Volterra
Volterra

Volterra

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.volterraballard.com/
  • Phone: (206) 789-5100
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am - 2:00pm
    Lunch: Saturday - Sunday: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
    Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
    Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Northwest
  • Executive Chef: Don Curtiss
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We would love to assist you with catering for your offsite event. Please contact us and ask for Michelle for detailed information.
  • Private Party Facilities: The Volterra Drawing Room is a beautiful, intimate private event venue located next door to Volterra restaurant and is an ideal location for small to mid-size events. We offer the same award winning cuisine, exceptional service and extensive wine list as Volterra.
  • Private Party Contact: Michelle Quisenberry 8883527279

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 20th Ave NW
  • Public Transit: Metro Bus #17 and 18
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Street parking is available on Ballard Avenue and Shilshole Avenue. Paid parking in the Ballard Landmark Garage. Enter on Leary Way with access to Ballard Avenue puts you 1 block away from Volterra. Please note, access to garage entrance on Ballard Avenue is only open until midnight.
A word from Volterra
Volterra features the bold-flavored, Tuscan-inspired menu of Chef Don Curtiss showcasing his innovative style applied to the bountiful harvest of the Pacific Northwest. Menu highlights include: Seasonal Tuscan specialties –truffles, squash blossoms, fresh porcini mushrooms are featured throughout the year. All natural, organic or free-range meats and poultry. Fresh, house made pasta. Our extensive wine list features primarily Italian and Northwest wines. Volterra has received numerous accolades including: “Best New Restaurant” and “Best Italian Restaurant” by Seattle Magazine. “Best Italian Restaurant” by Seattle Citysearch, and “Best Chef Inspired Restaurant” by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Zagat “America’s Top Restaurant’s” and “America’s Top Italian Restaurants”. Rachael Ray named Volterra "one of her favorite restaurants on the planet".
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Volterra reviews from OpenTable diners
90 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (60)special occasion (44)neighborhood gem (44)romantic (42)notable wine list (32)great for outdoor dining (25)good for groups (10)great for brunch (6)hot spot (6)late-night find (4)kid-friendly (2)vibrant bar scene (2)scenic view (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • A fine spot for Italian cuisine with flair
    ballardDiner
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    We visit this restaurant about once a month, and are always delighted with the menu offerings, which change with the seasons. Never have we had a disappointing meal; the food is fresh and tasty, the service prompt and courteous. It seems as though the staff actually want us to enjoy our time there. We've never done it, but it is possible for a couple to get seats in the bar and have dinner there in a slightly more action-packed setting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious and ample meals
    japanesophile
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    My first visit to Volterra was during the 3 for $33 dining out week. Everyone in my party enjoyed their meals. My oil soup was delicious (in spite of the name which prevented my dining companions from selecting it). Most of our party had the delicous and surprisingly ample jumbo shrimp - perfectly spiced and plenty of them. All of the vegetables, including the cauliflower gratin first course, were prepared just to the edge of qualifying as cooked - still delightfully crispy and flavorful. Lovely wine list, although there could be a few more by the glass choices. Fabulous (and, again, generously portioned) tiramisu. The atmosphere was reminiscent of visiting a warm, elderly French aunt - homey but slightly formal. Sound level was perfect for failing middle-aged ears.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food Heaven
    Foodie
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Delicious fettuccini with shrimp! Appetizer of mussels and sausage was surprisingly delicious. Food truly fit for a foodie. I'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great atmosphere and service!
    teachergirl
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at Volterra this weekend. The food and drinks were presented beautifully and the atmosphere of the interior made it feel warm and romantic. Our server was very attentive and professional. The food and beverages themselves (not accounting for presentation) were a little underwhelming given the prices, so this may be one of those places we got to only once every 1 or 2 years just for the ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!
    lovetodineVIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    The food, the service and the atmosphere was perfect for a cold evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed feelings
    heidiVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    I ate dinner her for the second time. The wait staff was wonderful, again recommending the perfect wine with dinner. The boar and prawns exceptional and I tried not to lick my plate on the lemon panna cotta. I wanted to try something different and went with the oil soup...horrible. I literally had two bites, my companion one bite, and could not eat it. I was a bit disappointed that the waiter took it away and did not offer a replacement or to remove it from the bill. Others around us were not pleased with the dish either. It really needs to be removed. If not for that I would give it four stars.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top Notch Food and Service
    seattlenative
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Volterra is a quaint little place on Ballard Avenue that a person might walk/drive by and barely notice. We took advantage of the dine around Seattle deal. They had great choices and we probably would have chosen one of them even if we had the whole menu to choose from. The service is amazing. We got to try 3 different types of wine since we were unsure of what we wanted. The waiters were there when you needed them and not hovering when you didn't.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Off day?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    I've been to volterra a handful of time and each time I thought it was good - not blow your mind great, but a solid place to grab brunch and a drink. This time it just seemed different. On a very brunchy Sunday, it was empty at 11am except for two other very quiet tables. At volterra, there are a lot of tables. The contrast was awkward. Our server was reasonably prompt and friendly, and he gave honest suggestions. But the food was not up to the standards I had come to expect. Perhaps just an off day.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good for a quick drink only
    brian
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Good for a quick drink only before going to a decent restaurant, not understanding how all of these restaurants in northwest Washington get ridiculous high reviews. I got the risotto because, well, if a chef can perfect retaurant I will bet my life they are amazing at life. Unfortunately it reminded me of my freshman year in college , the first time I ever attempted to cook Uncle Bens rice. The server I feel came right over from a shift at Applebees..... The drink list was great though and the bottles are priced fairly to my surprise.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Nice service - bad food
    sm2222
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We went to Volterra for an anniversary dinner recently. While the ambience is very nice and the service we received was also very good - I wouldn't recommend the food. Maybe the dining staff had an "off" night - not sure. But it was our 1st time dining there - and we really looked forward to it given all the raves the place has received. In no rush to return there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Dine Out Week at Volterra
    prefermyowncooking
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    We arrived early for our reservation and were invited to stay at the bar rather than move to a table. The bartender, Brett, was charming and attentive. Rather than stick with the 3 course menu, we choose the main courses from it and replaced dessert with an antipasti platter to share. The drinks and bread with fennel salt and olive oil were excellent as always. The house red was robust & satisfying. The main course portions seemed small given we held off on lunch because of our early seating time and were wet and hungry when we arrived. The seafood stew was bland unfortunately.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Seattle Restaurant Week Visit
    Chugga
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    I visited this restaurant with the wife for the first time for the SRW. We both ordered off of the 3 course for 30$ special menu for this event. The good: Appetizers were unique. Main courses were delicious, cooked great and had plenty of flavor Desserts were also very tasty. The restaurant had a cafe feel to it, while the bar area seemed more intimate. Food was served very quickly The bad: The Caesar salad appetizer was very small compared to the soup that I ordered. We wish the waiter would have been a little bit more friendly. Service is a very important factor when we go out and dine. We are never rude to the servers and always say please and thank you. He seemed like he wanted to rush us through the meal as quickly as possible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sasha
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    I have always loved Volterra both for its quiet and romantic setting and it exquisitely prepared and creative dishes. The appetizers are superb as are the pastas and entrees. The seasoned waiters are much more adept than some of the newer and younger servers or greeters who seem awkward and not that attentive to whom ordered what- at least the night we were there recently.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A little space would make it better
    ShannonVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    The food was great but we were so close to our neighbors it was impossible to have a private conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Horrible service. Not coming back.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Horrible service. No one knew who was serving my table. More detail: No one even came to take my order for 10 minutes because neither of the two servers on the side of the room I was seated at were coming by. AT ALL. I had to tell one of them that I was ready to order and she was confused, so there was obviously a misunderstanding between her and the other server. This is unacceptable for a restaurant like Volterra. My table wasnt set properly. No one brought bread over yet they were asking the tables to the left and right of us if they wanted a second basket of bread. No plates for the olive oil were brought over until I asked. Its really a shame because the food was great. I wont be coming back, not even for restaurant week.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • wonderful!
