Their original cocktails (by Kathy Casey) are fresh and fine.

A meal at Volterra is pricey, but you will get plenty of it -- not like some places that serve pretty plates with teeny portions and charge you for a full sized meal. We splurge for Volterra about 2 or 3 times per year. Consistently excellent every time -- if you can get a table.

I would suggest they consider a change in housekeeping. Volterra is much too fine to seat patrons in corners festooned with cobwebs or bring out glass/dinnerware with lip-prints or crusty food still apparent thereon. Recently, I was invited to be seated on a banquette that had spilled food smeared all over it.

And then there is the striking young busser who circles the dining room silently and continuously, dressed all in black and scanning each table in sequence. He is nice, he is cute, and he clears your table promptly, but what's up with that constant circling? As a diver, I felt exactly the same as if i were down on the reef with a large black tip shark circling constantly overhead.

These are minor considerations that have no impact on the flavor and efficiency of the meal, just the overall dining experience.

Pros: Consistently Excellent, street parking usually available; good for business dinner

Cons: Housecleaner wanted; reserved for special occasions due to cost

.

If you believe you'll learn all you need to know about a restaurant by visiting its restrooms, stay away from Volterra! The ladies' room was nasty and unhygienic. 'Nuff said. Plus our server was snotty and had the "I'm doing you a favor by doing my job" attitude I see all too often in Seattle. The food is very yummy, but for the price, there are plenty of other places in Seattle that will treat you with more respect, dignity, and kindness.

0
★☆☆☆☆

If you believe you'll learn all you need to know about a restaurant by visiting its restrooms, stay away from Volterra! The ladies' room was nasty and unhygienic. 'Nuff said. Plus our server was snotty and had the "I'm doing you a favor by doing my job" attitude I see all too often in Seattle. The food is very yummy, but for the price, there are plenty of other places in Seattle that will treat you with more respect, dignity, and kindness.

.

This is a real Italian restaurant. Not an Americanized version. The menu is what you would find if you were in Italy. It's very well rounded and the meat dishes are outstanding. I loved the rabbit leg wrapped in prosciutto and my friends Veal Chop had me drooling. Service was good and the ambiance was hip.

2
★★★★☆

This is a real Italian restaurant. Not an Americanized version. The menu is what you would find if you were in Italy. It's very well rounded and the meat dishes are outstanding. I loved the rabbit leg wrapped in prosciutto and my friends Veal Chop had me drooling. Service was good and the ambiance was hip.

.

This has got to be one of the biggest jokes in town. I went after reading all these great reviews. the service is flat out terrible. The food is hardly better and parking is impossible!!!! No reason to go back. Just an all around horrible experience.

0
★☆☆☆☆

This has got to be one of the biggest jokes in town. I went after reading all these great reviews. the service is flat out terrible. The food is hardly better and parking is impossible!!!! No reason to go back. Just an all around horrible experience.

Pros: none

Cons: everything

.

My family and I went to Volterra?s to celebrate my husband?s birthday after being away for a year and a half, and the food and service was just as great as ever. We have been going to Volterra?s since the beginning and have never had a bad meal or service. It is consistently way above the norm and that is the reason we have been steady customers. Our cordial server, Stephen, instinctively knew when we needed him and has been our server for as long as I can remember. Additionally, David, the wine steward, is so pleasant and knowledgeable of how the wines compliment the food, that you know you will always get a good recommendation for the wines. It will always be our special place and we will continue to recommend it highly. Thank you Volterra for another fabulous and unforgettable evening.

Dolores and Robert Brittingham

2
★★★★★

My family and I went to Volterra?s to celebrate my husband?s birthday after being away for a year and a half, and the food and service was just as great as ever. We have been going to Volterra?s since the beginning and have never had a bad meal or service. It is consistently way above the norm and that is the reason we have been steady customers. Our cordial server, Stephen, instinctively knew when we needed him and has been our server for as long as I can remember. Additionally, David, the wine steward, is so pleasant and knowledgeable of how the wines compliment the food, that you know you will always get a good recommendation for the wines. It will always be our special place and we will continue to recommend it highly. Thank you Volterra for another fabulous and unforgettable evening.

Dolores and Robert Brittingham

.

I went here once with friends and sat outside on a day that wasn't too busy and my experience was ok - not remarkable but OK.

The second time I went was with my gf and we sat inside. The tables are so close together that it is impossible to have a private conversation of any kind - in fact you are almost literally brushing shoulders with the other guests. The smoked chicken pasta was tasteless with dry chewy chicken and the lamb polenta was more like lamb soup (The polenta could not be eaten with the forks they provided to eat it with because it was too runny!!!). You will find the staff churlish and they rarely visit your table. The manner of the staff and the taste of the food certainly did not seem authentic in any way to the many experiences I have had in Italy. The owners' attitude seem to be of the opinion 'like it or leave it', and I would happily recommend everyone leave it - it really is not very good, and it really is not worth the risk of going there and having the experience myself and my gf had. I can honestly say that this is one of the worst dining experiences I have had anywhere.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I went here once with friends and sat outside on a day that wasn't too busy and my experience was ok - not remarkable but OK.

The second time I went was with my gf and we sat inside. The tables are so close together that it is impossible to have a private conversation of any kind - in fact you are almost literally brushing shoulders with the other guests. The smoked chicken pasta was tasteless with dry chewy chicken and the lamb polenta was more like lamb soup (The polenta could not be eaten with the forks they provided to eat it with because it was too runny!!!). You will find the staff churlish and they rarely visit your table. The manner of the staff and the taste of the food certainly did not seem authentic in any way to the many experiences I have had in Italy. The owners' attitude seem to be of the opinion 'like it or leave it', and I would happily recommend everyone leave it - it really is not very good, and it really is not worth the risk of going there and having the experience myself and my gf had. I can honestly say that this is one of the worst dining experiences I have had anywhere.

Pros: It was ok first time I went, second time sucked though

Cons: Really Bad service, tables too close, food not good

.

Volterra has been on my list of places to try for ages. My friends rave about this place and so we went for my boyfriends birthday and it was the perfect choice. I asked the hostess for a romantic table and I think they gave us the best table in the house. It was in the corner of the banqette and so we were able to sit side by side and watch the hustle and bustle of the dining room and Ballard Ave. The place was hopping and filled with great energy.

