Fava Bean Bruschetta from Volturno Pizza on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MABeet Stuzzichino from Volturno Pizza on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA

The beet appetizer and fava bean bruschetta together made an excellent entrée for those saving a few carbs for dessert at Volturno. The beet ‘stuzzichino’ was a showstopper and consisted of golden and red beets, hazelnuts, and smoked goat cheese. The pureed golden beets were slightly sweet and unexpected against the classic cubed pickled red beets. Crumbled goat cheese and, more so, the whole hazelnuts brought the dish to a different place – each uniquely adding to the dynamic of the dish. Diced chive garnish added the final color of the rainbow and was more visual than discernable by the palate. No need to be a beet lover to enjoy this appetizer. If I were planning on sharing this dish, I would have preferred some toast for scooping. The fava bruschetta was unlike any I have ever tasted. A mixture of beans, pecorino cheese, red onion, and mint sat elegantly on top of two heavily buttered toasts.  While delicious and hearty, I thought the dish was slightly over salted, peppered, and buttered and would have benefited from being toned down a notch. Aside from my few overly critical notes, I was truly impressed by my meal and then dessert happened. Dessert was to die for. Hearth-baked pizza dough filled with warm Nutella and dusted with powdered sugar could have easily fed 4 or 5 people but instead I ate it almost completely by myself – not out of hunger, but out of pure self-indulgent pleasure. Volturno is not your average pizza place, instead, a trendy industrial styled hub with an open airy ambiance and unique and well-executed dishes. There’s nothing commonplace about this place and Volturno has made it into my top three restaurants on Shrewsbury Street. Congrats! –MO