    jseattle
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    I came with a friend for dinner during Restaurant Week and was totally impressed. The decor was nice, and although tables are close to each other, it still felt intimate. We were there early so it was quiet. The food we ordered was fantastic: baked cauliflower appetizer and lamb loin entree. The flavors were great, the lamb came as rare (or done) as we asked for. They had a good selection of wines by the glass. I wasn't quite sure which to order and got a really good recommendation from the waitstaff. Without asking, they brought me a taste before I committe to a glass (generous pour) - very nice! Restaurant Week is a great way to try out restaurants, and this is one I will come back to!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    The menu is so mouth-watering online, but it wasn't current with the menu that was given to our table. It would be great to make sure they match so that guests can receive the menu item they have been dreaming about all day! We searched through the current menu and were all very happy with our new selections. Overall, it was a great restaurant and we enjoyed our time in Ballard.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service and food!
    lovetodineVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Love the service and food. Our waiter was fantastic. He gave me samples of various red wine before I ordered. He was SUPER!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find!
    natmrk
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We went to Volterra in Ballard for the first time during Seattle Restaurant Week and loved it! The dining room was a bit full so we sat outside. The outdoor seating was beautiful and we had it all to ourselves. The food was delicious and the service impeccable. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed
    DMSSVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We found Volterra to be disappointing. It did not come anywhere close to living up to its reputation. The food was rather bland. I was surprised when my lamb loin arrived with a simple scoop of mashed potatoes, like you might get at a diner. The potatoes were bland, and the lamb was not very flavorful. Nor was the wild boar loin that my dining companion had. The service was pretty good, however.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Twice disappointed
    langes23
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Volterra used to be a restaurant we really looked forward to visiting. Given the cost, we saved up for special occasions. The last two times we have been for dinner however, have been disappointing. At one visit my husband's osso bucco came to the table charred and dry and I was astonished that they let it leave the kitchen at all. This time the lamb was rubbery and the plate came appointed with a few spears of asparagus and an ice cream scoop of flavorless mashed potatoes. The entire plate was anemic looking and unappetizing. My own $18 plate of pesto pasta was unimaginatively dotted with uninteresting bits of sundried tomato and scanty dots of goat cheese. We are waiting for strike three- Volterra's already out.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing Food and service
    DevanVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    My husband and I went here before a show in Ballard the food was amazing! I had the smoked salmon ravioli and he had the wild boar tenderloin. We shared a beautiful bottle of wine that our server suggested. We can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic all around
    Aldaenster
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Great service, spot-on wine suggestions, and welk-executed dishes from appetizers to dessert. We are going back next week to try our second choices from the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy!