Great cocktail list. I loved the Michelle Cosmo and the Limoncello Rosemary Drop. BF had the Fennel Crush and the Manhattan with the slight hint of Hazelnut. Big wine list at all prices. We had the house wine which was great and only $32. Wine guy was cool and didn't make us feel like schmucks for ordering the house wine.

The food was the highlight. Chef's Antipasti which was a bunch of Italian style tapas. All were very tasty. Polenta Custard with oozy cheese and mushroom and truffle ragu- YUM. Grilled Scallops with a dollop of garlic aioli- fresh and delicious. Crab and Mascarpone Raviioli in a spicy tomato cream sauce - sinful. Wild Boar with Gorgonzola and Mustard Sauce -dreamy. They brought us a suprise tiramisu with a candle and we also ordered the pistachio cake with lemon gelato. Both were great.

Service was also great. Our waiter was there when we needed him but didn't encroach on our romantic night. We told him we wanted to take it slow and so he paced our meal just right.

2
★★★★★

Volterra has been on my list of places to try for ages. My friends rave about this place and so we went for my boyfriends birthday and it was the perfect choice. I asked the hostess for a romantic table and I think they gave us the best table in the house. It was in the corner of the banqette and so we were able to sit side by side and watch the hustle and bustle of the dining room and Ballard Ave. The place was hopping and filled with great energy.

Great cocktail list. I loved the Michelle Cosmo and the Limoncello Rosemary Drop. BF had the Fennel Crush and the Manhattan with the slight hint of Hazelnut. Big wine list at all prices. We had the house wine which was great and only $32. Wine guy was cool and didn't make us feel like schmucks for ordering the house wine.

The food was the highlight. Chef's Antipasti which was a bunch of Italian style tapas. All were very tasty. Polenta Custard with oozy cheese and mushroom and truffle ragu- YUM. Grilled Scallops with a dollop of garlic aioli- fresh and delicious. Crab and Mascarpone Raviioli in a spicy tomato cream sauce - sinful. Wild Boar with Gorgonzola and Mustard Sauce -dreamy. They brought us a suprise tiramisu with a candle and we also ordered the pistachio cake with lemon gelato. Both were great.

Service was also great. Our waiter was there when we needed him but didn't encroach on our romantic night. We told him we wanted to take it slow and so he paced our meal just right.

.

I will start with this statement: I love breakfast food. Brunch is by far one of my favorite times to dine. BUT, the problem is that is that in Seattle most restaurants that offer brunch do the same old boring fare.

Last weekend I went to Volterra and have found my new favorite place. They are the only ones that know how to to it right. Everything from the fresh fruit , perfectly cooked scrambled eggs ( nothing worse than soggy eggs), Bowtie Pasta with Goat Cheese to their Peach Bellini's was perfectly prepared! Also, the service was top notch! Our server, Rhonda, was attentive and very helpful in choosing the perfect meal! Needless to say we will be back not only for brunch but for dinner!!

2
★★★★★

I will start with this statement: I love breakfast food. Brunch is by far one of my favorite times to dine. BUT, the problem is that is that in Seattle most restaurants that offer brunch do the same old boring fare.

Last weekend I went to Volterra and have found my new favorite place. They are the only ones that know how to to it right. Everything from the fresh fruit , perfectly cooked scrambled eggs ( nothing worse than soggy eggs), Bowtie Pasta with Goat Cheese to their Peach Bellini's was perfectly prepared! Also, the service was top notch! Our server, Rhonda, was attentive and very helpful in choosing the perfect meal! Needless to say we will be back not only for brunch but for dinner!!

Pros: Everything

Cons: Nothing

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Ive been searching for a good authentic italian restaurant for a long, long time and finally my co-worker brought me to volterra recently. I cant believe it took so long to find this place. its in trendy Ballard which isn't necessarily a positive for me but holy cow the food is to die for and was impressed with the overall experience.

2
★★★★★

Ive been searching for a good authentic italian restaurant for a long, long time and finally my co-worker brought me to volterra recently. I cant believe it took so long to find this place. its in trendy Ballard which isn't necessarily a positive for me but holy cow the food is to die for and was impressed with the overall experience.

Pros: food and service

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We often treat our out-of-town guests to dinner at Volterra because of the great service, wonderful food, and splendid atmosphere. Our guests are not only pleased with Volterra but also find the surrounding community an unexpected surprise. We have attended two special events at Volterra - a New Year's Eve dinner event and a wine/dinner pairing - the food was excellent at each event and Volterra remains high on our list of favorite places to spoil ourselves.
Make sure to call ahead for reservations or you might be out of luck.

2
★★★★★

We often treat our out-of-town guests to dinner at Volterra because of the great service, wonderful food, and splendid atmosphere. Our guests are not only pleased with Volterra but also find the surrounding community an unexpected surprise. We have attended two special events at Volterra - a New Year's Eve dinner event and a wine/dinner pairing - the food was excellent at each event and Volterra remains high on our list of favorite places to spoil ourselves.
Make sure to call ahead for reservations or you might be out of luck.

Pros: Meals with wine - plus the people are friendly and knowledgeable

Cons: Parking can be tough but we always seem to get lucky.

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I found this place in the top ten places for brunch in Seattle and was excited to take my friends. The location was great and the place has a wonderful environment. The menu was short but packed with good choices. I was really excited to find a good brunch; however, when the food came our scramble, which stated that it had avocado, had none and the eggs were extremely dry. My fiends ragu was good but disappointing that it was ground lamb and in pieces. Another's dish was drenched in a cheese sauce that was overwhelming the balance of the dish. Sadly I will not return.

1
★★☆☆☆

I found this place in the top ten places for brunch in Seattle and was excited to take my friends. The location was great and the place has a wonderful environment. The menu was short but packed with good choices. I was really excited to find a good brunch; however, when the food came our scramble, which stated that it had avocado, had none and the eggs were extremely dry. My fiends ragu was good but disappointing that it was ground lamb and in pieces. Another's dish was drenched in a cheese sauce that was overwhelming the balance of the dish. Sadly I will not return.

