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Volt, on Market Street in Frederick - Chef Bryan Voltaggio comes from Charlie Palmer Steak - Closed


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Does anybody know if they keep a waiting list?

They do. I had requested a reservation several months ago. I couldn't get one but asked to be put on the waiting list. The morning of the day I wanted the reservation for they called with a cancellation and asked if I still wanted a reservation.

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Closed! Buried in this Frederick News-Post article about the state of downtown business: https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/economy_and_business/retail/downtown-frederick-to-welcome-new-and-u

Any recent diners?  Going up there for lunch this week on a whim - still up to par? --- Self-update here.  Went for a lunch yesterday before hitting up Black Ankle Vineyards.  Appetizers wer

We ate at Table 21 last night and spent time in the bar beforehand.  Yes, the website is a mess with outdated and conflicting info; staff says they are aware of the issue.  There is a small bar menu b

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Got a phone call yesterday that they had a cancellation for next Saturday night, table for 4, at Table 21. SATURDAY! So, yes, the waiting list works. And sometimes, you get advance notice! Volt Saturday night, DR picnic Sunday...Better get my sans-a-belt slacks ready

OMG so totally worth every single penny it cost. The food, the service, the kitchen, the staff - fantastic evening. Putting our names back on the wait list....

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My girlfriends and I trekked up to Volt for our annual holiday dinner outing and were not disappointed, even after the 1 hour + drive. I'm not sure I'd rush back because of the distance, but that's not meant to be a slight on the food in any way.

I will comment on the service though. Everyone was very nice and gracious, but our service was a little too formal/stilted at times. While we were looking at the drinks and wine menu the waiter asked if he could bring over the dinner menu (we actually wished it had been given to us when we were seated so we could consider drinks and wine to go with our food choices). I liked that they explained each dish that came out, but each comment was preceded by "Miss" and got a little old. I think I was called "Miss" at least 10-15 times throughout the meal. I get that they are trying to be polite, but it was sort of a joke to us at the end.

But, on to the food. They brought out some house-made breadsticks at the beginning dusted with black pepper and fennel pollen. Good, but not amazing. The taste from the chef was a small pastry with arctic char mousse (I wish I could remember a better description). I'm not a huge char fan, but I actually really liked the bite. The bread basket is insane with at least 5-6 choices (bacon biscuit, some other biscuit, cornbread, sea salt roll, kalamata bread and a sourdough with prosciutto). I of course had to try both of the breads with pork products! I didn't pick up much of the prosciutto taste in the sourdough slice, but the bacon biscuit was amazing. I was tempted to have another, but knew I had a lot of food ahead of me.

Three of us started with the cherry glen farm goat cheese ravioli (butternut squash, oyster mushrooms, toasted pumpkin seed, celeriac 12). This may have been my favorite thing I ate all night. I am slightly obsessed with both goat cheese and butternut squash at the moment, so I was in heaven. Three little, tender raviolis surrounded by mushrooms, squash chunks and a delicious sauce, all topped with sage "air." Fall on a plate. The fourth in our group had the yellowfin tuna tartare (avocado, chili oil, petite cilantro, soy air, marinated whitefish roe 14). I didn't have any of her tuna, but she loved the dish. I did have a bit of the avocado mousse that ran the length of the plate and it was quite interesting and tasty.

Our main dishes included sturgeon (cauliflower variations, cilantro, beluga lentils, chickpea socca, ver jus 31), freebird farms roasted chicken (ruby beet risotto, prosciutto, braised leeks, maitake mushrooms, golden beet fricassee 29), border springs farm lamb (mission fig, licorice, farro, madras curry, merguez sausage, roasted cauliflower 34) and red wattle pork roasted loin and braised belly (brussels sprouts, parsnips,hernandez sweet potato 31). All plates ended up clean. The bites I had of the sturgeon, chicken and lamb were all good. The merguez had a great spice to it and the chicken was especially moist and tasty. I enjoyed my pork dish, but would maybe try something different next time. Everything tasted great, but nothing was extremely special or different.

For dessert we split the textures of chocolate (ganache, chocolate caramel, pistachio, raw organic cocoa 8) and were rewarded with a think band of dark chocolate ganache garnished with pistachio ice cream, pistachio "dust," and dollops of chocolate caramel and lemon sauces. It was extremely rich, and I'm not sure how one person could eat it on their own, but split amongst four it was perfect.

