The name ‘Osteria Le Volte‘ may cause some perplexity. As it goes, the name ‘osteria’ in Italy is used to describe a place that serves simple food and wine. Although this has changed over the years, it still has a veil of sparsity hanging over it.
It would therefor be an understatement to call ‘Le Volte’ a mere Osteria.
The surprise starts when walking through the small glass entry door. You’ll find yourself suddenly in what appears to be a small cave, a cavern of taste. This is perhaps always been the idea of chef and owner, Angelo Argento. He carefully recovered an old warehouse in a restaurant. A place to share with his customers. And where to share revisited traditional dishes, with a remarkable respect for genuine ingredients. The overwhelming simplicity is by far the protagonist.
Position Osteria Le Volte
The small mountainous town of Piana Degli Albanesi lays about 25 kilometres from Palermo. Founded by Albanian immigrants over five hundred years ago, until today people strongly and proudly hold on to this heritage. Noteworthy is the fact they speak Albanian among them.
Osteria Le Volte is on main street, right in front of the church.
A central place, and therefor interesting when visiting the city. Especially for those who prefer to travel by themselves. It is ideal as starting or finishing point of a highly personalised tour.
The menu is ever changing, following the availability of the ingredients. Seasonability of the raw materials is essential to chef Argento. Offering local and fresh ingredients are the basis of his culinary philosophy.
When we visited there were five starters on the menu. We had grilled cheese with honey and pistacchio and battered vegetables with honey and mustard.
Four were the pasta dishes, with meat or with vegetables and ricotta. And four are also the choices of meat dishes, all accompanied by potatoes or vegetables. Among the three delicious desserts, of course, the pride of Piana degli Albanesi, the cannolo. And how not to join the praise for this Sicilian masterpiece in unison. The cannolo of Piana is truly amongst the finest on this island. And at Le Volte you can have them.
The two waitresses are priceless. They accomodate and serve with a never ending smile. Radiating that typical warm Sicilian sense of hospitality. Well, Sicilian-Albanese in this case. The dining hall is small -with a maximum capacity of thirty covers- and next to the highly organised kitchen of chef Argento. A soothing sight one may catch when dishes are brought out.
Mood at Osteria Le Volte
Although it was a beautiful autumn day, a chill wind blew from mount Pizzuta (Arbëreshëvet in Albanese). Much in contrast to the warmth we found inside the Osteria. Part of the walls are covered in local stone. And nicely balanced with brick arches. The name, ‘Le Volte’ , the Vaults refers to these arches.
Who expects to find a highly refined and luxurious setting may remain disappointed. While those who expect to find a Osteria will be pleasantly surprised.
All clients will immediately be immersed in the cosiness of the place. They manage perfectly to balance a homely atmosphere, where one relaxes thoroughly, with the genuinely of refined food and a close relationship between chef-owner and clients.
This is the ideal place to visit with friends. A place where good food and fine dining are not subjected to coldness nor snobbery. And with the ever changing menu, one has another good reason to return.
We paid somewhere under thirty euros per person. It must be said we opted for the house wine. The bill expresses the perfect between price and quality. The menu is characterised by lesser known Sicilian dishes, and therefor truly interesting. Actually, many of these dishes, eaten at ‘Osteria Le Volte’ deserve more attention and recognition
Nasuki: Le Volte
We fully embrace the philosophy of this Osteria. High quality ingredients, genuine food, affordable prices. Great taste in cooking and setting. The translation of Volte in Vault not only seems to refer to the arches. This is a vault that hosts a treasure.