Volo - Bend Oregon
Volo RestaurantVolo is awesome and if you have the opportunity to enjoy a meal of small and large plates at Volo, I highly recommend it. I've been to Volo a few times. Once just for drinks when they first opened, once with visiting family where we sampled almost all of the small plates and a variety of specialty drinks, and most recently, for dinner with the wife.
I would have posted about my earlier visits but for some reason, without the photos, I don't think the review is worthwhile. I made sure to bring the camera to dinner. It was a busy Saturday night and we didn't have a reservation. We settled on eating at the bar which is rather comfortable. Just after our drinks arrived, the hostess said that they could seat us at a table if we like. We got the corner table in the back room with a full view of the entire restaurant.
Our waitress, Erin (who was also our waitress on the visit with family), went over the menu changes and gave us her recommendations as well as answered any and all questions that we had.
We started off with a couple plates of the baby greens. The wife chose the lemon vinaigrette and I took the balsamic. We both agreed that we picked correctly. For a $4 salad, it was quite large and was very good. But since it was just a salad, I didn't take the camera out.
When we eat at the fine dining restaurants which obviously are the more expensive restaurants in Bend, we tend to map out a plan for dinner. Like, if I get this, you get that, and we'll swap plates half way through. On this visit, we decided on three small plates and then one large plate and we'd just eat whatever. We selected the Sweetbreads, scallops, and crab cake as our starters and the Organzola Filet as our main dish.
MMMM mmmm, Sweetbreads!! Probably my favorite dish at Volo. Who are the ad wizards that came up with this one? Taking the thymus gland out of the neck of a cow, pig, or lamb, bread it and fry it up like a piece of chicken and then call it Sweetbreads! That's just brilliant. Sort of like calling boiled (or steamed) soy beans something sexy like edamame.
All that aside, the thymus gland at Volo is awesome. Light and crispy breading that is seasoned nicely and served over a bed of Spaetzle (like a mini dumpling) and bacon. The beef Sweetbreads sort of taste like fried chicken if you stretch it.
The scallops were prepared with a port reduction and served with peaches (stone fruit on the menu). Erin recommended this one and we went back and forth throughout dinner about the idea of seafood and fruit. On the first taste I didn't really care for scallop and peach. I liked the port reduction just fine but as I tried the peach with the scallop, it didn't get better. Beautifully presented, scallops cooked perfectly, the port reduction was a great addition and made for a savory dipping sauce, but I'd rather have a slab of pork belly instead of those peaches.
The crab cake is also one of my favorites. The actual crab cake is chuck full of crab instead of a jambalaya of veggies. The veggies were outside, where they belong, and actually quite nice. The combo of Jicama, English Cucumber, and mango (again seafood and fruit = weird) were actually quite refreshing. So the scallops matched with peaches didn't take but this small amount of mango with the Jicama actually went well together.
Finally we enjoyed the Oregonzola crusted Filet served with a potato puree, spinach and a Fig Balsamic Jus. At first I thought the entire filet was crusted but was pleased to find out that only the Gorgonzola was crusted. The filet was perfectly prepared medium rare and melted in my mouth. We grubbed up the steak and enjoyed every bite. The only knock on this dish was the spinach. It was basically steamed spinach...without any seasoning. I think it's funny that the only bad things I have to say about Volo comes with the veggies and fruit. Everything else was insane!
The service was amazing. Erin rocked. Andy, the GM helped us pick some wines that went perfectly with dinner, and the (I don't want to offend but don't know what else to call him) bus boy was on top of things with clearing our plates, restocking the silverware, and refilling the water. My water glass NEVER made it passed half filled (as opposed to half empty).
Brilliant dinner, excellent service, great food, all in all, a phenomenal experience. I can't leave you without mentioning the price. Dinner for two can easily take you over $100. Our dinner was $110 not counting the tip. But for a nice night out, it's well worth it.
919 NW Bond St
Bend, OR 97701