Before the check we were offered a small plate of cookies and candies to share, and with the check were brought two chocolate chip cookies in a to-go bag to take home. We were too stuffed at the time to try them, but I managed to sneak a bite at home before my fiance ate them and those were of course tasty as well.

All in all I'm very glad I made it up to Frederick to try out Volt and would love to go back some time and maybe pair it with an afternoon of walking around the cute downtown area. It was fun to see it all decked out in Christmas lights last night!

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FINALLY got to Volt today for a late lunch to celebrate my birthday with a few kind friends who were crazy enough to skip out on work to join me. Phenomenal meal. For the price ($55 + $35 for wine pairings for the 5 course) I had one of the most outstanding meals which was, most notably, undeserving of any criticism with one teeny tiny exception - why do they wait to bring you the menu until you've ordered your drinks??!!

Other than that, the dishes were executed perfectly with wine pairings that were a good to great match and we were left quite full, I couldn't ask for any more. I took pictures and will post those with additional details on the dishes, jut wanted to share my initial impression, which was quite high. I am adding Volt to my small but substantial list of reasons why I should move to Frederick. :)

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undeserving of any criticism with one teeny tiny exception - why do they wait to bring you the menu until you've ordered your drinks??!!

If you ever go out to dinner with Mark Slater, and the server hands out the menus as soon as you sit down, Mark is likely to put on his Mean Face and say to the server, "Do you see a drink in my hand?"

(A lot of people like to sit down and relax with a cocktail before even thinking about food, especially in a fine-dining environment).

Cheers,

Rocks

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If you ever go out to dinner with Mark Slater, and the server hands out the menus as soon as you sit down, Mark is likely to put on his Mean Face and say to the server, "Do you see a drink in my hand?"

(A lot of people like to sit down and relax with a cocktail before even thinking about food, especially in a fine-dining environment).

Cheers,

Rocks

At the same time, a lot of people like to settle in with a good couple of menus -- drinks, wine and food all of them. ;-)

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(A lot of people like to sit down and relax with a cocktail before even thinking about food, especially in a fine-dining environment).

Well those people can just not open their menus. :)

I don't always order a cocktail. Often I order a glass of wine as my cocktail so I like to know what I might have with my food so I don't duplicate it before my meal so I guess that's the other side of it. Didn't matter here, I knew I wanted bubbles so I ordered some bubbles. :)

Obviously I am not really bothered by this, I was just curious to the reasoning as it was clearly intentional, not a problem with the service. Thanks for the explanation.

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Lunchbox is now open daily for lunch (11:30am to 6:30pm) and is a really sweet place.

[...]

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.

The other day, a friend said to me, "so ... with Bryan Voltaggio opening a half-dozen restaurants, do you still think Volt is 'the best restaurant in Maryland,' like you said it was when it first opened?"

I had no good answer. But I can assure you that the Vacu-Press (that would be the press, which is vacuous) has latched onto Volt & Co. (*) like their careers were depending on it.

In 2012, I think we should start a new thread: "Star Fuckers: Boot-Licking Edition."

(*) BTW, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about Bryan Voltaggio, professionally or personally; quite the contrary, actually - he sure seems like a good guy to me, and I've never had anything less than a stellar meal under his supervision.

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Just found out that Volt is changing their reservation policy for Table 21 (and also kicked their price up to $150/person!). You can reserve for up to a month in advance. Reservations seem pretty easy to come by, compared to my prior (futile) attempts.

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Mrs. G and I drove to Frederick Sunday and ate at Volt for the first time. We decided to try the three course fixed price brunch. Given that this was our first visit I can't say if Volt is improving or going down hill; but we couldn’t have been more pleased. All of the staff we met were courteous and helpful. The dining room was comfortable and roomy. Most importantly the food itself was unusual and delicious. The brunch menu (and others) is on line at their website.

The only complaint we had is that it is a good hour’s drive from our house in Springfield. Given that, we are not likely to eat dinner there, but we will definitely be back for brunch.

I posted one photo of the meal here. Here is another of my second course, the French toast d’anjou pear, pecans, bourbon, sweet cream.

post-7086-0-13913300-1358176377_thumb.jp

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A wedding gift in the form of a very generous gift card had as and another couple at Volt last night. Just so happened that they released their new menu this weekend and brought in the a la carte option back...I'm not sure if this was the reason, but Voltaggio was in the kitchen and was definitely expediting and heavily involved in the plates (sitting at one of the non-Table 21 chefs tables gave us a great view into the kitchen).

