A few weeks ago (oh how I wish it were just yesterday!) my mom and I decided to head over to Volterra in Ballard. It has been on our list of places to eat for a while now and so we decided that since we were actually able to get a reservation we would try it out. And I was really glad we did. Our meal was impeccable, the service was good and I had absolutely nothing to complain about. I have noticed that alot of people have said it is hit and miss, but apparently when they do hit it, they get it dead on. The wait staff was attentive, the drinks were crisp and satisfying (I had the cocktail special, a fennel martini) and even the Chianti, which I bravely tried, was good enough that I wondered how anyone ever let it out of Italy, since good Chianti is pretty hard to find stateside (at least Chianti as you would experience it in Italy).
I started with the Roasted Beet and Arugula salad and my mom had the Caesar Salad. Both were perfectly lightly dressed (dressing should only ever just lightly brush each leaf) and crisp and delicious. The walnuts in my salad were toasted and the salty cheese was whispered over the top of a well balance combination of beets and arugula.
I am big into game meat these days and was excited to see they had a Wild Boar Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Sauce (Cinghiale al Gorgonzola). It was cooked to perfection and they easily accommodated my request for the Gorgonzola sauce to be put on the side. The potatoes and market vegetables were an excellent compliment.
All in all, while this review may not be the most inspired post I have ever written, this meal was the best one I have had thus far (outside of my own kitchen) in Seattle. And that is saying something. I have had numerous friends comment that they have similarly had profoundly good food experiences at Volterra. Having spent time in Northern Italy and exploring the cuisine therein, I would say try Volterra for sure. My recommendation for ensuring an excellent experience is to go with Piatti Forti and skip the Pasta e Risotto because generally, to me, I find pasta and risotto, even good pasta and risotto, not to ever be mind-bending, life changing or profound. I look forward to returning to Volterra and exploring the menu further.