147 West 4th Street, New York, NY | Directions 1001240.731536 -74.000417
Mon-Fri, noon-11pm; Sat, 5pm-11pm; Sun, closed
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Greenwich Village
Solid Italian-American Dining – Although our waiter was Albanian, the place was bona fide Italian. Some of the friendliest service in NYC, totally devoid of pretension. Had the osso buco, which was huge and filling, but they'll cook anything on- or off-menu. We also got complimentary sambuca and other after-dinner drinks. I don't know if I'd make this a destination, but great neighborhood restaurant.
Amazing service – Going to Volare is like going to your favorite aunt's house for dinner, assuming that your aunt is a great Italian cook. Everyone treats you like you were part of the family. We didn't even see a menu, as our waiter described both the specials and the main dishes. Two people in our party felt like something else, and Volare immediately obliged with two great dishes that were not in their regular menu. We had great desserts (including the best cannoli I've ever had) and then they offered an after dinner drink, on the house. They brought glasses and the bottle, and just left the bottle at our table. A great experience!
Always a Favorite – Go to Volare for 1st class service and terrific food. The portions are large and the servers always surprise us with a different starter. The wine list is excellent.
SERVICE WITH A SMILE – The only thing more wonderful than the food (which is exceptional) is the service. The only thing the waiters don't do for you is wipe your chin when you leave. Wonderful at holiday time.
Where everybody knows your name... – Volare virgins or weekly regulars, everyone gets treated the same and you can't ask for more than that when the service is this friendly. The restaurant has a Family feel, not least with regard to the portions which are enormous; the veal alone could have single-handedly solved third world famine. The anti-pasta was excellent, especially the calamari, as were the filling pasta mains. The wine list is extensive and can easily hike up an otherwise reasonably priced meal. Still, any quibbles about the bill were off-set by the pour-your-own measures of liquers which were courtesey of the house...
My Little Secret – I suspect this restaurant is what Rao's would be if it hadn't turned exclusive. The food is uniformly exceptional, with a very capable kitchen which will proudly whip up whatever you feel like eating, whether it's on the menu or not. I'm constantly impressed by the waiters-- true professionals who seem to be having a great time. The decor is a bit cheesy, and the owner doesn't seem to mind when a regular feels like smoking an illicit cigarette (grrr...) but I guess that kinda adds to the charm. The prices are exceptionally reasonable for food of this caliber. The wine list isn't great, and the desserts are shipped in from Bruno's down the street, which is not as good as it used to be.
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