When looking at the menu, the options were tasting or the a la carte side...since there were four of us, and conveniently four options within each of the four (non-dessert) menu options we essentially said "bring us one of every option and we'll share them". This ended up being a great strategy as we were able to work our way through the entire menu (including all of the dishes on the tasting menu side, with the exception of a rabbit plate that sounded wonderful). The menu is currently online so I simply copied it below. I'll add my thoughts on the dishes that I felt were the highlights but I truly felt that all the dishes were well executed:

Fruit's & Vegetables:
SPRING PEAS buttermilk, shrimp, peanuts | 10 - This might have been my favorite dish of the night. Peas with an impossibly vibrant green sauce, with perfectly cooked pieces of shrimp dotted on the plate. This dish made me think of spring and was extremely refreshing (served cool)
YOUNG CARROTS baked in aromatic salt crust, marsh samphire, sheep’s milk | 10
GREEN STRAWBERRIES surryano ham, bitter and sweet greens and herbs | 14 - This was another great dish, it actually is also served with house made burrata which was a wonderful creamy addition to the dish that really picked up the sharp tang of the green strawberries.
MOREL MUSHROOMS pickled ramps, sprouted wheat, sea lettuces | 18
Pasta:
CORN GNOCCHETTI fish pepper, charred leeks, fava beans, purslane | 10 - The table felt the pasta courses were some of the strongest of the night and this was the one I liked the most. The table did fight for essentially every dish as we passed them so I feel very confident saying these are ALL worth ordering. The corn gnocchetti was really nicely done and burst with corn flavor.
STINGING NETTLE RADIATORE pork belly, leaf mustard, cippolini onion | 11 - The pork belly literally was one of the more perfectly cooked that I've ever had. I really liked the radiatore pasta.
CUTTLEFISH BOLOGNESE miso cavatelli, ink paint, parmesan | 12 - While I liked this (as did my table mates), know it is strong in its fish flavor, but a very nice plate.
SOURDOUGH LINGUINI olde salt clams, smoked potato, chives | 14
Fish:
RAZOR CLAM wood sorrel, horseradish, toasted yogurt, grapefruit | 14
BLUE CRAB FROM GULF COAST sprouted quinoa porridge, asparagus, egg custard | 19 - a great marriage of simple flavors, I could've eaten a few of these. The nicely sized pieces of crab working well with the quinoa and egg custard.
COD CHEEKS charred spring garlic, smoked raisin, pickled grapes | 23
BUTTERFISH wilted green cabbage, chorizo, purple top turnips, mustards, green apple | 25 - This was the other highlight of the fish courses for me. I loved the wilted cabbage with the chorizo as they added a nice punch to the mild butterfish.
Meat & Game:
CHICKEN LIVER pickles, radish, rye toast | 16 - I am a sucker for chicken liver and this was perfectly smooth and an excellent rendition.
YOUNG CHICKEN wilted red ribbon dandelion, sunchokes, black trumpet mushrooms, dates | 23
PORK AND BEANS fragrant legume broth, fava beans, red pearl onions | 29 - The favas were a bright addition here to the well cooked pork. The bartender had mentioned this was her favorite new dish and I can clearly see why.
LAMB hulled barley, slow braised neck, chick peas, lacinato kale | 33 - This was my personal favorite. Perfectly cooked lamb with the slow braised neck gave two nice texturally different tastes of lamb.
Dessert:
CHOCOLATE marshmallow, crushed chocolate chip cookie frozen custard, salted peanuts | 11 - We deviated from our "try every course" b/c this sounded so good (and our waiter when we asked if we were missing anything by going this way, couldn't really come up with anything that was must have aside from this)...it was as delicious as it sounds.
The only knock I would say was that I felt the wine list favored the high end of the price range. Maybe I'm spoiled, and the wine director and I were talking about how awesome the wine list was at Range, but I didn't feel like there was a whole lot below the 90 dollar a bottle range worth ordering...that said, it was also tough to go the bottle route with such a wide variety of dishes (we went with two light italian reds and both were excellent).
We had pre-dinner cocktails at the bar and I REALLY liked their take on an old fashioned, with aged rum vs. bourbon.
Service was also spot on, never feeling overbearing while always present when something was needed.
I will definitely go back to Volt, although in the future I may try to grab two seats at the bar and eat there, I'm very glad we took the opportunity afforded us to enjoy sitting with a view of the kitchen to watch them work. It was very cool to watch how fluid it was as opposed to some kitchens which seem to have a frenetic pace to them...this looked like a well oiled machine last night - and the food it produced certainly was expertly cooked & composed.
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Has anyone eaten at the bar or on the patio recently? The website seems to indicate that there is indeed a separate menu available only at these locations, but when you click on menus only lunch and dinner come up. I'm wondering if there is a different, perhaps less expensive option for the bar or patio?

