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“Volare's Quality Tarnished by Poor Service and Poor Cooking”
Review of Volare Ristorante

Volare Ristorante
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Ranked #1 of 44 Restaurants in Wixom
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Description: Award-winning chef/owner Dino Grossi and his family opened Volare Ristorante in the Fall of 2004. Located in the heart of the new downtown Wixom city center, this restaurant features a dramatic interior rich in texture and color. The philosophy is simple: use the best ingredients as simply as possible and serve them with joy and passion. As a Tuscan cooks in Chianti, as a Neapolitan cooks on the Amalfi coast, as a Sicilian cooks in Palermo, at Volare we cook as an Italian might, in the truest sense. We import pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and Prosciutto San Daniele because they are so distinct and virtually indispensable to the creation of a great Italian meal. We fervently believe in the inherent quality, freshness and greatness of our regions' ingredients, purchased from predominantly organic, farmers and friends. Our cheeses come from all over Italy. Our wine list is predominantly Italian, in celebration of the quality and diversity of Italian grape varietals and vinification. Volare Ristorante offers a memorable dining experience of impeccable Italian cuisine, and we have assembled a passionate team that possesses a combination of talent and experience. Volare is our interpretation of the best we have come to know in the Italian culture of family where it is best and most often celebrated, at the dinner table.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

We have been fans of Volare ever since it opened. In fact, it is the only restaurant in my mobile phone address book. However, it might be time to delete that address book entry; our celebration dinner last night was a source of disappointment and frustration.

Volare prides itself as an Italian-style fine-dining location, featuring steaks and roasted meats. As such, we have enjoyed their steaks, lamb chops, and pork chops on previous visits. Their appetizers, especially the sausage & peppers, are particularly good. The service levels in the dining room can be average (at best), but we have been able to overlook that if the food was exceptional. Last night must have been their perfect storm --- everything was subpar.

Our experience in the dining room was diminished by their apparent addition of several tables to address the needs of a busy night. Though you could applaud their success in filling those tables, it made it nearly impossible for our waiter and busser to serve food, pour drinks, and clear plates. The waiter at the adjacent table was far too close for comfort, continually announcing (throughout our meal) that she was "right behind you." Our waiter had to reach across the diameter of the table to pour wine; this was not what we expect in a fine dining setting. We had to help by handing plates to other guests, burning our fingers in the process.

Within our party of seven people, two of the meals were awful, one was excellent, and the other meals were acceptable. One of our family members ordered a "rare" steak; it came to the table as a medium. We recognize that this can happen, especially on a busy Saturday night. However, the waiter decided to argue with us about what constitutes "rare" vs. "medium". He was incorrect from the standpoint of facts, and incorrect from the standpoint of customer service. The waiter ultimately agreed to replace the steak. The other problem was a special risotto entree featuring lobster (costing $48). The meal was overcooked to the point that it only resembled paste. After the negative conversation regarding the overcooked steak, we decided that it was not worth another argument, so we kept it.

The restaurant has an impressive wine list. However, they do not carry a sufficient inventory to satisfy a full dining room. They had only one bottle of our first choice, and only one bottle of our second choice. So, we agreed to accept our first choice, and then change wines mid-meal. At least that was our plan. We ordered the second bottle --- and we waited, and waited. After 30 minutes the waiter told us that he felt bad that he had forgotten us and promised to bring it right out. We told him that it was no longer necessary since we had finished our food.

The other staff within the restaurant has a mixed bag of skills. The bright, shining gem was our busser. He was attentive with water, bread, and clearing. He had a great attitude and agreed to get some parmesan cheese for us (since our waiter never offered it). Unfortunately the busser was scolded by another waiter, about 18 inches from me, for daring to cross some boundary between the busser - waiter area of responsibility. Because of the placement of our table, I was able to see directly into the kitchen. At one point I glanced into the kitchen and saw the salad chef eating (full cheeks and chewing) while making salads. Sorry, but that's a violation of County health regulations.

Finally, one of my pet peeves is the "nickel & dime" approach to restaurant revenues. My mother said "OK" when asked if she wanted mushrooms with her steak: $5.00. I said "OK" when asked about anchovies on my already-pricy salad: $2.00. One couple was only somewhat hungry, so they split an entree: $5.00 split charge. Plus, there's something about a $3.50 charge for regular black coffee that seems excessive.

We all agreed that the owner should spend a little time in the dining room monitoring guest service and satisfaction. Then, he would have the opportunity to address issues before they become problems. Perhaps this review will help him recognize that.

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1  Thank Cory L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 - 83 of 104 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2013

This is an Italian Steakhouse and I have been here several time before and have been very impressed with the food and service. Last month (Dec., 2012) I arranged an intimate 60th Birthday party for my brother (20 people). The food; the staff; the atmosphere...simply outstanding! I made arrangements ahead of time for wine and appetizers to be on the table as the guests arrived...the staff did an outstanding job of making sure everything unfolded as I had desired. Everyone ordered off the menu and all the food was prepared expertly although, we did have to send 2 plates back because they were over-cooked...no problem. The steaks are outstanding as are all the other dishes. Nice wine selection, too. If price is not an issue, try the Chappellett Cab...very nice! And, if you have room for dessert you must order the chocolate lava cake...yum!!

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Thank Deborah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Meet another couple there for dinner on a week night and we were looking for a place to enjoy some great food and drink and get caught up with our lives. We hit the jackpot!! The food and atmosphere was fantastic. We had a couple cocktails before dinner and ordered a bottle of wine with dinner. The wine list had a fairly nice selection. It Is pricey but the food is well worth it. We all enjoyed our entries and the service was great! as well as very nice background music. To full for dessert so coffee and latte' it was!! We enjoyed a terrific evening with good friends, excellent food and wonderful atmosphere. This is a restaurant for people who enjoy fine dinning. I will definitely return now that I know about this little jewel in Wixom!!

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Thank nanci60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

How a high end restaurant can master excellent food consistently and disappoint diners with lousy service consistently is a wonder.

We have been here a few times prior to our three holiday lunches and accepted the so-so service. But with three lunches within a week, not only did the service get worse, management was oblivious from the time we entered to the time we left. In fact, ownership was not present at any time and that has filtered down to the staff.

Lunch salad entrees are fresh and portions are large. Excellent calamari, organic salmon, veal and scallops. Coffee is fresh. Bread is served with EVOO in a can, very Italian. No complaints about the food.

Being in business more than 10 years, my guess is the locals can't find anything better and put up with the attitude. Surely you will need to decide if and when you visit.

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1  Thank LGspartan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

They are on the "pricer" side as some would say, however their food is SOOOO worth it. One time they had an Asparagus Rissoto with Scallops special, and I still can't get over that and would love to know if and when they'd have it again. OMG!

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Thank DKH718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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