228 North Market Street
Frederick, MD 21701
Normally I wouldn’t write about a restaurant outside of NYC, but since Volt has attained fame on a national level, I thought I would blog about it. I don’t even watch Top Chef but I know a lot of my friends do. All I knew beforehand was that there were two brothers Voltaggio on the show. One won and the other was the runner-up. The latter, Bryan, runs the kitchen at Volt in Frederick, MD.
In historical downtown Frederick, Volt resides in a stunning warm red brick building that used to be the home for six spinster sisters.
Top Chef enthusiast Esther had snared the private dining room for our larger group. This dining room was a solarium. While this sounds pleasant in theory, on a sunny afternoon, it’s not so desirable. I was sweaty and blinded and considered donning my sunglasses. Maybe some blinds would be wise. On the upside, at least there was oodles of light to help my pictures look pretty.
Our server was on point and very professional. The service was just like any starred restaurant in NYC. We all had the $55 lunch tasting menu. Complimentary sparkling or still water was served. A couple of folks had bloody marys and highly recommended them.
I’m going to cobble this together from various menus posted on the website.
Breadsticks: the spice choices were a little harsh for such a simple item, but that’s just my thought.
Bread: a basket of options came round. I picked the chive biscuit. I think you were supposed to pick one, but a few of us tried two. I had a bit of the chocolate croissant, fantastic. The Vermont butter pushed the biscuit into lip smacking good territory.
Tuna tartare amuse bouche: nothing to say except that this was exceptional! I wish this were one of the courses instead of the other fish dish.
Tasting of Tuscarora farm beets: as anti-beet person, I can’t admit I loved this dish. But I learned that there are different varieties of beets, of different shades of the rainbow. Out of all the colors, I liked the dark purple beet the best. The meringue beet (the violet styrofoam-like cylinder) dissolved on your tongue.
Cherry Glen Farm goat cheese ravioli: the general consensus was that this course was one of the showstoppers of the meal. If this were a Broadway musical, this would be the part when the diva finishes her big number and the audience leaps to their feet to applaud. The squash sauce was a yummy pairing. I don’t know about all this foam business though; sage foam didn’t really add much to the overall effect but look like dishwashing bubbles. Though I did like the little maitake mushrooms.
Fish: The beans look like caviar but are definitely not fish eggs. Were the cauliflower dyed or naturally those hues? I guess we’ll never know. White fish rarely dazzles me. This sturgeon was fine but nothing to put you in a pleasure stupor.
Meat: solid steak. Unfortunately this one left less of an impression, not because it was bad, but maybe since it came towards the end of the meal.
Goat Cheesecake: for me, goat cheese is a little too caustic for cheesecake; I simply prefer more mellow cheesecake (hello, cream cheese).
All in all, $55 well spent. Volt is at full capacitance and electrically charged. So when you hear Volt, don’t think about Chevy’s lame new car but about this charming, fantastic gem in old Frederick, MD.