Otherwise, has anyone been recently who can make recommendations from the current a la carte menu?

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We ate at Table 21 last night and spent time in the bar beforehand.  Yes, the website is a mess with outdated and conflicting info; staff says they are aware of the issue.  There is a small bar menu but unless you can snag a seat at the bar I would not recommend the sofa as a welcoming place to eat. At the bar, a couple was devouring an impressive looking burger along with a salad with seafood.

Table 21 experience was great, service was terrific, the explanations of each dish served was appreciated and pacing was lovely.  Graham R. tamped down his Mohawk but he was pleasant and pleased all 8 at the 21 table were having a good time.  Cost is $150 per (plus $95 wine pairing if you opt for it - ample pours and well chosen selection), reasonable considering the number of small courses served, the wide range of ingredients & skill involved.  We were wondering when would the shouting and screaming start in the kitchen but alas it was an orchestrated affair with professionalism and a serene-like atmosphere with the various sous chefs.

I am not a fan of molecular cuisine but 21 was a special experience with only a few misses.  Below are highlights served - the menu for the main dining room and Table 21 changes frequently from what I understand so this may be irrelevant for future diners.  We were concerned the amount of food - 21 plates! - would be difficult to consume but that proved otherwise - small portions with intense flavors.

Lamb with babganoush and basil flowers (delicious)

Deviled Egg in a celeriac macaroon with sturgeon roe atop  (a very different take on picnic food)

Yellow Fin Tuna with avocado and green apple sauce, pine nut and soy (a knockout!)

Summer Beans with goat ricotta and fava bean hummus

Sourdough Linguini with salted baby clams and smoked potato  (some did not like this for the texture, I loved it)

Calamari Bolognese (standard on the dinner menu, never had it before but its a classic)

Black Sea Bass with celeriac, fermented turnip and basil  (yowza, great dish)

Monkfish with brown rice congee, country ham and expresso  (yup, sounds oddball but very interesting flavors)

Pork braised cheek and jowl, pear onion, fava beans and celeriac (ditto on this)

Monocacy Ash goat cheese with pear, almond, flowers and vanilla brioche (superb!)

Chocolate toasted marshmallow with peanuts and caramel

What did not work so well for me: chocolate popsicle, "aviation" with maraschino, gin and crème de violette (frozen and unpleasant taste to start the session), biscuit stuffed with pimento cheese (ugh), carrots baked in salt crust (lotta work involved, little payoff for the diner), a cold raw oyster with basil and tomato (struck out at that point in the service like an out of tune note).

Obviously, others will differ.  Overall, a fun experience well worth the trip up from the flea bitten burgh in Fairfax where I live.  I would and will go back.

Not having been to Frederick for years, I was impressed with the growth and activities going on downtown.

Lunch at Family Meal was disappointing in many respects.  Floor service was great - contrary to other reports - and our waitress was helpful in navigating the menu.  Chicken pot pie fritters were very good ( 5 small tidbits per order) & an "adult" milkshake with Buffalo Trace bourbon, vanilla ice cream, mint and cookie crumbles were the only two standouts.  The rest of the meal was not note worthy - fried chicken and duck fat fried potatoes were, um, average.  An upscale diner best left for local Frederick-ians, not worth a special trip.

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Lunch at Family Meal was disappointing in many respects.  Floor service was great - contrary to other reports - and our waitress was helpful in navigating the menu.  Chicken pot pie fritters were very good ( 5 small tidbits per order) & an "adult" milkshake with Buffalo Trace bourbon, vanilla ice cream, mint and cookie crumbles were the only two standouts.  The rest of the meal was not note worthy - fried chicken and duck fat fried potatoes were, um, average.  An upscale diner best left for local Frederick-ians, not worth a special trip. 

We're thinking of going up there next Saturday for brunch at Volt since we have kids and the brunch is perfect for us in that situation. Then maybe doing dinner at Family Meal after pumpkin picking and other activities at one of the farms. Is Family Meal worth dinner there since we're already there, or should we just leave with the pleasantness of our brunch at Volt and do dinner back home or somewhere along the way? Different situation from making a special trip for it since we're in the neighborhood as were you.

