201 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
|Mon - Sat:|
Fax: (312) 410-9909
Cuisines: Italian, European, Continental, Pizza
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Price Range : Above Average
10/02/2011Provided by Citysearch -
I live in the neighborhood and tried this place a couple years back but was very disappointed in the portion size (and I'm a petite girl who doesn't eat a lot)! But I decided to give it a second try so I made a reservation for a table of 2 last night and when we arrived on time at exactly 8:30 we ended up waiting ONE HOUR for a table! What's the point of a reservation? I felt lied to since when we arrived they never mentioned that they were behind schedule nor each time I checked in with the hostess I got the run around--vague estimates on when we would get seated ""we'll call you when you're table is ready"". The waiting area was sooo overcrowded that we got bumped into several times. One waiter fell so hard trying to squeeze by that it shook the floor. Another waiter dropped a small tray near us. Many other customers waiting had somber looks on their faces probably from waiting so long, which made for an uncomfortable atmosphere. Service was friendly but frantic and slow. It took 20 minutes to get a drink at the table:( When the manager (I assume he was the manager) came around to ask how everything was, I mentioned that the food was pretty good but it was very upsetting to have to wait an hour to sit down. He nodded and moved on. He did NOT compensate us with a free appetizer or anything. Very disappointing. What's the point of asking how things are, if you're really don't care!? I'm Italian and love Italian food but found this place to be of average quality. Not worth the wait! Will never go back again.
09/14/2010Provided by Citysearch -
We it comes to Italian Food - Volare Chicago is my Favorite. The Meatball Salad is to die for and the Italian Ricotta Cheesecake will make you smile and curl your toes. I have eaten at Volare many times and I have always had a wonderful dining experience. When in Chicago or by Navy Pier eat at Volare and experience real Italian Sardenia Cuisine.
08/31/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I have never reviewed a restaurant before, but I just wanted to counter some of the recently posted negative reviews. I'm not from Chicago, but have eaten in many great restaurants in other cities. I thought the food and service were wonderful. It is a bit noisy when all the tables are full.
06/14/2010Provided by Citysearch -
We made a reservation for 6:30 as last time we were seated much later than our reservation time. We ordered a bottle of Freemark Abbey Chardonnay and the bartender tried to serve it to us warm, not chilled at all. We sampled the only chilled house chardonnay and it was terrible. At 7:00 I went to check on our reservation, they crossed our name off and did not get us. We were seated then finally. They brought an ice bucket for our wine. The veal medallions (in a light lemon and white wine sauce) was great, small portion though, lasagna generous portion and great, the fish special my friend ordered was mushy and terrible. She sent it back. We had to flag down another waiter to get any help at all. She ended up sharing the lasagna. It was so hot in the restaurant, women were wipping their brows with their napkins apparently they either don't have air conditioning, or didn't mention a mechanical problem. They did take the fish off the bill. I tore up the business card and left it on the table -never to return.
04/05/2009Provided by Citysearch -
We came downtown for our friends 30th birthday weekend bash! Our friend is an italian food connoisseur and after reading most of the reviews on Volare, we decided to make Saturday night reservations for her special night.
We had reservations for 6:30pm and called around 6:00pm to check to make sure that we would be ready to be sat when we got there. I talked with a very snotty young man who refused to give me his name who informed me that he couldn't seat us until 9pm even though we had a reservation.
When I asked what the point was to have a reservation if it wouldn't be honored he replied ""seriously honey, its saturday night, we don't have the time to honor everyone's reservation request"".
We cancelled and ended up at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery on Grand Avenue and had a blast along with great service. So, I can't rate the food, b/c we never had it. I can however speak about how horrible the customer service was. Just imagine how it may have been in person!! I'd spend my $$ at someplace else even if it is a bit more expensive. You're downtown, you pay for the ambiance, experience and of course, the great food and great service. Volare has alot to work on!!!! Take your $$ elsewhere!
09/13/2008Provided by Citysearch -
It was our first visit to Chicago, and Volare was highly recommended to us. Our waiter was very attentive and polite, and the atmosphere was inviting. The menu offered a variety of dishes which anyone would have difficulty choosing from, so I asked the waiter to surprise me with a dinner of his choice. I was brought Chicken Cacciatore and it was magnificent! The flavor and texture was everything that made every bite to be savored. The chicken was tender and covered in a perfectly cooked sauce made of fresh red peppers, mushrooms, onions, green olives... and the pasta was coated in a thin yet tasty tomato/garlic sauce which I have never tasted the likes of before. Later we walked by the Volare during rush dinner hour and it was packed. MY SUGGESTION would be to avoid the rush dinner hour so you could savore the experience of this small yet lovely place and all it has to offer. It is packed during dinner hour for a reason! Once home I tried to google recipes to duplicate this dish, but was unsuccessful in finding anything that closely matched the ingredients. Would I eat at Volare again during my next visit to Chicago? In a heartbeat!
08/05/2008Provided by Citysearch -
This place should be shut down. The service is horrendous and takes the words ""disgusting, and inhospitable"" to another level. The food is absolute junk - it's a complete tourist trap because it's next to the Inn of Chicago which is another place that should be condemned. You want Italian food? Go to Little Italy or another place - take your money and time elsewhere. You'll wait at least an hour for under-whelming food. If you like this place, you obviously have no taste and must not be from a metropolitan city.
03/21/2008Provided by Citysearch -
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.
02/19/2008Provided by Citysearch -
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.
03/07/2007Provided by Citysearch -
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.
08/25/2006Provided by Citysearch -
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!
08/14/2006Provided by Citysearch -
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.
07/22/2006Provided by Citysearch -
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.
06/07/2006Provided by Citysearch -
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!
06/05/2006Provided by Citysearch -
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.
12/01/2005Provided by Citysearch -
We are not from Chicago and wanted to eat somewhere that reflected unique Chicago dining. We were hoping for a place that seemed alive and exciting and we found it at Volare. The gentleman that was the host seemed very proud of the restaurant. This was displayed in all the workers' attitudes and service. They were professional but friendly. The food was wonderful - we liked the ability to choose the type of pasta and the type of sauce making for many possible variations. My house salad was reasonably priced and delicious. The bread was delicious - there were two types included.
10/10/2005Provided by Citysearch -
I've been here over and over again, and still never tire of the fresh pasta and sauces! It's the only Italian restaurant where I actually bring home the leftovers, because it is that delicious. It is noisy, and that is precisely why I take out of town guests here to let them see the bustling restaurant scene at a non-chain place on lower Grand. Unfortunately, I've never had room for dessert, so I can't share that experience. Make reservations at peak dining time to avoid the wait -- the bar area is not large.