Based on advice from fellow Chowhounders, I ended up with my 4 girlfriends at Caffe Volo on Friday evening (instead of Saturday). We went based on the advice, "I second the motion for Caffe Volo at Yonge & Dundonald. My girlfriends & I go there deliberately for the bad service. That is to say we enjoy good food & wine that arrives so slowly we can talk for hours without running up a huge tab."
I ended up there early, having to only walk from Bloor & Sherbourne where I work. I scooped up a good patio table, and enjoyed a few "Urquell" pilsners from Czechoslovakia. They have a really good microbrew/world beer selection. I moved on to a nice bourbon rec from the waitress before my friends started to arrive.
When the kitchen opened (6 p.m., I believe), we ordered the antipasto platter, and a tapenade platter to share. They were okay, but I didn't find them big enough for sharing - especially when the antipasto platter often had only one of each item (one piece of proscuitto, one small slice of salami, 2 olives, etc.).
When ordering, there was a funny moment when our Korean friend asked if they had any rice dishes... I didn't realize she liked to stick so close to home.
We ordered bruschetta and calamari to share as starters. The bruschetta was four finger-sized pieces of bread and was tasteless. The calamari was quite good, and included a ton of capers, which I love. For my main, I had the carbonara pasta, which was very very dry, and used regular bacon instead of the described pancetta. One friend had the salmon, which she declared okay. Another had a pizza, and another the pasta with mussels- both declared okay, but nothing special. Our Korean friend ended up ordering a hamburger, which she was picking at. I asked her if it was okay, and she told me she was having trouble eating it because it was dry. I tried some and agreed - it was extremely dry, and oddly tasted of lamb. We asked for some mustard and ketchup, but apparently they have neither at Caffe Volo. (?)
One highlight was the service - the waitress Amanda was fantastic and funny.