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Ballards a drive from Madison Park so I hadn't been to Volterra in over a year but was glad to see that the food and service were still just as good as I remembered. We were in for an early dinner and started off with the best bloody mary that Ive had in a long time with a spicy infused vodka and mary mix that had a hint of balsalmic in the tomato goodness. The grilled scallop with a dollop of garlic aioli on top and herb salad was a great starter. We also had the seafood baked in parchment which was simply prepared and very tasty and the Rib Eye steak which was very flavorful and med rare just like I asked for. The chocolate and mint cake was to die for.

2
★★★★☆

Ballards a drive from Madison Park so I hadn't been to Volterra in over a year but was glad to see that the food and service were still just as good as I remembered. We were in for an early dinner and started off with the best bloody mary that Ive had in a long time with a spicy infused vodka and mary mix that had a hint of balsalmic in the tomato goodness. The grilled scallop with a dollop of garlic aioli on top and herb salad was a great starter. We also had the seafood baked in parchment which was simply prepared and very tasty and the Rib Eye steak which was very flavorful and med rare just like I asked for. The chocolate and mint cake was to die for.

Pros: Food and service

Cons: Parking

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We picked Volterra based on their video. This was our wedding anniversary and since we spent our 1st one in Tuscany, we always pick a special Italian restaurant for this occassion. The restaurant is very noisy, not ideal for a romantic setting. Our waiter treated us as if we were putting him out. He never filled our water or wine glasses (we had a bottle of wine on the table). The wine steward was interesting. We had brought a special '99 Brunello and offered him to try it. He used one of our clean glasses they had brought to try it and then left the 1/4 full glass on the table the entire evening and they never brought us another clean one. The food was very disappointing as well. The mussles and shrimp were "fishy" and did not taste fresh at all. The Ribeye was so fatty, that there was only about 6 fork bites that were edible. And the side dishes (potatoes) were cold. Our waiter asked how the meal was and we said we were disappointed with the food and told him why. He shrugged his shoulders and walked away. We were also disappointed that this "Italian" restaurant didn't have a risotto dish or gelato on their menu. If you are looking for a romantic, authentic Italian restaurant - then don't dine at this one.

0
★☆☆☆☆

We picked Volterra based on their video. This was our wedding anniversary and since we spent our 1st one in Tuscany, we always pick a special Italian restaurant for this occassion. The restaurant is very noisy, not ideal for a romantic setting. Our waiter treated us as if we were putting him out. He never filled our water or wine glasses (we had a bottle of wine on the table). The wine steward was interesting. We had brought a special '99 Brunello and offered him to try it. He used one of our clean glasses they had brought to try it and then left the 1/4 full glass on the table the entire evening and they never brought us another clean one. The food was very disappointing as well. The mussles and shrimp were "fishy" and did not taste fresh at all. The Ribeye was so fatty, that there was only about 6 fork bites that were edible. And the side dishes (potatoes) were cold. Our waiter asked how the meal was and we said we were disappointed with the food and told him why. He shrugged his shoulders and walked away. We were also disappointed that this "Italian" restaurant didn't have a risotto dish or gelato on their menu. If you are looking for a romantic, authentic Italian restaurant - then don't dine at this one.

Pros: wine steward

Cons: parking, noisy, crowded

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Eating at Volterra makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. There are alot of restaurants with good food but there are very few that make you feel like you are going to dinner at a friends house. My husband and I eat at Volterra weekly and the food is always consistent and delicious. We have our favorites dishes but we tend to order the specials quite often. The service is always excellent and the owners and staff really take pride in knowing their customers. They know that I like my water without ice and always have my favorite cocktail ready by the time I sit down. They not only feed the stomach but they nourish the soul as well.

2
★★★★★

Eating at Volterra makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. There are alot of restaurants with good food but there are very few that make you feel like you are going to dinner at a friends house. My husband and I eat at Volterra weekly and the food is always consistent and delicious. We have our favorites dishes but we tend to order the specials quite often. The service is always excellent and the owners and staff really take pride in knowing their customers. They know that I like my water without ice and always have my favorite cocktail ready by the time I sit down. They not only feed the stomach but they nourish the soul as well.

Pros: Food, Consistency, Top notch Staff

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I took my girlfriend here for her birthday, and we just loved it. No waiting, even on a Sunday night, because there is a lot of room. We made reservations and managed to get a great little corner booth. We were given ample time to look over the menu, which was nice as there was so many great options with incredible ingredients. I overheard that the wild boar was the house specialty so I tried that, while my girlfriend went with the stuffed rabbit leg. Both were out of this world. She asked "do you want to taste what rabbit is supposed to taste like?", as we had had two instances at other restaurants (that we love) where it was gamey and just not very good - I always ask why she orders rabbit everywhere we go...at Volterra it was great.
The only knock on the place would be toward the end of the meal as our waiter seemed to be tending to others quite a bit and forgetting us. I got up to use the restroom, only to come back and my empty plate was still there (and had been empty 15 min before that even). She went to the restroom, and the server even walked by a few times, looked at our empty plates and kept walking; when she came back they were still there - I had to ask to have them taken away. Finally he forgot my second glass of wine, but that was okay, as upon second thought - I went with a great cappucino with our Tiramisu. I really love Ballard, so any excuse to get there is great for me, and I will certainly be back. Anyone can have an off night serving.
Also, great recommendations on a nice wine list - very knowledgeable.

2
★★★★☆

I took my girlfriend here for her birthday, and we just loved it. No waiting, even on a Sunday night, because there is a lot of room. We made reservations and managed to get a great little corner booth. We were given ample time to look over the menu, which was nice as there was so many great options with incredible ingredients. I overheard that the wild boar was the house specialty so I tried that, while my girlfriend went with the stuffed rabbit leg. Both were out of this world. She asked "do you want to taste what rabbit is supposed to taste like?", as we had had two instances at other restaurants (that we love) where it was gamey and just not very good - I always ask why she orders rabbit everywhere we go...at Volterra it was great.
The only knock on the place would be toward the end of the meal as our waiter seemed to be tending to others quite a bit and forgetting us. I got up to use the restroom, only to come back and my empty plate was still there (and had been empty 15 min before that even). She went to the restroom, and the server even walked by a few times, looked at our empty plates and kept walking; when she came back they were still there - I had to ask to have them taken away. Finally he forgot my second glass of wine, but that was okay, as upon second thought - I went with a great cappucino with our Tiramisu. I really love Ballard, so any excuse to get there is great for me, and I will certainly be back. Anyone can have an off night serving.
Also, great recommendations on a nice wine list - very knowledgeable.

