Volterra offers some traditional fare, like fettuccine with pesto and shrimp, but what sets the place apart is chef Don Curtiss’ willingness to take risks and create unexpected dishes. I can’t vouch for the rest of the menu, but in our meal, the risks certainly paid off. I highly enjoyed the sweet but subtle pear ravioli ($16), and my dining companion ordered the wild boar tenderloin ($19) with some apprehension, but consumed it with delight. Our waitress knew the subtleties of the menu and the wine list backwards and forwards and was a warm and welcome consultant on pairing the right wine with our meal.
The inside of the restaurant was quite loud, so if you’re not a fan of boisterous atmospheres you would do well to sit outside if the weather allows. We ate on the outdoor patio—my visit to Seattle was in late August and happened to be during a spell of excruciatingly beautiful weather. Volterra was the best possible place to enjoy it.
I definitely recommend Volterra for a celebratory occasion—an anniversary, a birthday—or for a very impressive date. The adventurous food and well-trained staff make a dinner at Volterra feel quite special.
San Francisco, California
September 18, 2005
From journal Seattle Forever