Lunch at Family Meal was disappointing in many respects.  Floor service was great - contrary to other reports - and our waitress was helpful in navigating the menu.  Chicken pot pie fritters were very good ( 5 small tidbits per order) & an "adult" milkshake with Buffalo Trace bourbon, vanilla ice cream, mint and cookie crumbles were the only two standouts.  The rest of the meal was not note worthy - fried chicken and duck fat fried potatoes were, um, average.  An upscale diner best left for local Frederick-ians, not worth a special trip.

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With kids in tow and post pumpkin picking, it might be a nice way to end the day IF you come with low expectations.  As I noted: not worth making the effort to drive to Frederick for Family Meal itself.  But, as you will be there anyways...FM has a "kids" section on the menu (no insult intended as I don't know the age of yours) and the dinner menu is a tad different - in pricing and selection - than lunch.  Web site menus have not been updated but it gives a general idea of what you can expect at dinner.

As others have said, stick with simpler fare and go with the flow if you go.  I should mention we enjoyed FM's deviled eggs - served with sour cream, not mayo, and crumbled bacon on top.  The appetizers were the best part of our lunch. Our waitress raved about the new menu additions of a shrimp roll and crab cakes but those are widely available elsewhere so we ordered otherwise (perhaps a mistake).

On the other hand, you might consider other options for day-end dinner.  I heard very nice comments about Olives, is on N. Market down the street from Volt, which purportedly has good pizza and several other items.  Funny enough, two of our table mates at 21 headed to Olives for a pizza after dinner!  Don Rock's DC dining board listings for Frederick might offer an alternative for you and the family.

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Maybe this will attract some tomatoes judging from the posts above but, we mostly report whatever we really think here, right? Not sure if Volt is one of the "sacred cows" or not.



Tonight was my second visit to Volt in 4 years. The first time we enjoyed it and thought it fine but, being candid, not worth the money for a return visit unless we did Table 21.  That plan still hadn't materialized when friends from Philly invited us to join them in celebrating a birthday at Volt tonight.  So, with nice weather, a fuzzy but positive recollection and high expectations, off we went.



IN BRIEF



Just as I remembered from four years back. Nothing bad. Much pretty good. Quality seasonal ingredients (important since it all starts with that).  Generally excellent though stilted service.



But, way too much going on in all dishes requiring both extensive narration on the part of servers and real focus and recall on the part of we diners.  Too many components to most dishes.  Too much effort to demonstrate most every technique imaginable (dust? check.  sous vide? yep. fermenting and pickling? check again, etc, etc.  Generally beautiful presentation.  Fine.  Not worth the money in my humblest of opinions. My confusion and disappointment with Volt isn't so much that it's heavily reliant on molecular gastronomy.  Rather, it's that culinary gymnastics and visual art get in the way of memorable flavors.



THE REST OF THE STORY



I won't détail venue or much else aside from the food since Volt is a very well known quantity to most at this point.  Service was very earnest and attentive though the youth and relative inexperience of many of the servers was evident.  We had most of the menu with different members of our party ordering each of two tasting menu options and and then others covering most of the left-side-of-the-menu a la carte options.  I won't detail all of it since I didn't personally try everything.  We were all agreed on the overall impression though.  Our friends celebrating the birthday are food people.



SOME SPECIFICS:



We were served an amuse bouche (that our server termed canapes) which included a small but nice bit of arctic char belly and a small purplish red globe described to us as a "beet macaron filled with foie gras."  We also were started with the breadsticks they've been using for years with black pepper and fennel pollen, neither of which were especially prominent in the flavor but sounded pretty cool.



Part of the cuteness and complexity of Volt is apparent from the menu, where they employ the technique of simple descriptions of dishes that only partly cover the blizzard of dish components and cavalcade of techniques employed.  So:



- "HARVEST BEANS wax beans, white beans, goat's milk ricotta"  ($10) This, like most dishes, had at least 3 or 4 more components in addition to those listed.  Since it was the first dish ordered and so many others followed, I can't remember much about it other than to deem it "okay" and some sense there were leaves/greens/flowers/something in it as well. Reasonably sized portion for the price.



- "CALAMARI BOLOGNESE miso, squid ink cavatelli, parmesan" ($12)  Two in our group recalled this being one of Chef's (who wasn't in house tonight) Top Chef dishes.  To me, this is a classic example of the promise and peril of Volt.  Tasted fine.  Good even.  No sense for the miso component.  And the finely chopped calamari as the body of a bolognese is intriguing in concept and less amazing in practice. Certain pork or veal cuts could have been substituted with similarly fine chop and been pretty indistinguishable.



