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“So Bad I was looking around for cameras!!!”

Trattoria Volare Caffe
Ranked #3,099 of 5,800 Restaurants in San Francisco
Cuisines: Italian, Cafe
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: North Beach / Telegraph Hill
Reviewed February 18, 2013

To begin with I must say that this truly is a one star review. Due to the man who placed my reservation and the busing/kitchen staff during my birthday dinner. Both of them did a fabulous job and I wish them a better place to work!

I placed my birthday reservation a month in advance with Volare, because I was so excited that they had a projector in the restaurant and they were willing to play movies that suited my party theme. Their food is good, but hey it's North Beach so all the Italian food in this neighborhood is fabulous. I was blown away by how accommodating he was about being flexible with my reservation numbers, and requests that leaving a credit card to secure my large 10-possibly 25 person party reservation didn't bother me in the slightest. Even up to two days before my party when I dropped off the films I was so amazed with how much effort was going into making my night a great one. To say the least I gushed to friends and families about this restaurant.

To begin the night off I received a call to confirm my reservation (the one I made a month in advance, had met with the manager several times in re to, and had dropped of films for just two days prior), fine, but the message left was half of a sentence and when I tried to return there was no answer. Okay - she made a mistake and someone stopped her??

Then I arrive to the restaurant about 10 minutes early with two of my friends there, the waiting friend said the hostess said she has been trying to call me and I have not been answering my phone. The hostess/manager comes out to greet us, asks how many will be in my party????, I tell her the same thing, maybe 10, maybe 25 they will trickle in, it is a birthday not a wedding, people don't like to rsvp. She says we will need to wait outside until our whole party is there to sit!!!!!!!!!!! I then reiterated my prior arrangement and that I was okay to do so, otherwise I would have not picked that restaurant. She then goes back into the restaurant, leaving my now 4 other friends standing outside on the sidewalk.

The head chef/owner then comes out saying he had no idea my party could be so big, and he can't sit us if we are just going to sit there waiting for people. HOW RUDE!!! Why would we sit there wasting table space. I explained to him that we had plans to begin ordering and people would trickle in and order as the night went on. He said that he would seat us as soon as he had a table???? I have a one month old reservation!!! I should already have a table reserved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally after 30 minutes of standing outside me and my now 7 friends were seated super close to the screen that was supposed to be playing my films. As we walked to the table I asked the hostess about when the movies would begin and she said she would go look into it.She returned a few minutes later with the news that the projector was broken!!!!!!!!!!!

To say I was fuming at this point would be an understatement. I felt swindled. I told her that that was the ONLY reason I had booked this restaurant and if she could find out what could be done, since the films were tested two days prior and I was not notified of any issues. She said she would go look into it - this is the last time she visited the table throughout the next 3 hours we were at the restaurant, I only received quick glances as she walked the restaurant.

The service was abysmal from here. We waited another 20 minutes before drink and appetizer orders were forced upon the waiter who seemed to care less. Then after the drinks were SLOWLY received, we waited another long amount of time to order food and an even longer amount of time to receive it. He managed to ignore any new people joining the table and had to be "bothered" and waved at to return to our table at all - THIS IS WHY I HATE GUARANTEED TIPS!!!!!!!!!!! - I can't believe he got 18% for his horrible service. - I tipped out my busboys and kitchen staff, because they deserved it, but his tip I now consider theft.

If you are still ever thinking of subjecting yourself to this place, I will finish my tale with the fact that I had to ask for my films back(they were in the basement?), the owner or manager never apologized for anything that occurred and nothing was comped. I cut the night short at the restaurant and continued with cake and more drinks at the Savoy on Grant (FABULOUS!!)

I can't believe this business is still open after the night I had. I will tell everyone I know and any customers that ask for restaurant referrals about this experience and encourage them to seek better food/service elsewhere.

THIS IS NORTH BEACH - the other restaurants in the area should run you out of town!!! Shame on you!!!

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2  Thank Lillian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 - 58 of 111 reviews

Reviewed February 10, 2013

Interesting little place. Good quality food, prompt service. Gnocchi in Gorgonzola cream and spaghetti and meatballs fresh and delicious, Lemon sorbet with limoncello center was very nice.

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2  Thank FstEddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

I met up with some friends/employees from Long Beach years ago. We had a great time @ Volare! The waiters were very friendly & at our beck & call. The food was really good. I had Calamari to start. It was fried to perfection! My thin crust pizza was to die for! My Ceasar salad was very crisp & tasty! The desserts were on the house & very good! What a fabulous Saturday night in North Beach!

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2  Thank LAHLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

We were tickled to get a window seat on a beautiful but cool January Saturday afternoon. The service was prompt and friendly, and few items on the menu were off-limits for our discount entre. The salad was great - high quality mixed greens, and heavy on the spinach as we requested. The house
sangiovese was good, but a bit pricey at $20 for the half carraffe. We enjoyed a leisurely long lunch with no impatience from the waiter. He was very friendly and efficient. Was that a real Italian accent? Don't know, but it worked to set the atmosphere! The meals were very good, if a bit unremarkable (don't even remember what we got). Good value overall, even if we hadn't had the coupon.
I'd go again, and recommend to friends.

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1  Thank Cameron M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stumbled upon this restaurant a few months ago at the Columbus Day parade. Since then we have visited again and enjoyed our food, service--Mauricio our waiter--the best and of course, the vino. Thank you for a very nice experience in a relaxed, comfortable environment. Wishing you all continued success!

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1  Thank GinaB95380
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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