As soon as I walked through the doors of Volare Restaurant, conveniently located in the heart of Greenwich Village, I immediately felt a sense of comfort and ease.  After a warm reception from the host, I began admiring the Moulin Rouge styled paintings slyly lining the walls.

Volare continues to remain a thriving restaurant for thirty-three years and is located in one very historic building.  John Reed wrote “Ten Days that Shook the World” and Lillian Russell lived above the restaurant at one point.  I also learned that the art I had been admiring are works done by 1930’s Broadway set designer Cleon Throckmorton, who once lived just around the corner from Volare.

Interestingly enough, Volare actually began as a restaurant serving mixed cuisine and only later developed into an Italian restaurant. Co-owner Sal Alaburic explained how many of their customers have been eating here for three generations now, creating a more personal dining experience and a sense of familiarity among clientele.

One of the unique aspects of Volare is their dedication to serving fresh food made to order.  Although there is a menu available, chefs are on hand to create dishes based on what customers feel like eating on any given night.  Their most popular dishes include the Osso Bucco, Veal Chop, and Gnocci.

My evening spent at Volare was quite unforgettable.  Although a bit new to reviewing restaurants, I absolutely love traveling and experiencing how other countries incorporate their  culture into the food they prepare.  Needless to say, I was definitely looking forward to tasting a variety of Italian dishes.

I started with the savory Volare salad of white beans, onions, lettuce, and artichokes and paired this with a white wine.   I then  sampled several of their most popular entrees.  I’m a huge fan of seafood so you can imagine how thrilled I was to taste shrimp, calamari, and lobster all in one sitting.  I particularly appreciated  the clams topped with garlic breading.  It was an interesting take on a classic dish.  The lemon-flavored sea bass was another standout dish that I would recommend to new customers.

Next I was served a plate with three different types of pasta.  My  favorite of the three was actually one that the chef made on the spot. The spaghetti with white cream sauce, peas, and bacon bits reminded me of a meal I had when traveling through Venice.  While it is hard to  compare any pasta to the kind one eats in Italy, Volare’s selection comes quite close.

Although I was completely stuffed by this point of the meal, I could not resist a beautifully presented bowl of tiramisu and a cannoli. I’ve always been a fan of delicious desserts, so there was no way I was going to pass on either of these treats.  The tiramisu was easily the best I have ever tasted.  Just thinking about it now makes me want a bowl.

After a fabulous night of dinner and drinks, the evening was coming to a close.  I had the chance to speak to Sal a bit longer and as I sipped by cup of cappuccino I slowly lost track of time.  I was so absorbed in his stories about life in New York that I failed to notice that the restaurant had already closed for the night.  Sal and his staff were so friendly and helpful throughout the whole evening, I felt right at home.

I would definitely recommend Volare to anyone who appreciates great Italian food and who enjoys feeling like part of the family.  The chefs’ creative ability to tweak orders on the spot is a major plus, and I would recommend asking them to cook whatever it is you are  craving that night.  You will not be disappointed!

– Megan Eileen McDonough

Check out their review on Yelp for even more opinions!

147 W. 4th Street
New York, NY 10012