- "CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS steel cut oats, fresh yeast, sea lettuce" ($16).  Not worth the money.  The scant quantity of chanterelles, while very good, were overwhelmed by too large a quantity of oats.  Red sea lettuce didn't add a lot. The yeast was not discernible and the other 2 or so components not memorable.



- "TUNA pinenut, green apple, sesame, avocado" ($14).  A tartare preparation in which the finely chopped tuna was melded with bits of green apple and pinenut.  Creative but, again, didn't add much to the flavor profile of a simpler preparation.  the avocado was a "mousse" swipe across the plate. This, like many of the dishes, had a "dust" or a powder also but I can't remember what it was.



- "BLACK SEA BASS caramelized celeriac, fermented turnip, basil, country ham" ($21).  Small piece of fish was very nicely cooked with crispy and colorful skin but not overly buttery or unctuous as sea bass normally is.  The rest of the plate seemed gimmicky and can't recall perceiving any ham visually or to taste but I'm sure it was there somewhere; maybe as one of the many foams or powders that adorned most dishes.



- "PORK braised cheek, red pearl onion, celeriac, wax beans" ($25).  Way too much going on in this dish almost to the point of overwhelming the pork.  The pork itself, again fine, was maybe 2 or 3 ounces and really similar to what you'd have by pulling the meat from rib bones at Urban BBQ on a good day.  This had some kind of foam and dust/powder along with at least one other ingredient.  Bit of a blur to experience and recall.



- "CHOCOLATE marshmallow, crushed chocolate chip cookie frozen custard, salted peanuts" ($9). Maybe the best dish I had but, again, very similar in concept to the others. Very complicated. The "marshmallow" was a nice swipe of a meringue that I'd imagine had been browed with a small torch (just like on Top Chef!).  The "crushed chocolate chip cookie," also good, was more like a chunk of chocolate brownie but so be it.  The "frozen custard" was labeled by the server (and tasted more like) hazelnut ice cream (also very good).  Not sure where the "salted peanuts were but this dish had some definite dueling dusts so probably in one of those.  There was also a small thin square of crispy chocolate something, which was nice.



The above was all from the a la carte menu thought many of those dishes also appeared in the two tasting menu options, cutely labeled "TASTING of MENU" and "TASTING OF FRUITS and VEGETABLES" (or "proteins" and "vegetarian" as our server translated for us on arrival.)  A few additional dishes sampled from those menus really brings the main theme home:



- On the tasting menu, some of the a la carte menu items are described more fully, probably to differentiate them though some seemed fairly similar. For example, the "CALAMARI BOLOGNESE" above appeared on the "TASTING of MENU" as "PASTA BOLOGNESE calamari and bacon smoked with hickory, stewed with roasted tomatoes and kimchi of daikon radish, ricotta cheese and miso cavatelli with ink from the squid, grated parmigiano reggiano."  With apologies to all who find descriptions and dishes like that appealing, I found it annoying.



- The dish "WHITMORE FARM HEN EGG yolk cooked to sixty three degrees celsius, golden quinoa cooked with aromatics, vinaigrette made from minus 8 vinegar and brown butter, puree of caramelized celery root, translucent veil made from celery stock" was narrated by the server as "cooked to sixty one degrees celsius" but what's a couple of degrees (especially celsius) between friends? I may be wrong in recalling this dish as the one in which the "dust"...er, powder...was termed "snow" since made from a white cheese (maybe feta though without the salt feta normally has). Breathtakingly complicated dish which, when sampled, was okay.



BOTTOM LINE



In my humblest of opinions, it's hard to recommend Volt to people who love good food over spots like Eve, CityZen, Palena Dining Room, Woodberry Kitchen, Komi, Rogue 24, etc.  Way too cool for school and, at $100 or more per person before adding any drinks, why do it?



Table 21 may be a different and better experience. I can't say. I guess Volt is a sort of destination restaurant since Frederick is lovely to visit on a nice day and, of course, the chef/owner is famous.  Haven't yet tried Range. This makes me a bit nervous about doing so but we'll still take the plunge there.



Is this as good or sliding from before the BV empire started growing with Lunchbox, Family Meal and Range?  Not sure.



But, pretty expensive, very complicated and...sigh"¦.


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Two thoughts in addition to the above post.

