It was with great anticipation that my dining companion and I went to Volturno for the May Foodies gathering. Housed within the old Edward Buick dealership on Shrewsbury Street, the design and layout of the restaurant was very inviting with extremely high ceilings and open spaces and sight lines. A massive bar sits elegantly in the middle of the room and two (specially-certified) wood-fired Neapolitan pizza ovens are on one end. The decor has an industrial feel that combines rustic wooden stools and wide plank tables with the original brick and windows of the old building making for a very comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.
We started our meal with a wonderful Calamari appetizer that included lightly grilled calamari, chili olives and ground chickpeas. The fresh calamari was warm and tender and when combined with the salty olives and creamy ground chickpeas provided a contrasting taste that was very good.
Next I chose the Funghi Pizza with Goat, Fior di Latte and Pecorino cheeses. The combination of cheeses was incredible as the distinctive taste of the goat cheese contrasted with the smooth mozzarella and salty pecorino. The entire pizza was covered with sautéed mushrooms that were prepared in an olive oil and garlic sauté but the most outstanding part of the pizza by far was the crust. Prepared authentically, this thin crust was light and airy, while holding its own against the strong flavors of the cheese and mushroom toppings. –JG
Volturno is a fairly new addition to Worcester’s Shrewsbury St, taking space in what used to be an old car dealership. They’ve managed to combine the old world look with new world conveniences creating a modern, but still rustic atmosphere. A lot of the seating is actually old-fashioned stools that are height adjustable, by screwing them up or down, around wooden tables. While they look beautiful, I found the stools somewhat less than comfortable and by the end of dinner I was ready to stop sitting. Otherwise, a really great looks and feels to the place. The service was prompt and attentive and very helpful, with a very good knowledge of the menu.
For dinner, I had the Funghi Pizza with olive oil, goat cheese fior di latte, thyme, and pecorino. The pizza is served for one, in an individual size. I found the size to be a very healthy portion; too small for sharing without something else to eat but just a little too large for a single person to eat without stuffing. The base of the crust was quite thin, but they managed to keep it soft and doughy at the same time, with a thicker doughy outer crust that was delicious and cooked to perfection. The mushrooms were cooked perfectly, with enough body and texture to not get overpowered by the crust and the goat cheese was slightly strong and a great counterpoint to the more earthy mushrooms. Combined, the flavors married very well creating an overall delicious pizza.
My overall take of the place is excellent and this is a place I’ll be coming back to. –DL