Pros: Excellent Food. No elbow-bumping.

Cons: If any, service could be slightly better

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My roommate and I went to Volterra on a Friday night. It was her birthday and we wanted to try something special, and we'd heard many good things. We had an 8.30 reservation, and came in a few minutes after that. First red flag - the hostess informed us that our table was just finishing dessert and they'd be dropping the check any minute. As I understand it, the point of making a reservation was that so you wouldn't have to wait for another table to clear. And they kept us waiting for about ten minutes while our table was finishing up - and this whole time, a table for two stood empty right behind the hostess's desk. When we were seated, the server did not take our order when she brought our drinks, but took the candle that had gone out and disappeared for twenty minutes - and it took us twenty minutes to get our drinks. We didn't even get a bread basket until forty minutes after we'd been there. However, the food was served in a reasonable amount of time, and was absolutely delicious. My roommate had the bruschetta, which was crisp and garlicky, to start with, and I had the polenta with wild mushrooms, which was perfectly creamy and rich with flavor. She really enjoyed the beef tenderloin, and my wild boar was absolutely fantastic, tender and flavorful. The potatoes that came with it were some of the best I'd ever had. However, my roommate wasn't feeling well and was taking some time to see if she would feel well enough to continue eating. The server was thoughtful enough to bring her some soda with bitters, but just after that, a busboy asked us if we'd like to have our food to go. As the restaurant was quickly emptying out (at this point it was well past ten) we didn't think it was appropriate for him to be hurrying us out. All in all, the food was spectacular, the service, somewhat less so.

2
★★★★☆

My roommate and I went to Volterra on a Friday night. It was her birthday and we wanted to try something special, and we'd heard many good things. We had an 8.30 reservation, and came in a few minutes after that. First red flag - the hostess informed us that our table was just finishing dessert and they'd be dropping the check any minute. As I understand it, the point of making a reservation was that so you wouldn't have to wait for another table to clear. And they kept us waiting for about ten minutes while our table was finishing up - and this whole time, a table for two stood empty right behind the hostess's desk. When we were seated, the server did not take our order when she brought our drinks, but took the candle that had gone out and disappeared for twenty minutes - and it took us twenty minutes to get our drinks. We didn't even get a bread basket until forty minutes after we'd been there. However, the food was served in a reasonable amount of time, and was absolutely delicious. My roommate had the bruschetta, which was crisp and garlicky, to start with, and I had the polenta with wild mushrooms, which was perfectly creamy and rich with flavor. She really enjoyed the beef tenderloin, and my wild boar was absolutely fantastic, tender and flavorful. The potatoes that came with it were some of the best I'd ever had. However, my roommate wasn't feeling well and was taking some time to see if she would feel well enough to continue eating. The server was thoughtful enough to bring her some soda with bitters, but just after that, a busboy asked us if we'd like to have our food to go. As the restaurant was quickly emptying out (at this point it was well past ten) we didn't think it was appropriate for him to be hurrying us out. All in all, the food was spectacular, the service, somewhat less so.

Pros: Food, reasonably priced.

Cons: Close seating, parking, service.

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Nice place ok,
Tables way too close.
service unrefined and random.
However, food was tasty and authentic.
It was a decent experience ,
But after reading all of the gushing accolades
I expected much much more!
maybe it would be better during the week.
Not cheap.
It seems that there are loose ends to tie up.
Toodles!

1
★★☆☆☆

Nice place ok,
Tables way too close.
service unrefined and random.
However, food was tasty and authentic.
It was a decent experience ,
But after reading all of the gushing accolades
I expected much much more!
maybe it would be better during the week.
Not cheap.
It seems that there are loose ends to tie up.
Toodles!

Pros: food cocktails and scene

Cons: service and privacy

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We visited Volterra last weekend based on the great reviews I'd read. It exceeded my expectations,which is pretty unusual. Everything was outstanding - from the food through the service. For whatever reason, there was a delay between our starters and mains, and while I didn't really mind since the atmosphere was lovely and I hate it when I feel I'm being rushed through a meal, our server apologized profusely (she also managed to suss out some key ingredients in a dish I loved from the kitchen, and I give her huge thanks for that). I started with the mushroom tart, and would go back here just for the gorgeous truffle whipped cream that came on the side. Mmmmm. The roasted beet salad was also wonderful, with thinly shaved beets and cheese. But the highlight was the wild boar and its amazing sauce. I had ordered the crab ravioli which was nice but honestly nothing special, and kept digging into my boyfriend's meal. Finished with one the best Panna Cottas I have ever eaten. This place really is a great value for the quality of service, setting, and amazing food.

2
★★★★★

We visited Volterra last weekend based on the great reviews I'd read. It exceeded my expectations,which is pretty unusual. Everything was outstanding - from the food through the service. For whatever reason, there was a delay between our starters and mains, and while I didn't really mind since the atmosphere was lovely and I hate it when I feel I'm being rushed through a meal, our server apologized profusely (she also managed to suss out some key ingredients in a dish I loved from the kitchen, and I give her huge thanks for that). I started with the mushroom tart, and would go back here just for the gorgeous truffle whipped cream that came on the side. Mmmmm. The roasted beet salad was also wonderful, with thinly shaved beets and cheese. But the highlight was the wild boar and its amazing sauce. I had ordered the crab ravioli which was nice but honestly nothing special, and kept digging into my boyfriend's meal. Finished with one the best Panna Cottas I have ever eaten. This place really is a great value for the quality of service, setting, and amazing food.

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I'd had several great experiences at Volterra for dinner, and thought the brunch would be consistent... I was wrong, and truly embarrassed because I told my new-to-town guest that this place was exceptional...

