I finally tried Volo Saturday and enjoyed it quite a bit, although I question (albeit slightly) whether the dining experience was worth the price paid. I think that I prefer Avec a little, and find Avec to be a little less expensive, although perhaps not as creative.
We arrived at the restaurant at about 8pm (on a Saturday), worried that we'd have to wait a long time. We were so wrong. There were several tables open such that I'm a little concerned about their future. They only take reservations for parties of five or more though, perhaps scaring some off.
My friend and I shared four small plates (they offer only small plates), a cheese plate (we selected 5 cheeses) and a dessert. For small plates, we had the shaved fennel and rare roast beef w/ spicy greens and crushed black pepper. The roast beef was perfectly cooked rare as advertised and well matched with the fennel, although perhaps just a tad undersalted.
The duck confit with crisp potato and roasted garlic puree was very good (although maybe lacking in potato and garlic?) and came with a bit of a red wine reduction (definitely could have used a little more of the reduction -- it was fantastic).
The halibut with summer vegetables and anchovy was also quite tasty, as were the seared scallops with a quail egg and some American sturgeon caviar (perhaps my favorite of the four).
For dessert, we split a chocolate brownie (dense and relatively moist) which was served with a side bowl of chocolate mousse (more of a milk chocolate mousse -- I would have preferred a bit richer and less sweet) topped with some sort of chewy chocolate-hazelnut nougat which really made the dish because of the different textures.
Service was fine and friendly, but perhaps slightly less polished than the cooking. Wine service offered some nice flights (of 3 wines each), although I think their practice of bringing all 3 wines out at a time was a little awkward. I'm looking forward to trying it again -- there were so many interesting dishes on the menu that I might just have to return a couple of times. You can check out the menu at www.volorestaurant.com (although not all menu items are listed online).
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