Louisville’s been home to several outstanding Italian restaurants for decades and Volare Italian Ristorante, operating at its Frankfort Avenue location since 2004, has positioned itself as a stalwart in the local foodie scene.
Executive Chef and Managing Partner Josh Moore has been running the kitchen since 2005. His youthful smile belies his 25-plus years of experience apprenticing and moving his way up the pecking order in a restaurant kitchen.
But, it isn’t just Moore’s exceptional culinary chops that make this place a destination; it’s the Volare team along with Moore’s talent that makes for a satisfying night out.
“We call it ‘the Volare experience,’” Moore explained. “It starts with valet parking, our hostess station and front of house GM and Managing Partner Jonathan Tarullo adding his personal touch. Add our great atmosphere and live music and then the bar brings it all together. We’ve got the romantic, secluded area, the lively bar, and the private dining room. We have a lot of elements that go into giving our guests ‘the Volare experience.’”
Moore’s skills, honors, and accomplishments include: cooking at the James Beard House in 2013, the Chopped competition win in 2019, the Certified Angus Beef ambassador, the ever-popular Fish Friday creations, the sugar pulling and sugar blowing desserts, the ice sculptures, the fresh produce from Moore Farms, and the outstanding food and drink menus his team has crafted through the years.
But the humble Louisville native and proud Seneca High School alum knows none of it could be done alone.
“I love what I do and care about every dish that comes out of our kitchen,” Moore said. “I’ve been blessed with a tremendously passionate, dedicated, and loyal staff including my sous-chef who’s been with me for 14 years and our pastry chef who’s been with us for more than a decade.”
Tarullo’s been with Volare since July of 2016, first as GM, and loved it so much that he bought into the business as well. With the Executive Chef and General Manager both part of the ownership group, the investment from them goes far beyond monetary value.
And it shows. The Volare team delivers.
We call it ‘the Volare experience.’ It starts with valet parking, our hostess station and front of house, our GM Jonathan Tarullo and the amazing service. Add our great atmosphere and live music and then the bar brings it all together. We’ve got the romantic, secluded area, the lively bar, and the private dining room.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few restaurateurs, Dean Corbett and Vincenzo and Agostino Gabriele, some of the foundational members of the Louisville restaurant scene,” Tarullo said. “When I had the opportunity to come work here, it was a no-brainer. I’d come here on Sunday nights, kind of undercover, just for the diver scallops and beets. My wife and I had our third date here. We loved coming here while I was working elsewhere and it was a fairly standard date every Sunday.
“Chef’s touch on every dish; his personal touch on every ingredient that we source and fine tuning those things is special,” Tarullo said. “The customer service we provide each guest; the story behind each plate we deliver is unique. So much (produce) comes directly from his farm to your table and all of this sets him and us apart.”
You know you’re in for a treat the moment you enter the grounds. Maybe you were inspired by a social media photo of Moore grinning ear-to-ear holding up a giant fish early in the day on Fish Friday, describing what it is and what part of the world it was caught. His connection with Bluefin Seafoods and Joe Bonura has allowed Moore to bring in the finest, freshest seafood from around the world to your dinner plate.
It began Valentine’s Day weekend in 2013 and has been a staple for Volare regulars and seafood fans ever since. “Bringing in fresh fish is so much fun, people come in just for that,” Moore said. “My wife Lindsay told me that I should take a picture and post it on social media, and it’s taken off from there.”
Josh, Lindsay and their son Gibson work their 10-acre farm in Taylorsville. Moore Farms has expanded and that’s to the delight of any Volare guest. The heirloom tomatoes are known throughout the region, not just for their flavors, but for what Chef Moore does with them.
Volare is like that. At some point in your visit, you’ll be wowed. Whether it’s the efficient, friendly service, the delicious cocktails (try the Brooklyn, thank me later), the extensive wine list for all types, the bar bites or making your way through the entire menu, you’ll find your favorites, and you’ll be tempted to explore.