The place was unkept, the tables were unclothed and had obvious stains at each setting from hot plates. The "award winning" coffee service had no soy. The tea cups came dirty - lined with foam from the last latte that was in them and with crumbs of food floating in the water. The waitress was unapologetic, anxious, and awkward. She wanted to charge more to substitute meat for more veggies in the scramble and
the $10 yogurt, granola, fruit meal was snack-size. They forgot the hashbrowns and overcooked my eggs. The fruit was not seasonal and tasteless, and was put on the same plate as my eggs and toast (where my hashbrowns should have been). The waitress didn't come back until we were done, only to fly by and drop off a teapot, saying "we just got a clean teapot, hope it's not too little too late!" When I asked to speak to a manager, there wasn't any, just owners who weren't available. When she begged to know what was wrong, she ran off crying after I told her. A different waiter closed out our bill, only after interrogating us about the meal and claiming he couldn't comp anything, even though someone else had comped my meal already (we didn't ask for anything to be comped). This infuriated me because it implied that someone in that restaurant the ability to comp a meal and he didn't find it necessary to find that person.

I emailed Don Curtis expressing my disappointment, and never got an acknowledgment/response.

Despite having several fine dinner experiences there in the past, I won't be supporting a restaurant that hires unprofessional wait staff, serves mediocre food, and doesn't pay attention to detail. It's too bad, Volterra was a wonderful addition to Ballard and I'm sorry it hasn't held up to its reputation.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I'd had several great experiences at Volterra for dinner, and thought the brunch would be consistent... I was wrong, and truly embarrassed because I told my new-to-town guest that this place was exceptional...

The place was unkept, the tables were unclothed and had obvious stains at each setting from hot plates. The "award winning" coffee service had no soy. The tea cups came dirty - lined with foam from the last latte that was in them and with crumbs of food floating in the water. The waitress was unapologetic, anxious, and awkward. She wanted to charge more to substitute meat for more veggies in the scramble and
the $10 yogurt, granola, fruit meal was snack-size. They forgot the hashbrowns and overcooked my eggs. The fruit was not seasonal and tasteless, and was put on the same plate as my eggs and toast (where my hashbrowns should have been). The waitress didn't come back until we were done, only to fly by and drop off a teapot, saying "we just got a clean teapot, hope it's not too little too late!" When I asked to speak to a manager, there wasn't any, just owners who weren't available. When she begged to know what was wrong, she ran off crying after I told her. A different waiter closed out our bill, only after interrogating us about the meal and claiming he couldn't comp anything, even though someone else had comped my meal already (we didn't ask for anything to be comped). This infuriated me because it implied that someone in that restaurant the ability to comp a meal and he didn't find it necessary to find that person.

I emailed Don Curtis expressing my disappointment, and never got an acknowledgment/response.

Despite having several fine dinner experiences there in the past, I won't be supporting a restaurant that hires unprofessional wait staff, serves mediocre food, and doesn't pay attention to detail. It's too bad, Volterra was a wonderful addition to Ballard and I'm sorry it hasn't held up to its reputation.

Pros: dinner good

Cons: brunch awful

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Very good on all levels. The service was welcoming and professional and the food was delicious, very good wine list and the ambiance charming. My guests and I were thoroughly impressed with the quality and attention to detail. My personal favorite was the parpardelle with lamb and olives and the veal chop. Will return soon.

2
★★★★★

Very good on all levels. The service was welcoming and professional and the food was delicious, very good wine list and the ambiance charming. My guests and I were thoroughly impressed with the quality and attention to detail. My personal favorite was the parpardelle with lamb and olives and the veal chop. Will return soon.

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Great dining destination! Their food is quite tantalizing - although we have only been twice as of yet, we have gone with medium sized groups and as we all like to share, we have tried many dishes on the menu. I do have to say the wild boar is OUTSTANDING and probably my favorite dish so far. Their sommelier has a wonderful tableside manner and we have really enjoyed his selections. He also respects your budget suggestion. It is a great atmosphere; comfortable, energetic - a great balance between elegant cuisine and relaxed dining.

2
★★★★☆

Great dining destination! Their food is quite tantalizing - although we have only been twice as of yet, we have gone with medium sized groups and as we all like to share, we have tried many dishes on the menu. I do have to say the wild boar is OUTSTANDING and probably my favorite dish so far. Their sommelier has a wonderful tableside manner and we have really enjoyed his selections. He also respects your budget suggestion. It is a great atmosphere; comfortable, energetic - a great balance between elegant cuisine and relaxed dining.

Pros: great food, fantastic neighborhood

Cons: parking is tough, a little crowded on the seating arrangements

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I have heard rave reviews and read them here as well forever now. I've met Michelle a couple of times and had just not been able to get the time to drive to Ballard for the best dang food, dang near ever! My boyfriend and I had the time of our lives in food heaven. Our server was very knowledgeable, relaxed, funny, yet professional all at the same time. We started with the Bing Cherry Mojitos...YUM! Then had the to die for seared sea scallops. Our dinner salads were just right and our entrees? Oh our entrees....I had the herb crusted half chicken that was so good I even ate the skin. Total no-no for me. My boyfriend had a beef dish that was sooo tender. And the mashed potatoes with gravy and fresh veggies...my mouth is seriously still watering. Somehow we managed to stuff a lovely little desert in too that was recommended by our server. I love the fact that they will change and add menu items from time to time, which means we must go back soon now that it's fall! All in all a most wonderful and memorable experience. Thanks Michelle, Don & exceptional supporting cast!

2
★★★★★

I have heard rave reviews and read them here as well forever now. I've met Michelle a couple of times and had just not been able to get the time to drive to Ballard for the best dang food, dang near ever! My boyfriend and I had the time of our lives in food heaven. Our server was very knowledgeable, relaxed, funny, yet professional all at the same time. We started with the Bing Cherry Mojitos...YUM! Then had the to die for seared sea scallops. Our dinner salads were just right and our entrees? Oh our entrees....I had the herb crusted half chicken that was so good I even ate the skin. Total no-no for me. My boyfriend had a beef dish that was sooo tender. And the mashed potatoes with gravy and fresh veggies...my mouth is seriously still watering. Somehow we managed to stuff a lovely little desert in too that was recommended by our server. I love the fact that they will change and add menu items from time to time, which means we must go back soon now that it's fall! All in all a most wonderful and memorable experience. Thanks Michelle, Don & exceptional supporting cast!

