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  1. In the spirit of the Mattaponi River and its tributaries (I'm curious to see if anyone will figure this one out), the folks from Volt are planning to open Aggio near the Inner Harbor in the Power Plant Development. "Bryan Voltaggio To Open Restaurant In Baltimore" by Richard Gorelick on baltimoresun.com "Bryan Voltaggio: 'Baltimore's Restaurant Scene Is Ripe For Growth While D.C. Is Getting 'Saturated''" by Sarah Meehan on bizjournals.com
  2. I have never been to Volt, I keep saying it is on my list. I did try once when I was in Frederick for the day and they were closed for a private party. I am not a fan of Range, I have been there twice and very underwhelmed both times in service, and price for value. I can say that I do like Family Meal, having been there about a half dozen times the most recent on a weeknight about a month ago when I had to run an errand out there. The service there was really great at Family Meal with a young, fun, enthusiastic staff. I realize these three places are very different and the only thing in common is that Brian Voltagio owns all three places. I don't think he comes in very much to FM. The night I most recently went in was a night that Top Chef Masters was on and at 10pm when the show started it was not even playing on any of the tv's. Don - I know I got off topic but don't think we have a Brian Voltagio thread.
  3. I had a chance to swing by Family Meal this past weekend for lunch. I was surprised to find it in a pretty industrial part of town and it's essentially a shiny glass island of a building on a huge blacktop so it's easily found if you're not familiar with Frederick. Even though the place is pretty expansive, there was a constant flow of traffic the whole time I was there. The lunch menu is littered with a lot of familiar American classics like deviled eggs, fried chicken, burgers and shakes. But, if you're looking for something a little more interesting, you can also find crispy pig ears and duck poutine. I ordered the heirloom tomato gazpacho, fried chicken and banana split. The gazpacho was a refreshing start which included two generous chunks of shrimp and a dollop of avocado. The fried chicken was nicely crispy on the outside and really moist on the inside. The side of hot sauce was something new for me when paired with fried chicken and gave it a nice additional flavor. The banana split is more like banana slices on top of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream. I liked the thinner spoon size slices of banana and the bourbon vanilla ice cream stood out in the dessert. I liked the overall experience of the restaurant but I don't know if I would recommend a road trip just to go there. However, if you're in the area or it's not too far out of the way, then it would be worth your while.
  4. Lunchbox is now open daily for lunch (11:30am to 6:30pm) and is a really sweet place. Their website mentions that they are adjacent to the public library, but actually the entry is off the Carroll Creek Promenade's walkway reached from between the side of the Library and their building. [We initially walked into the library and ultimately got directions from staff. "Where's Lunchbox?" is currently their #1 FAQ] The restaurant backs up to the Carroll Creek Deck [44 East Patrick Street], but is only entered through the door facing the Creek. Lunchbox has windows on three sides that bring in abundant sunlight. Tables included 2 and 4-tops as well as a picnic table with benches. Seating was tight when we arrived, but a table opened up before our food was ready. In articles about the planning for this site, Chef noted that he wanted to have a mom & kid-friendly place. It has a super large washroom including a "real" changing table stocked with ample clean diapers and wipes. On the down-side, I'm not sure how strollers would navigate the elevator-less garage and stairs-only access to their front door. Lunchbox's menu is separated into pressed sandwiches, soup, salads and cookies. Lunch today, split with my +1, was a wedge salad [good amount of blue cheese, but the lettuce was shredded instead of wedged], butternut squash soup [spicy with glowing turmeric] and a pilgrim sandwich [very moist, warm & meaty inside and crispy outside - thanks to their Electrolux Pannini Press w/built-in microwave] . There's good post-meal strolling and shopping (antiques, furnishings and vintage women's clothes) on Patrick Avenue. More detail from Adrienne Lawrence and Bethany E. Starin's article in the Town Courier [there aren't as many food options on their current menu]. What's next? According to Washingtonian: a diner located in a former car dealership, Range (a meat-centric place in Chevy Chase), and North Market Kitchen in Frederick. Sadly, in January, they will cease weekday lunch service at VOLT.
  5. Serendipity led me to Bryan Voltaggio's blogfor his upcoming restaurant Volt in Frederick, MD. It appears that they are targeting mid-July for an opening date. I only had lunch once at Charlie Palmer's when Voltaggio was there and my friend and I had a very good meal, but nothing exciting. I have to say, though, that his blog makes me excited for Frederick. They need this place, so I hope they support him. Check out the cheese they're planning on using! Someone needs to give the Tasting Room a kick in their ass b/c I think they became complacent a while ago. If you go to page twoof the blog entries you can see a video of the space post-demo and pre-construction. It was neat to see the inside of the bay window that I longed to be part of my apartment; looks like it'll be used as a private party room for 10 people. In general, it looks like this place will be small. The video said the restaurant will seat 38! They'll have to have a pretty high price point to pay for the real estate and renovations to this place on top of the high quality of ingredients and staffing I'm sure he has planned. The Tasting Room thrives b/c the swanky fishbowl environment draws in the trendy drinkers who like to be seen. Volt won't have that to fall back on. They'll just have to knock folks' socks off with damn good cooking in a cool, seemingly more quiet atmosphere. Best of luck to them and I look forward to making the trip back up 270. ETA: Looks like the total capacity is more like 100. Pax, Brian
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