Located in a former Buick dealership on Shrewsbury Street, Volturno is the closest thing Worcester has ever seen to Italy, despite the city's countless "Italian" restaurants. If you've spent time in Italy, a lot of this menu should seem familiar and promising to you:
It's stylish and simple, with an open floor plan and high ceilings. I was there on a Tuesday night and the place was buzzing. From among the "stuzzichini" (the menu had changed a bit from the pdf above) we had grilled calamari over chickpea puree, burrata with pistachio pesto and grilled bread, and duck proscuitto with arugula. Each dish exemplified Italy's approach of relatively simple combinations of high-quality ingredients.
We also had the vongole pizza -- a white pie with bacon, clams, ricotta, and fior di latte. The crust was soft and nicely blackened if a bit chewy -- I think they may need to either tone down the blazing ovens a bit or refine their dough approach to get it to more completely cook through. Still, it was better than any pizza I've had in central MA except for the late, lamented Flats.
Great wine list -- all Italian, interesting, and reasonably priced -- and about 8 beers on draft including Dogfish Head. Given the quality, location, and atmosphere -- and copious parking on Shrewsbury Street, no less! -- this place seems certain to succeed.
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