Volo Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant located in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. Volo is run by Italians and opened its doors in the former location of Lumiere. During the COVID-19 crisis, Volo is forced to offer takeout only for its patrons. Since Ashley is a fan of authentic Italian cuisine, we decided to order a takeout dinner.
Volo's current takeout menu contains a variety of salads, antipasti, pastas, and entrees. Among the salad options, we ordered the Bietole (beets, arugula, goat cheese, honey vinaigrette) to share. The salad was a great starter to our meal with fresh ingredients. For an anitpasto, we ordered one of the Eggplant Parmigiana (baked eggplant, fresh mozzarella, tomato basil sauce, Parmesan). We received a generous portion of the eggplant appetizer. The tomato sauce was flavorful and the eggplant was baked perfectly. We enjoyed this dish immensely.
While placing our order, we learned that the squid ink linguine and bucatini are made in house. This information led us to try the Nero (squid ink linguine, shrimp, spicy tomatoes confit) and the Amatriciana (Mancini gregnano bucatini, pork jowl, tomato sauce). Ashley enjoys a good squid ink pasta dish and the Nero did not disappoint. Volo can adjust the spice level to your particular taste. The Amatriciana appears simplistic at first, but contains wonderful flavors and spices. The pork jowl adds complexity to the dish. Either pasta dish is a great option for your next takeout dinner.
Volo also offers a variety of affordable wines by the bottle with takeout orders. We decided to order a bottle of Sangiovese. The bottle we received was a Il Raffaello Sangiovese Di Toscana. It is a young Sangiovese that pairs well with pasta, pizza, and other Italian dishes. We recommend pairing it with a meal rather than drinking by itself.
When we called to place our order, the owner spent over ten minutes on the phone with Ashley. He talked about the fresh ingredients and spices used in their dishes. He also explained their vision and ideal experience for guests dining at the restaurant. After placing our order, he invited us to come visit when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. We appreciated the time he took to share information about Volo and hope to visit soon.
Ashley and I spent almost two weeks in Italy in May, 2019. We tried a wide range of Italian cuisine throughout the country. Volo's dishes share many similarities with what we ate during our travels. If you are craving the next best thing to eating it Italy, look no further than Volo. We cannot wait to try more items on Volo's menu soon.
Karaage is a Japanese dish where meat or vegetables are coated in potato starch and deep fried. Chicken is commonly used as the main protein. Making Karaage, or Japanese fried chicken, at home is not too difficult. You can make Karaage in your own kitchen by following the below recipe.
Karaage Ingredients for Serving 2 People
Preparation: 20 minutes
Marinating: 1 hour
Cooking: 25 minutes
1. Cut the chicken breasts into bitesize pieces.
2. Put the bitesize pieces of chicken in a plastic storage zipper bag.
3. Mix the sake, mirin, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a bowl.
4. Pour the marinade mixture in the plastic bag containing the chicken.
5. Seal the plastic bag and then shake it for 30 seconds.
6. Lay the plastic bag flat in the refrigerator and let it sit for 1 hour.
1. Remove the plastic bag from the refrigerator.
2. Heat oil in a pot or deep fryer over medium heat.
3. While oil is heating, spread out the potato starch on a flat kitchen dish.
4. Coat each piece of chicken in the potato starch.
5. Fry the coated chicken for about 4 minutes until it is golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Flip the chicken pieces halfway through to ensure they cook evenly.
6. Put the cooked pieces on a plate or serving dish with a paper towel to soak up any extra oil.
7. Serve with rice, cooked vegetables, or by itself.
Peppervine is a fine dining restaurant located in the SouthPark neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. Dinner is offered Monday through Saturday with brunch on Sunday. The décor inside Peppervine is breathtaking. Wooden sculptures hang from the ceilings. Wine cellars with glass windows offer a glimpse of critically acclaimed bottles. Beautiful art canvases are scattered throughout the dining space. The magnificent furnishings are reason enough to visit Peppervine for a cocktail.
Guests visiting Peppervine will not be disappointed with their seasonal menu. A wide range of seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes are available. The menu is separated between small and large plates. Small plates are generally the size of an appetizer. Large plates can serve as one person's main entrée. During my visit to Peppervine, three small plates and four large plates were ordered for a table of four.
One of the small plates was the popular Yeast Rolls. The order of Yeast Rolls comes in a cast iron tray with six buttery rolls. Ashley and I split an order of the Roasted Beets. We were impressed with the complex flavor profile of the dish. The Poached Pear & Arugula Salad was split between another couple. They thought the salad was very good and would order it again.
Our server recommended George's Bank Scallops and Charred Korean Beef Rib among the large plates available. Ashley ordered the scallops and thoroughly enjoyed it. Four large scallops were perfectly cooked with a nice crust on top. The parsnip cream paired well with the scallops and roasted vegetables.
I ordered the Charred Korean Beef Rib. I was surprised by the generous portion of bone-in beef. The Korean sauce smothering the meat was excellent. The beef was very tender and easy to pull of the bone. I liked the poached egg inclusion in the basmati "fried rice." Mixing the rice and beef together offered a colorful and flavorful combination. However, I found the rice was underwhelming when eaten separately. I would recommend this dish to anyone that enjoys a great piece of beef and Asian-inspired cuisine. Ashley and I shared Peppervine's olive oil cake for dessert. While I thought the cake was a tad dry, Ashley found it tasty. I would have liked it more with the delectable whipped cream served on top.
While I have praised the decorations and food, I need to save a few compliments for the wine list. Peppervine's extensive wine selection is found on an Apple Ipad. Guests are able to search and scroll through bottles of wine from all over the world. There were some fantastic bottles available to celebrate a special occasion. If you are looking for a bottle of wine under $75, I would recommend ordering one from their menu featuring wine by the glass. Ashley and I enjoyed a bottle of the Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir. We like Willamette Valley Pinots and this one did not disappoint.
The service we received at Peppervine was above average compared to other experiences in Charlotte. Our server was attentive, informative, and accommodating throughout the evening. Unfortunately, we did have one issue when our server went missing while we waited for the check. Beyond the service blemish, our evening at Peppervine was delicious and enjoyable. I believe Peppervine is one of the best restaurants in SouthPark and highly recommend it.