Chicago >Food & Dining > Volare
201 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.891566 -87.622488
Monday To Friday From 11:00 AM To 11:00 PM Saturday From 04:00 PM To 11:00 PM Sunday From 04:00 PM To 10:30 PM
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
My Italian grandfather might as well have greeted me at the door of Volare bc this is THEE most authentic Italian food I've had in Chicago!
Decent food, Bad service, Reservations no honored – Made a reservation that was not honored. Got to the restaurant and was told it would be a very short wait for my table. After about 20 minutes, was asked if I wanted to sit outside in an enclosed area, mind you it was in the 30s that evening. Was assured it was fully encloced and there were plenty of heat lamps. My other option was to wait an additional 35-40 minutes minimum for a table inside to open up. Opted to eat outside rather than continue to wait and was surprised to see that there was about a foot and a half gap between the ground the the tarp covering the area. Food was nothing to write home about and the server went out of his way to sound Italian when he clearly was not, rather annoying. Overall, they did not honor my reservation, why take them if you are going to turn around and make people wait 20 plus minutes and the offer them to sit in a supposed warm enclosed area when in actuality, it wasn't. If you are looking for a good Italian place in Chicago, this is not it. Essentially me and my guest would have wound up waiting over an hour for a table inside with a reservation, poor customer service. The table next to us had their food brought out to them cold after the waiter claimed everything was cooked to order and took longer. A woman at the table mentioned they ahd waited over 35 minutes for their food, so obviously the food runner and or server forgot about them.
6 Stars (Is that possible?) – I couldn't disagree more w/ the previous review. I travel for a living and consider myself somewhat of a tested veteran when it comes to dining out. Volare is no doubt one of Chicago's best restaurants and one of the better Italian meals I have found across the entire country. Whatever the fish special is get it, but oh yes, with a side of fresh pasta rather than the usual sides. You won't regret it. Every visit to Chicago consists of a stop at Volare and I can't wait to finally take my wife there.
Avoid this restaurant if you want great Italian food – Visiting Chicago for the first time, I really wanted some authentic southern Italian cooking, Chicago style. Service was great, wine list was terrific, appetizers and salad were wonderful. Everything was going great until our entrees came to the table. The red sauce on the chicken parmigiana was some of the worst I have ever tasted--not red but really orange...too thick....I was looking for something that had a hint of some herbs, spices, and tomatoes.....this had zero flavor. The white sauce was way too thick, and my friend said it tasted like macaroni and cheese, the bolognese was way too chunky, and overall I left far more food on my plate than I ever do in a good Italian restaurant.
Very touristy, very noisy, and very forgettable. Anyone who says it is quiet in this restaurant is either deaf, or not paying attention. Surely in one of the city's 968 Italian restaurants, I will find what I am looking for, but it wasn't to be at Volare.
Authentic, fabulous food with great servers who seem to love what they do! – Volare is one of our favorite Chicago stops. Great food. When sea bass is a special, get it!
If you walked by you might not stop. Don't judge the book by it's cover.
Quaint Italian – Out of town on business in Chicago and we heard of this great Italian restraunt around the corner from where we were staying. Although the food and atmosphere were great, we had a reservation and waited over an hour. After being seated the service was very attentive and ended up being well worth the wait. Presentation and wine selection was excellent. A must eat if going to Chicago!
I'm confused about all the good reviews. – We arrived at 4:30, (after noticing that they we still setting up a little earlier), to avoid any problems with being too early. Apparently there were other problems beyond our control. Is the wait staff here trained to make tables wait for no reason? The wine order seemed to require a management consultation, and we didn't have our wine for 30 minutes. The house salad was wilted, the pasta had obviously been left under heat lamps forever, and the marinara sauce had CHEESE in it. Perhaps we're out of step: I'm familiar with old school mid-Amercian taste for salt and cheese, but -good- Italian restaurants will show you a better way.
What a find! – While on a business trip and staying at the Swissotel on E. Wacker in Chicago, we decided to wander around looking for an Italian restaurant. In less than 15 minutes we found Volare, and what a find it was. It was a Thursday night and there was a 45 minute wait so we put our name on the wait list, left to window shop at the nearby mall, returned 30 minutes later and was seated about 25 minutes later.
The house salad was phenomenal, a mixture of greens, a light but flavorful olive oil blend and other ingredients not normally found in ordinary salads. The pastas were cooked perfectly, not overcooked and the sauces flavorful; we ordered three pasta dishes with the vodka sauce, marinara and bolognese (meat) sauce. Considering what it costs to dine out in Chicago at restaurants with similar atmosphere, this place was a bargain. Just about every item on the menu is well below $20.
The service was professional and friendly; we really enjoyed our dining experience at Volare and look forward to returning on our next visit to Chicago.
Always Ask the Desk Clerk! – I dined at Volare on the recommendation of the desk clerk at my hotel. What a find! Outstanding food, good value, great vibe, good service. Started with a Caprese salad, which came garnished with four drops of real balsamic vinegar, thick, syrupy, delicious. The bread basket featured an Italian loaf, and a foccacia. My entree was a radiatore pasta with Bolognese sauce. The pasta was tossed with the sauce, rather than having it ladled on top, allowing the pasta to soak up the sauce, making the dish more integrated and flavorful. Dessert was vanilla gelato, with generous vanilla flavor. Great meal!
Tastiest Italian in the Loop – Loved this place. We came here for the first time right after my husband had proposed to me and toasted the occasion with really good wine and pasta that tasted fresh and interesting. Then kept coming back with family and discovered their wonderful fish with mustard sauce and other things. One downside is that it gets a little loud. Also, it doesn't seem to be open for lunch--we came by around 12 on a weekday and it was closed, much to our regret. Reservations recommended.
Great vibe – Volare was a perfect stop for dinner, especially on a cold night. The service was laid back, but very professional. We would definitely take friends back to Volare.
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