    juniormintz
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    My husband and I dined at Volterra on our wedding anniversary and it was wonderful treat! The food was amazing and we were treated very well. We had a fantastic time. The only thing I could nitpick about was that the cocktails seemed small and stingy and not particularly notable. We'll definitely come back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Going downhill
    Disappointed
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    The food was OK. For years this was my favorite restaurant, but I will probably not return. The food has gone from great to average. The way we were rushed through our meal you would have thought there was a line of people out the door, although the restaurant was half empty. Very disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Italian; good wine
    ballardDiner
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    One of our favorite spots. Especially good is the Autumn menu, which features pork jowls in pasta.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • nice dinner
    char
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Liked it, had a nice dinner. It wasn't amazing, but server was great, liked the feel and will probably go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A rare complaint about Volterra
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Volterra is one of our favorite restaurants and now that we discovered the athletic club cheap parking structure, it's even better! But, it was so dark we asked for a second candle so we could read the menus. Several people complained but nothing happened, it was too dark. Romantic is fine but none of the diners was a teenager so raise the light level to reasonable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place to go
    chefpropman
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    I work in the business and this by far was one of the best meals I've had in years. The wild boar and the lamb was superb. The mussel appetizer was so tender and sweet and I don't really care for mussels. I would highly recommend this restaurant
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Urban oasis
    ProfBob
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great food in a great setting--a quiet spot for escape and relaxation in an urban setting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still love it
    DrinkneatinBallard
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Dinner with visiting family. Service was great, per usual. All dishes tasty except my moms pork loin. Over cooked and dry.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, uninteresting crowd
    ipanemaNH
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    I love the food in Voltera but I feel that each time I go back there the crowd is more family oriented. It lacks the high energy, trendy vibe that I'd look for a Saturday night dinner in Ballard.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mehh...not so romantic, not so good
    FoodieFemme
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We came here to celebrate our anniversary since it was rated as a "romantic" restaurant. It was ok, but certainly not a romantic spot. The restaurant was unpleasantly hot and muggy...like eating in their kitchen. The table for two was very small, with one cushy bench seat and one hard chair. It was crammed in 6 inches from the table next to us, who had resorted to using the table next to them to hold their sides dishes and bread - which we never got. The wait staff knocked into my wine glass trying to serve the table next to us. My medium-rare lamb loin came well-done (yuck!), and the ball of mashed potatoes had sat around so long it formed a crust on top. The rest of the food was ok. We had several different servers. Mehh.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Usually great food and service.
    FurryBiker
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Been here 3 times. First two were excellent. This time the food did seem as brilliant and the service was rushed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wanted to love it more
    valeg
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We had a lovely evening with friends. Service was great, ambiance lovely, but the food, while good, was only that: good - not great. With all the awards, and with the spendy price, I expected to be wowed! Probably won't go back; too many other great places to go for less money.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ballard fine Italian
    davesfaves
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We had a very nice meal here recently. The space it warm and contemporary, and located on a historic street with a happening scene. Salads were freshly made with wonderful flavors. The pasta sauces and entrees were very flavorful and well constructed, with superb service. Nice ambience in a neighborhood of noisier venues.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently excellent
    BallardDiner
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We have found the quality of Volterra's kitchen and dining room staff to be consistently excellent. Euro size portions (i.e., not huge), allow for having a tasty appetizer, main course and dessert without overeating. Everything we have had was delicious and perfectly prepared, so it really comes down to individual taste as to what anyone would choose from the menu. However, we would be sorely disappointed if the wild boar tenderloin or the mushroom polenta were ever retired from the menu. Treat yourself to a night in Tuscany.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • As good as always...
    senti598
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Great food. Relaxed atmospher. Really interesting menu. Overall GREAT!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice
    AMinSeattle
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We had a nice dinner. I was a bit disappointed with the charcuterie plate, we just got 4 different kinds of salami (I'm not particularly keen on salami) and very little cheese. If it is supposed to be charcuterie one expects a mix of salami, ham, prosciutto etc. Never mind. Our main course was pasta. My husband had the mushroom and guanciale taglierini, which were excellent. I had the aubergine ravioli and the tomato based sauce they were dressed in was way too spicy for me! The good thing is, most of the pasta on the menu is home made. Dessert was nice (custard cream with fresh berries and amaretti crumbs). Overall ok.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    MECA
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and the service. One of the best pastas I have had - rich ingredients but not heavy at all. I had guests visiting from out of town and had wanted to introduce them to the neighbourhood. The menu was diverse enough to suit different tastes. the waiter recommended a wine that was delicious. Definitely a place I'll go back to if I want to treat myself. Even the coffee was extra-ordinary. Thank you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 50 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 29, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 902 reviews are from the Volterra reviews archive.