This Is Not a Drill: Elio Volpe Opens This Week

The Savio Volpe team just announced that it's "carefree cousin" restaurant is opening this week.

Cambie Village, it’s time to freak out. We’ve received word that Elio Volpe, the Banda Volpi group’s latest restaurant, is officially opening on March 14. Banda Volpi are the legends that brought us Savio (duh), Caffe La Tana and Pepino’s Spaghetti House (all finalists in our 2024 Restaurant Awards), and we’ve been anticipating this restaurant opening more than cinephiles anticipated Dune 2: Two Dunes (fine, I’ve not seen it, too busy having my sandworm-free ear to the ground for hot restaurant openings).

Elio Volpe’s head chef Alan Tam. Photo by Hakan Burcuoglu.

So forget Javier Bardem and Timothée Chameleon. Elio Volpe’s all-star cast is made up of Paul Grunberg (co-founder of Banda Volpi) Craig Stanghetta (of Ste Marie Studio, known for iconic restaurant design), Phil Scarfone (culinary director, known for having excellent opinions on where to eat), Alan Tam (head chef, known for his work at Nightingale), Vish Makeyar (executive sous chef, known for La Tana and Pepino’s) and Jessi Morton and Tanis Petrin (executive pastry chef and pastry chef, respectively).

Restaurant director Miguel Quezada. Photo by Hakan Burcuoglu.

When it comes to the customer-facing team, you can expect to be introduced to the warm, Italian coast-inspired room by restaurant director Miguel Quezada and operations director Jason Cisneros.

As per a release, here are some highlights from the menu:

  • Yellowfin tuna and scallop crudo (jalapeño, gooseberry, and basil)
  • Whole roasted branzino (grilled frisée and Meyer lemon)
  • Grilled lamb chops (celery leaf salsa verde, and fennel pollen)
  • Pepperone pizza (pomodoro, Castelvetrano olives, shaved button mushrooms)

Wine director Kristi Linneboe’s wine list promises a range of approachable bottles, “from a small, independently produced Muscadet to the energetic light-weight Mencia of one of El Bierzo, Spain’s most up-and-coming female producers.” And the cocktails? Bevvie director Amar Gill has seven Negronis in store, plus a signature gin sour cocktail called the Elio Sour (grapefruit hibiscus cordial, orange bitters, Lambrusco).

Now, for the part I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for—at least, it’s what I’ve been waiting for since Elio Volpe dropped one of the weirdest set of prelaunch photos we’ve ever seen. You recall the box of lemons next to insulation and the chicken on top of a pizza oven with a cardboard box inside, right? This one?

Photo: Ian Lanterman

Are the official launch photos just as weird? Yes, yes they are. Along with some beautiful sketches of the 4,200 square foot space (featured as the main image in this story), may we introduce Man in Tiny Swimsuit Jumps Into Ocean.

We love it, and we think we’ll love Elio Volpe, too. The restaurant opens at 540 West 17th Avenue on March 14. See you there?