Seattle >Food & Dining > Volterra
5411 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810747.667752 -122.385188
Sat 9am-2pm, 5pm-1am
Sun 9am-2pm, 5pm-9pm
Neighborhoods: Ballard, Adams
Don Curtis and his team turn out contemporary Italian fare in this Ballard outpost. Order the buckwheat pancakes, lamb meatballs or crab ravioli.
The drawing room is perfect for special events such as film screenings.
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 though I was a bit skeptical but it was absolutely amazing! Hats off to the staff and the chef for creating such a great dining experience. We plan on trying their brunch very soon.
Nice for a special evening – 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).
WOW!! – 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!!
Volterra, the food is bad but at least the service is worse – 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.
Evening to rememeber – 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.
The Bar Outshines the Restaurant – 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.
I went on a date there and it was fab – 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
About as Italian as a Shamrock – 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.
Great service and even better food – 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.
Lovely restaurant; 5 stars w/o the wine list – 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.
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