Tuesday, March 12, 2013


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Image courtsey of Citypeek
A few weeks ago, my dad and I met in Frederick, Maryland to celebrate my 26th birthday at VOLT Restaurant.  Frederick is a quaint town about an hour outside DC.  I love going there on the weekends; it reminds me of the downtown area of my hometown Lancaster, PA.   

Admittedly, the two previous times that I traveled to this area of Maryland were both to eat at VOLT.  I still couldn't have been more excited to head out there again to dine at this amazing restaurant.  I learned about VOLT in true Top Chef fan style when Owner and Executive Chef Bryan Voltaggio appeared on the sixth season of the show.  I was a huge fan of his throughout the season and made it a point to visit his restaurant as soon as I could.  I was not, and have never been, disappointed at this farm-to-table style restaurant.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Their food is truly art - both visually and in terms of taste. 

My dad and I chose the brunch option and each of us started with a Bloody Mary. The only fair way to describe this drink is that it tastes as though fresh tomatoes were pureed on request and the seasonings were picked from a garden moments before making the drink.  It is the freshest and most vibrant Bloody Mary I have ever tasted.  I have not been able to find one that comes in at a close second.  

Along with our drinks, we were served crunchy bread sticks and got to choose from an artisan style bread basket.  I went with a cheddar biscuit, and my dad opted for a blue cheese and bacon biscuit.  Both were fluffy and flavorful.  

The brunch at VOLT is a prix fixe option (either three courses for $35 or five courses for $55--we went with three). For my first course, I opted for the mushroom ravioli.  The cheese was extremely rich, while the delicateness of the mushroom offered the perfect compliment, resulting in a harmonious balance of flavors. The light cream sauce was the perfect touch.  

My dad chose the beet salad as his first course.  Similar to the Bloody Mary, it tasted as though the beets had just been plucked from the garden and sliced up on demand.  I am normally not a huge fan of beets, but the acidity of the beets and navel oranges was balanced nicely with the goat cheese.  This plate truly embodies the artistry of the chefs.  I watched them use tweezers to delicately  place the herbs on the plate--not an inch of food went onto the plate without thought behind it.

For the second course, we both chose the lobster omelet with hash brown side.  This dish truly put any other omelet I've ever had to shame.  The eggs were so perfectly yellow that it almost looked like a food prop!  I also wish I had thought to ask the chef how he got the omelet to take form so perfectly.  Aside from the presentation, the flavors were spot on.  The lobster was fresh and complimented the egg and cheese.  No one ingredient overpowered the other, each bite was perfectly balanced and tasty.  The hash browns were a grown-up version of the typical dish.

For dessert, my dad got the gingerbread financier cake along with homemade ice cream.  I'm not normally a huge fan of gingerbread, but the cake and ice cream combination was so delicious.  The cake was moist and the ice cream was perfect in texture.  

Although I normally opt for a sweet dessert, I decided to go with the cheese plate.  There were two blue cheeses, two varieties of cheddar, and one other creamy cheese, but I can't quite recall the name.  The cheese was served with walnut toast.  I only took a few bites of each cheese because I was SO full by this point in the meal.  While I did enjoy each blue cheese, none of the others really stood out to me.  This was probably the low point in the meal for me, and definitely not the best cheese plate I've had.  

Overall,  VOLT is one of the best brunch options I've found in the DC area.  While it is a bit of a trek to get out there, it is well worth the drive.  And sometimes it is nice to get out of the city and try something new.  If you do go there, make sure to ask to sit in the back dining room so you can watch the chefs in action!

Next up on my list is to try out Voltaggio's new restaurant Range.  Have you been?  What other restaurants outside of DC do you recommend trying?

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