1. Though the service at Volt is earnest and a bit overly formal/stiff, it is also excellent in terms of attentiveness and willingness to accommodate preferences or needs. Though we received a long explanation at the outset about various rules (everyone at a table must order a tasting menu if anyone does, etc.) they readily bent those when we asked. Some of us had tasting menus. Others didn't. My +1 is GF/Paleo and they were great about that.  Finally, at the conclusion of the meal, they brought out packaged small coffee cakes for us to take home (simple!  coffee cake without foam, powder, obscure ingredient or any odd adornment!  and, good!) but, since my +1 is GF, they gladly made a substitution so she wouldn't feel left out. Which brings me to #2.

2. The substitution was a freshly ground portion of their exclusive "Volt Blend" coffee.  And, that coffee is made by no other than the roaster featured in the newest topic on this website.  I'm not a big blend fan when it comes to coffee, preferring single origin varietals, but this is an excellent blend.

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Maybe this will attract some tomatoes judging from the posts above but, we mostly report whatever we really think here, right? Not sure if Volt is one of the "sacred cows" or not.

Tonight was my second visit to Volt in 4 years. The first time we enjoyed it and thought it fine but, being candid, not worth the money for a return visit unless we did Table 21.  That plan still hadn't materialized when friends from Philly invited us to join them in celebrating a birthday at Volt tonight.  So, with nice weather, a fuzzy but positive recollection and high expectations, off we went.

What's interesting is that I went the night before, and there was *zero* overlap in what we ordered.

The "sacred cow" myth was started and perpetuated by an angry person, years ago, so they could sound all "contradictory" without fear of repurcussion, but it never did have any credence to it. Why it still exists today, I have no idea, but it just goes to show you - once an urban legend takes off, some people will still believe it long into the future.

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What's interesting is that I went the night before, and there was *zero* overlap in what we ordered.

The "sacred cow" myth was started and perpetuated by an angry person, years ago, so they could sound all "contradictory" without fear of repurcussion, but it never did have any credence to it. Why it still exists today, I have no idea, but it just goes to show you - once an urban legend takes off, some people will still believe it long into the future.

That is interesting.  I actually asked the waiter at one point how often they change the menu.  His answer was as one would expect.  It's changed incrementally. Maybe a dish or three each week. But no wholesale redos except one in the spring.  Odd you wouldn't have had nearly all the same options on your menu a day prior. Unless you were there for Table 21? That's of course a different menu. We ordered nearly everything on the menu tonight. I listed maybe 2/3 of it above.

Thanks for the background on "sacred cow." I was using it more generically not knowing that history though think I do recall you'd posted once a year or two ago that there shouldn't be any.  A few here only post positive comments.  I've never been of that mindset believing constructive, balanced, respectful and substantive criticism makes the site much more valuable, the positive more credible and even restaurants better who are open to feedback.

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I cannot say that I am an unbiased diner when it comes to Volt.  Up until this past Saturday, I have been their three times - once the night I got engaged, once when we ate at Table 21, and once when we had a few bites at the bar and even more cocktails.  All of those experiences were, in a word, pretty much perfect.  And, after going to Volt a fourth time on Saturday, for a wedding, my opinion hasn't changed at all.  Not much more to add other than, if you get married, Volt is a great place to do it (and, invite me, I give good gifts!).

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Sorry about the delay in posting, but we did make it out to Volt a month ago for brunch on our way to pumpkin picking. While I can't say it was one of the top ten meals I have had, it was probably one of the best brunches I have had for a very good value at $35 for three courses.

For the first course:   I had the calamari bolognese which the bolognese was not particularly memorable, and actualy a little salty for my taste, but the squid ink cavatelli was fantastic. The pasta actually had some squid flavor to it, beyond the ink just coloring it black which is what the ultimate effect usually is. I didn't think the squid ink pasta and the bolognese was the best match either. The linguine and clams seemed really good, but I didn't get any since my 2 yr old son ate pretty much all of it. Likewise, my wife and daughter finished off what I think was a lobster bisque without getting me a taste.

Mains: I had the chicken which was good, but nothing especially fantastic. I think the most notable thing about the chicken to me was that it was cooked perfectly. The kids split the lamb dish, which I did get a piece since they especially liked the barley component and didn't eat as much of the lamb. I think this was the best of the three mains we got. Wife had the arctic char which she really enjoyed in spite of the celeriac component, she hates celery. The fish was barely cooked giving it a nice texture.  This was the most appealing dish visually with the beautiful piece of fish.

Desserts were the chocolate, meyer lemon, and concord grape. All were quickly devoured by us, but nothing blew me away. Just nice tasting desserts to end the meal.

