Like many others, I jumped on the Volt bandwagon after Voltaggio’s successful 2009 run on Top Chef, where he was runner-up to his younger brother, Michael. Both supremely talented, Bryan’s thoughtful precision battling against Michael’s creativity made for some pretty amazing TV. However, it was Bryan’s listed hometown of Frederick, Maryland that truly caught my eye and made him my favorite contestant of the season.
I grew up in Mt. Airy, Maryland, just 15 miles away from Frederick. As a child, Frederick is where I took piano lessons, where I went to the mall and where my family went for nice dinners out. However, as nice as Frederick was, I wouldn’t have ever considered it to be a “foodie” town. Not until about 7 years ago or so, when the Farm to Table movement really began to take hold at various restaurants throughout historic downtown Frederick.
Volt opened in July 2008, and quickly became a culinary gem in the DC area. Last weekend, I finally had the trifecta needed to try it out for myself: the reservation, the dining partner and the funds!
My friend Scott and I headed to Frederick, hungry and ready for an experience. We arrived 10 minutes before our reservation time –Sunday at 7 pm– and were immediately seated… in the kitchen! Volt’s broken up into several small rooms, but the kitchen is the place to be. Here you can watch the chef and the rest of the kitchen team work in wordless synchronicity as they plate dish after dish of beautiful food.
Serious foodies can experience Table 21, a 21-course dining experience for $150/ per person. (Call 1 month in advance at 9 am sharp for your best bet at getting reservations.) But, for those looking to be a little more frugal, Volt has 6-course tasting menus as well as dishes available a la carte to build your own tasting. For us, the $95/ per person tasting menu seemed to be the way to go and I ordered the regular version while Scott opted for the vegetarian-friendly “Tasting of Fruits and Vegetables.” I ordered a cocktail to start– the “Airmail,” a deliciously refreshing concoction with rum, sparking wine, honey and lime– but Volt has an extensive wine and craft beer list, as well.
There were a few bonus plates that were thrown in as part of the experience, and we both left full and very satisfied.
Here are all of the dishes I was served, in the order they were brought out. Some pictures turned out better than others… I’ll admit that I was more focused on eating than taking pictures this time!