Pros: Excellent food, wonderful service and atmosphere.

Cons: None...

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for me to write the immaculate review of this spot that i should is like spoiling the end of a really great love story. so i'll just be straight.

getting a table here can be tricky, reservations can be made, etc. but then you'd miss what might be the only bar that you can get an incredible 4 course meal (complete with bread and oil, and a sommelier) in seattle.

sundays are quiet, romantic, and perfect. the bartender is exceptional, the food is brilliant beyond compare.

enjoy.

2
★★★★★

for me to write the immaculate review of this spot that i should is like spoiling the end of a really great love story. so i'll just be straight.

getting a table here can be tricky, reservations can be made, etc. but then you'd miss what might be the only bar that you can get an incredible 4 course meal (complete with bread and oil, and a sommelier) in seattle.

sundays are quiet, romantic, and perfect. the bartender is exceptional, the food is brilliant beyond compare.

enjoy.

Pros: the food, the wine, the bar

Cons: not enough tables

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my daughter is a food hound and for my b-day she suggested their brunch. (we are always on the hunt for wonderful food experiences).
This brunch was a gift from God. I enjoyed the chestnut pancakes w/ apples. I had them leave off the powdered sugar and used very little syrup (maybe two bites worth). Wonderful flavors. My son really liked the eggs benedict (the waiter demanded one of us try the eggs benedict and my son was very pleased w/ the flavors) and my daughter the bread pudding. All recommened highly.
Now, I must return for their Italian dinners.

2
★★★★★

my daughter is a food hound and for my b-day she suggested their brunch. (we are always on the hunt for wonderful food experiences).
This brunch was a gift from God. I enjoyed the chestnut pancakes w/ apples. I had them leave off the powdered sugar and used very little syrup (maybe two bites worth). Wonderful flavors. My son really liked the eggs benedict (the waiter demanded one of us try the eggs benedict and my son was very pleased w/ the flavors) and my daughter the bread pudding. All recommened highly.
Now, I must return for their Italian dinners.

Pros: thumbs up service, food, presentation, atmosphere, parking

Cons: cant think of one

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I had what was possibly the best drink in the history of mankind at this restaurant: the pear cosmo. Not too sweet w/many layers of spices. Fabulous. I wish I could say the same for the saffron risotto w/slipper lobster. Very very bland. My husband had the ribeye, which was quite tasty. And the service was great. I can't decide whether or not to give this place another chance. I've heard that I should have ordered the wild boar (wild boar?).

1
★★★☆☆

I had what was possibly the best drink in the history of mankind at this restaurant: the pear cosmo. Not too sweet w/many layers of spices. Fabulous. I wish I could say the same for the saffron risotto w/slipper lobster. Very very bland. My husband had the ribeye, which was quite tasty. And the service was great. I can't decide whether or not to give this place another chance. I've heard that I should have ordered the wild boar (wild boar?).

Pros: Drinks, wine list, parking, service

Cons: Select entree wisely

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A group of us dined at Volterra last night and everyone at our table said it was the best Italian food they've had in Seattle. This was my 2nd visit to Volterra and the food, atmosphere and service blew me away. Our server anticipated our every need and explained all of the signature dishes. We started with the Proscuitto and Fava Bean Tart, Mussels and Sausage, and Polenta with Wild Mushrooms. All were flavorful and disappeared within minutes. We moved on to the Wild Mushroom Salad which was slightly sweet and loaded with mushrooms and the Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad which was to die for. For entrees we had the Wild Boar Tenderloin which was perfectly medium rare and the sauce outstanding. The Filet Mignon with Lardo and Demiglaze which was so tender it could be cut with a fork. The Crab Ravioli was light and airy. For dessert, the tiramisu and chocolate dolces were great. We went with the Volterra Super Tuscan wine which is produced for the restaurant in Tuscany and we eneded with the house limoncello which was just like we had in Italy. Volterra is the perfect place for a intimate date or large group. Our biggest compliments to the chef.

2
★★★★★

A group of us dined at Volterra last night and everyone at our table said it was the best Italian food they've had in Seattle. This was my 2nd visit to Volterra and the food, atmosphere and service blew me away. Our server anticipated our every need and explained all of the signature dishes. We started with the Proscuitto and Fava Bean Tart, Mussels and Sausage, and Polenta with Wild Mushrooms. All were flavorful and disappeared within minutes. We moved on to the Wild Mushroom Salad which was slightly sweet and loaded with mushrooms and the Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad which was to die for. For entrees we had the Wild Boar Tenderloin which was perfectly medium rare and the sauce outstanding. The Filet Mignon with Lardo and Demiglaze which was so tender it could be cut with a fork. The Crab Ravioli was light and airy. For dessert, the tiramisu and chocolate dolces were great. We went with the Volterra Super Tuscan wine which is produced for the restaurant in Tuscany and we eneded with the house limoncello which was just like we had in Italy. Volterra is the perfect place for a intimate date or large group. Our biggest compliments to the chef.

Pros: Incredible Food, WIne & Service

Cons: None

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Each course at Volterra was a disappointment. The bread was underbaked and tasted like a floury paste. It's hard to imagine how you can go wrong with a wild mushroom salad, but it was terrible (Asaggio's is far better). The seared sea scallops themselves were quite good, but the bed of mushrooms and greens were awful. The sauteed prawns were flavorless and the accompanying market vegetables were undercooked and bitter. Part of the wild boar tenderloin was fine, but it was unevenly cooked and it came drenched in a gorgonzola sauce. The sauce was okay, but it was excessive and overpowered the tenderloin. This entree came with the same bitter market vegetables.

We hoped that dessert might redeem Volterra, but the white peaches with cream dessert was underwhelming. The peaches were slightly underripe and the cookie beneath them was so hard it could barely be cut, so we gave up. As for the beverages: The limoncello rosemary drop was sickeningly sweet (and I generally like sweet cocktails), and the stem of the glass was sticky when it arrived. We overheard the waitress mention that all of their drinks are quite sweet. The pinot grigio was good, but not fantastic.