Additional sides we got were the bacon and donuts. I think the bacon is one of the best deals if you compare it to getting bacon at any other restaurant. Cost is the same for much better quality bacon than you might get at Denny's or Bob Evans restaurants for a side order.

As you can guess, I was not blown away by the meal, but it was quite enjoyable and of high quality. For $35/person, with the kids splitting a three course meal, it is an exceptional deal from the quality of food for the price. They were also very accommodating of the kids offering to do single dishes a la carte for the kids. They went to the trouble of splitting the dishes for the kid's courses onto two plates saving us from having to split them.

In some ways it was like our meal at Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas several years ago where the quality of the food and preparation is clearly exceptional, but the flavors were not especially notable.

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In some ways it was like our meal at Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas several years ago where the quality of the food and preparation is clearly exceptional, but the flavors were not especially notable.

Funny story about Robuchon in Vegas...A friend and I did the tasting menu there a few years back.  We were sitting along the bar, directly in front of the large flat top station.  We were having a great time, devouring (and drinking) everything put in front of us, until we came to a grilled fish (I believe it was sole) dish.  It was dry and waaaaaaaaaaay too salty (coming from 2 guys with relatively salty palates), and neither of us had more than 2 bites.  We didn't say anything, as we were otherwise enjoying the night, but an astute chef/manager quickly noticed and asked what the issue was.  After we explained, we watched him try a small taste of the fish, throw the plate into the trash, and walk directly to the large flat top where the cook had about 10-12 filets laid out cooking.  The chef/manager said something that couldn't have been kind, and summarily swept all the filets off the grill into a trash can, and sent the cook packing.  Like, actually told the guy to leave.  We were mortified.

About 10 minutes later, a new version of the dish came out, and was absolutely delicious.

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had a great brunch at Volt on saturday and was wondering--does anyone know if they've ever published their recipe for their cheddar-scallion biscuits? those were so freakin good.

everything was lovely--the service was friendly and attentitve, yet respectful. the biscuits amazing, and the rest of the breads we tried were also very good.

i had the jerusalem artichokes--diced and served with a rich sunchoke sauce as well, and brightened with sweet kumquat slices. the sauce was so good, and the kumquat really was a nice counterpoint to the earthiness of the vegetable.

for my entree i had corn dumplings with fish pepper sauce and favas. again the sauce was so good, and the corn dumplings were browned in a way that reminded you of pancakes and brunch, and yet kept in line with the savoriness of the dish.

for desserts we had the myer lemon curd with merangues and celery sorbet--the sorbet was unexpectedly delicious, and the Ash goat cheese with vanilla brioche--unusual and very delicious, like a really excellent, deconstructed cheesecake.

a delicious meal, with great service, we'll definitely be back.

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Any recent diners?  Going up there for lunch this week on a whim - still up to par?

---

Self-update here.  Went for a lunch yesterday before hitting up Black Ankle Vineyards.  Appetizers were the roasted carrots and the ravioli.  Both were quite good - the former was a cold dish and quite sweet due to the carrot juice reduction and accoutrements.  Mains were the burger and mushroom ragu.  The ragu was very good, but might have fallen more into the appetizer side of the equation.  The burger prompted a debate on whether it was Palena good or just below.  We settled on just below, but that's high praise in our house.

Interestingly, the 5 course tasting menu looked even better than the a la carte, we just weren't hungry enough to merit that much food (nor did we have enough time).  Would love to go back and try that another time when I'm not driving.

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Since the pandemic, I have had one email from Volt (their email list was never very active in the first place), and that was a few months ago now. Since then, nothing. The website (also never updated all that often) seems to indicate it is open but I am not optimistic based on my report that Family Meal is currently closed. Any news? Bryan's on the TV again, he could certainly take advantage of the publicity. 

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Closed! Buried in this Frederick News-Post article about the state of downtown business:

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/economy_and_business/retail/downtown-frederick-to-welcome-new-and-updated-businesses/article_b5a4a332-c35f-5706-9203-abafebf7bb6f.html

Another restaurant to recently close its doors is Volt. While Volt has not been open at all during the pandemic, there are signs that a new restaurant from chef Bryan Voltaggio could be coming soon.

Voltaggio filed a transfer of Volt’s liquor license to a new business named Thacher & Rye — at the same location on Market Street — according to the agenda for the upcoming Sept. 15 meeting of the Frederick County Liquor Board. Voltaggio could not be reached for comment.

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