On our first day in San Francisco on our recent family trip, we decided to find somewhere to have dinner in the North Beach neighborhood. For those not familiar, this area is home to San Fran’s “Little Italy.” Being that it was a Monday evening, as well as Labor Day, our options were a little limited. After wandering Columbus Avenue for a bit we eventually settled on Trattoria Volare Caffe.
The host was outside the restaurant encouraging passerby’s to take a look at their menu. He was delighted when we agreed to come in for dinner. After he showed us to our table it took a little time for our server to get around to us. In the meantime, water as well as some bread and olives was delivered to the table. Eventually when our server found us, we had already decided on what we were going to have for dinner.
I ordered the Gnocchi Al Pesto – Volare’s own homemade potato dumplings in a basil pesto sauce ($13.90). The gnocchi itself was very fresh and cooked perfectly. The sauce was quite tasty and the addition of pine nuts helped add a little crunch. The dish is fairly heavy and eating more than half of it would have been a bad idea. Fortunately my wife and I agreed to share plates.
She ordered the Penne All’arrabiata, which is simply penne in a spicy tomato sauce ($12.90). As simple as the dish looks, the flavor was good. There is definitely a fair amount of spice to the sauce. Each dish was optionally topped with powdered Parmesan cheese, which was fine but I much prefer it fresh shredded on top.
The food from Trattoria Volare Caffe was overall very good. If the service were to improve I feel they could grow to become a top rated restaurant in the area.