As for atmosphere: Even though the restaurant was largely empty when we arrived, we were seated at a table with direct sun glaring at us through the bank of red and yellow stained glass windows; we asked to be moved. Cobwebs between the alabaster light fixtures dangled over every table -- the place could use a solid dusting. If that weren't enough, we were pestered by fruit flies the entire evening and couldn't wait to leave.

The waitress was pleasant, but didn't seem terribly concerned that our plates were left largely untouched and that we clearly weren't pleased (we were very polite, but did indicate that we didn't enjoy the food). With each course, we hoped that things would improve, but they just never did. We know good Italian food and this is surely not it.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Each course at Volterra was a disappointment. The bread was underbaked and tasted like a floury paste. It's hard to imagine how you can go wrong with a wild mushroom salad, but it was terrible (Asaggio's is far better). The seared sea scallops themselves were quite good, but the bed of mushrooms and greens were awful. The sauteed prawns were flavorless and the accompanying market vegetables were undercooked and bitter. Part of the wild boar tenderloin was fine, but it was unevenly cooked and it came drenched in a gorgonzola sauce. The sauce was okay, but it was excessive and overpowered the tenderloin. This entree came with the same bitter market vegetables.

We hoped that dessert might redeem Volterra, but the white peaches with cream dessert was underwhelming. The peaches were slightly underripe and the cookie beneath them was so hard it could barely be cut, so we gave up. As for the beverages: The limoncello rosemary drop was sickeningly sweet (and I generally like sweet cocktails), and the stem of the glass was sticky when it arrived. We overheard the waitress mention that all of their drinks are quite sweet. The pinot grigio was good, but not fantastic.

As for atmosphere: Even though the restaurant was largely empty when we arrived, we were seated at a table with direct sun glaring at us through the bank of red and yellow stained glass windows; we asked to be moved. Cobwebs between the alabaster light fixtures dangled over every table -- the place could use a solid dusting. If that weren't enough, we were pestered by fruit flies the entire evening and couldn't wait to leave.

The waitress was pleasant, but didn't seem terribly concerned that our plates were left largely untouched and that we clearly weren't pleased (we were very polite, but did indicate that we didn't enjoy the food). With each course, we hoped that things would improve, but they just never did. We know good Italian food and this is surely not it.

Pros: Service was okay; wine was okay.

Cons: Most of the food & cocktails were mediocre at best; dust, cobwebs, & fruit flies detracted from ambience.

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Volterra's food, menu and wine list are outstanding. What impressed me the most is that they are willing to go the extra mile for their guests. They were happy to accomodate my wife's wheat & dairy allergies by customizing our order which was above and beyond just removing something like most places will.
Start with the WIld Mushroom & Polenta, Truffle Custard or Oil Soup and don't miss the Lamb Steak and Wild Boar.

2
★★★★★

Volterra's food, menu and wine list are outstanding. What impressed me the most is that they are willing to go the extra mile for their guests. They were happy to accomodate my wife's wheat & dairy allergies by customizing our order which was above and beyond just removing something like most places will.
Start with the WIld Mushroom & Polenta, Truffle Custard or Oil Soup and don't miss the Lamb Steak and Wild Boar.

Pros: Fantastic Service and Food

.

My friends and I were lucky last night and obtained a coveted seat on Volterra's patio. We did arrive at 5:30pm but dining early was well worth it. The patio is surrounded by planters filled with beautiful trees and flowing foilage. We drank Bing Cherry Mojitos, sampled the menu and watched the world go by. This is my new favorite patio! The server was friendly and never rushed us. He helped us select a wide variety of items off the menu. The tuna carpaccio and mussels and sausage appetizers were outstanding. The pasta with morels and squash blossoms with truffel butter and crab ravioli were amazing. The lamb steak unbelievable. Great service, fantastic food, and beautiful atmosphere!

2
★★★★★

My friends and I were lucky last night and obtained a coveted seat on Volterra's patio. We did arrive at 5:30pm but dining early was well worth it. The patio is surrounded by planters filled with beautiful trees and flowing foilage. We drank Bing Cherry Mojitos, sampled the menu and watched the world go by. This is my new favorite patio! The server was friendly and never rushed us. He helped us select a wide variety of items off the menu. The tuna carpaccio and mussels and sausage appetizers were outstanding. The pasta with morels and squash blossoms with truffel butter and crab ravioli were amazing. The lamb steak unbelievable. Great service, fantastic food, and beautiful atmosphere!

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We found this restaurant to be one of the best we've tried in Seattle. The wine list is extensive and extremely well priced. I am in the wine business and eat at many restaurant across the country and they have no crazy markups here. The polenta and the truffle custard were excellent starters, the chicory salad was exceptional and the veal chop delicious and it looked to be close to a pound for $25. What a steal!!

2
★★★★★

We found this restaurant to be one of the best we've tried in Seattle. The wine list is extensive and extremely well priced. I am in the wine business and eat at many restaurant across the country and they have no crazy markups here. The polenta and the truffle custard were excellent starters, the chicory salad was exceptional and the veal chop delicious and it looked to be close to a pound for $25. What a steal!!

Pros: Wine List, Food

Cons: Parking

.

This is such a great restaurant. Great ambience, amazing food, good service and prices to boot - what more can you want. I have tried so many high end restaurants that charge ridiculous amounts and get so much hype. Here it's definitely different. it's got a great vibe and they deliver on what a restaurant experience should all about. Also it's on a really cool street in Ballard.

2
★★★★★

This is such a great restaurant. Great ambience, amazing food, good service and prices to boot - what more can you want. I have tried so many high end restaurants that charge ridiculous amounts and get so much hype. Here it's definitely different. it's got a great vibe and they deliver on what a restaurant experience should all about. Also it's on a really cool street in Ballard.

Pros: Great menu

Cons: Can get a little crowded

.

You can sum up this restaurant in one word: Superb!!!!! The food is mouthwatering. The cocktails are delicious. The service is amazing. Michelle Quisenberry and Chef Don Curtis have a real gem within their hands. They have created an experience in food. If you want a night or meal that you will remember - GO TO VOLTERRA!!!!

