Shrewsbury Street is a food mecca for those looking for variety, culture and good eats. One of the newest kids on the block is Volturno…an old school Italian pizzeria with a modern vibe that has found its home in the old Buick dealership next to 7 NaNa. The entrance is laid with stone fixtures that remind you of a nice summer patio and as you walk into the cavernous building, you see tasteful light fixtures hung from the ceilings. If you look closely, you will notice the old Buick glass pieces adorning the border of the restaurant. With several different types of seating available, it can accommodate any type of mood you are in family-style at large picnic tables with modern bar stools. There is a cozy square bar at the middle of the restaurant with TVs to catch up on your favorite Boston sports team, and small tables for two and four people. For our large group, we settled on the picnic table style.
With so much on the menu to choose from, I could have easily ordered a half dozen items just to start but I had to contain myself. To start, I decided to go with the duck prosciutto. It came with a small arugula salad with fennel, vin cotto, and a balsamic drizzle ($8). The duck was smooth and rich in flavor. The flavor that the duck fat imparts on this game bird is something that is hard to describe to someone who has never tasted it. It is truly something to be tried in order to comprehend. You will not be disappointed. The arugula salad was able to counteract the duck’s richness with a little bit of spiciness and tanginess that the balsamic lended. It was the perfect counterpart to the duck.
As my main meal, I decided to try one of the more simple pizzas on the menu. Instead of go with one of Volturno‘s many creative concoctions, I wanted to try a pizza that let to ingredients and the cooking style shine. I ended up picking the fior de latte pizza ($13). This pizza had san marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and pecorino Romano cheese. The pasta sauce was nicely seasoned with basil and oregano and had a slightly sweet taste to it. The fresh mozzarella was creamy, flavorful and evident in every bite. The pecorino Romano cheese is similar to parmesan but is just a touch saltier and added a good depth of flavor to the sweet pasta sauce and creamy mozzarella. Due to the dome wood ovens in the kitchen, the crust had crispy edges with a nice char on them, but the inside was fluffy and soft. Volturno’s pizzas tend to be slightly smaller, and a hungry individual would have no problem eating the whole pie…so if you are coming with a group, plan accordingly. After all was consumed, this is one of the more unique dining experiences that you can have on Shrewsbury Street. A combination of the setting, the atmosphere, the wood ovens at the end of the open kitchen and the food, I will be going back to Volturno in the near future for sure! –ED