Monday, February 17, 2014

My Trip to Frederick, MD: Volt

My first meal was at Volt headed by Brian Voltaggio famous from Bravo's Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. I've always thought that the Voltaggio brothers were some of the most talented people to appear on that show. After seeing them, I have definitely wanted to visit their restaurants. Unfortunately, none of them are close to where I live. Luckily for me, Mr. M&P is awesome and planned our trip around such restaurants. Yes, you read that right. He planned the trip around our food destinations. Isn't that awesome or what?

Our meal start with an amuse bouche from the kitchen. This was a beet macaron with foie gras and carrot powder. It was really good. Super light and just melted in our mouths. It left us wanting more immediately which is basically what an amuse bouche is supposed to do; that is, to whet your appetite.

For his appetizer, Mr. M&P has the hubbard squash soup with granny smith apple, black trumpet mushrooms, and late harvest apple vinegar ($10). The soup was incredibly smooth and creamy. It felt rich without being heavy. A really lovely first dish.
My first course was the chioggia beets with red wine vinegar, dark cocoa, and fresh cheese ($10). If you thought that beets and chocolate didn't go together, well you're wrong. They totally worked. I admit that I had my reservations but I like to be happily surprised. The earthiness of the beets paired really well with the bittersweet flavors of the cocoa.
And now the second course. Mr. M&P has the sourdough linguini with olde salt clams, smoked potato, and chives ($14). This play on the classic lingiuni with clams was just delightful with pungent garlic flavor and textural contrasts between the pasta, potatoes, clams, bread crumbs, and sauce.
My pasta course was the calamari bolognese with miso, squid ink cavatelli, and parmesan cheese ($12). Funky black squid ink pasta with a rich sauce and a generous amount of punchy cheese on top. Another classic with a twist. I really enjoyed the rich and fulfilling flavors of the dish. The portion was the perfect size for the second course.
Mr. M&P's main course was the black sea bass with caramelized celeriac, fermented turnip, basil, and country ham ($22). The fish was perfectly cooked with crispy skin and tender meat, a fresh herbaceous sauce, and tender vegetables to balance it out. I know he enjoyed this dish very much.
I had the beef short rib with salsify cooked over embers with charred leeks and malt ($28). My tender beef was flavorful and cooked to my desired doneness. The accompanying vegetables and grain made this a hearty and complete meal. I only wish there was a bit more jus on the plate since I sopped up every last bit.
We skipped dessert since we were so completely full at the end. Instead, we enjoyed a few mignardises on the house. From left to right, we had the chocolate chili truffle, financier, pineapple pate de fruit, and chocolate caramel truffle. I really liked the pate de fruit the most. Tart yet sweet.
Overall, I really enjoyed my dinner at Volt. The food was superb, and the service friendly and enjoyable. For this caliber of skill and execution, the prices on the dishes were a steal. Living in the tri-state area creates a warped sense of what things cost. It's nice to leave once in a while and see the rest of the country.

Oh and if you're wondering, yes Chef Brian Voltaggio was in the kitchen that night. However, we were told that he was experimenting with some new dishes. Instead, Chef de Cuisine Graeme Ritchie was heading the kitchen that night. He was actually on Top Chef Masters along with Chef Brian as the sous chef. He is certainly very talented as well and the meal we had that night showed it tremendously.

228 North Market Street
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 696.8658


  1. The first thing is a macaron? Where are the feet?
    Is Brian the serious one or the fun one? Because they're both hot but I totally dig the less serious one...
    All of this sounds super delicious! I'm adding this to the list for if/when tS and I go to the MD/DC/VA area.
    Also - did you and MM&P switch places or plates or something? Not a single meat course for him!

    1. Yes, that was their interpretation of a macaron. Same light meringue like outer shell with a creamy filling.

      Brian is the serious one. Michael is the less serious and fully tattooed one and lives in CA.

      Yes, I pointed this out throughout the trip. He said he was feeling more seafood-esque at the time.


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