2
★★★★★

You can sum up this restaurant in one word: Superb!!!!! The food is mouthwatering. The cocktails are delicious. The service is amazing. Michelle Quisenberry and Chef Don Curtis have a real gem within their hands. They have created an experience in food. If you want a night or meal that you will remember - GO TO VOLTERRA!!!!

Pros: Rosemary Lemoncello Drops, Michelle Quisenberry and Chef Don Curtis

.

I finally had my first outing to Volterra and I wasn't disappointed.
This is clearly a nice "casual fine dinning" experience. Casual in the sense that I wouldn't go there all dressed-up for a unique occasion (although I could see why people would) but more for a fun dinner with good food in a great environment. I should point out that my only experience is sitting outside so that may have biased my view.
The service was prompt and friendly although I will admit to a certain weakness in the waiters' knowledge of wine but I don't see myself faulting him for this, a sommelier may be in order if they don't have one that I simply didn't meet.
As is often the case I ordered a staple dish because if you can't make that I don't even want to try your specialty; the grilled herb chicken was exactly what I would expect at that price from a place like this.
I will fault the Tiramisu however as truly not authentic and more closely resembling a starbucks /mass produced pastry.
Finally for the wine they have a nice selection and more importantly their selection below $100 is actually very good, I would recommend the cadence if they still have it during any future visits.

As a whole Volterra is a good place to dine, the overall experience match the price but parking is a little painful.

2
★★★★☆

I finally had my first outing to Volterra and I wasn't disappointed.
This is clearly a nice "casual fine dinning" experience. Casual in the sense that I wouldn't go there all dressed-up for a unique occasion (although I could see why people would) but more for a fun dinner with good food in a great environment. I should point out that my only experience is sitting outside so that may have biased my view.
The service was prompt and friendly although I will admit to a certain weakness in the waiters' knowledge of wine but I don't see myself faulting him for this, a sommelier may be in order if they don't have one that I simply didn't meet.
As is often the case I ordered a staple dish because if you can't make that I don't even want to try your specialty; the grilled herb chicken was exactly what I would expect at that price from a place like this.
I will fault the Tiramisu however as truly not authentic and more closely resembling a starbucks /mass produced pastry.
Finally for the wine they have a nice selection and more importantly their selection below $100 is actually very good, I would recommend the cadence if they still have it during any future visits.

As a whole Volterra is a good place to dine, the overall experience match the price but parking is a little painful.

Pros: good food, good setting (for the right occasion)

Cons: Parking

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I discovered this place shortly after it opened and I continue to be a loyal custormer. The food is always consistent and the prices are reasonable. My favorite on the menu is the fetticuine with lamb ragu. The tiramsu is one of the best I've ever had. It's one of the reason's why I continue to come back! I do have to say the beef tenderloin and wild boar are great too. And there are alot of wines by the glass which I appreciate.

2
★★★★★

I discovered this place shortly after it opened and I continue to be a loyal custormer. The food is always consistent and the prices are reasonable. My favorite on the menu is the fetticuine with lamb ragu. The tiramsu is one of the best I've ever had. It's one of the reason's why I continue to come back! I do have to say the beef tenderloin and wild boar are great too. And there are alot of wines by the glass which I appreciate.

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My wife and I had the pleasure of attending a private event at the Chihuly Boathouse recently. The food was the best that I've had served at an event and so I asked who was catering. It turns out that Volterra does the exclusive catering. We visited the charming restaurant last weekend and had a sensational time. The lengthy wine list and cellar list is well priced and the menu was like reading a Tuscan cookbook. We sampled the Lobser Risotto ,Wild Mushroom Tagliolini with Fava Beans, and the Chingiale and the Veal Chop. All were divine. Our server was attentive and very knowledgable about the menu and wine list. We even finished off with a grappa. We were so impressed, we just booked Volterra to cater our anniversary party.

2
★★★★★

My wife and I had the pleasure of attending a private event at the Chihuly Boathouse recently. The food was the best that I've had served at an event and so I asked who was catering. It turns out that Volterra does the exclusive catering. We visited the charming restaurant last weekend and had a sensational time. The lengthy wine list and cellar list is well priced and the menu was like reading a Tuscan cookbook. We sampled the Lobser Risotto ,Wild Mushroom Tagliolini with Fava Beans, and the Chingiale and the Veal Chop. All were divine. Our server was attentive and very knowledgable about the menu and wine list. We even finished off with a grappa. We were so impressed, we just booked Volterra to cater our anniversary party.

Pros: Menu, Meal, WIne Cellar, Catering

Cons: No Valet Parking

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We had brunch at Volterra this weekend and couldn't believe they were using fresh morels with the eggs benedict! The truffle holandaise was incredible, hash browns crispy and grainy toast tasty. Very Impressive!
Can't wait to try it for dinner.

2
★★★★★

We had brunch at Volterra this weekend and couldn't believe they were using fresh morels with the eggs benedict! The truffle holandaise was incredible, hash browns crispy and grainy toast tasty. Very Impressive!
Can't wait to try it for dinner.

Pros: location, food, good service

Message from Volterra

Inspired by the warm, traditional Tuscan hilltop town by the same name, Volterra features the bold-flavored, Tuscan-inspired menu of award-winning Chef Don Curtiss.

Chef Curtiss has a long history and following in the Northwest. He received acclaim as "One of America's Most Innovative Chefs", from Wine Spectator while serving as the opening chef of Andaluca. He was also named "One of America's Top 26 Chefs" by Italian Cooking and Living.



Volterra's dining room is inviting with rich red walls; chocolate-brown leather and textiles; and dark woods offset by alabaster light fixtures hand-carved in Volterra, Italy.



"Don Curtiss' lush, imaganitive eats bring a breath of fresh air to the local Italian restaurant scene." Zagat America's Top Restaurants 2006



"That fine tuned quality is part of the welcome suprise that is Volterra." Nancy Leson, Seattle Times

Editorial from

Named after a village in Italy's Tuscany region, this charming restaurant is perfect for a romantic rendezvous but equally welcoming for celebrating with friends. The spacious dining room, which opens onto a small terrace in summer, has an…

Key Points

  • Tuscan Inspired Menu
  • Best of Citysearch 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Reservations Recommended
 

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