Frederick, MD 21701
When I think of my top five favorite restaurants, I'm certain that a place like Volt would never make it on that list. But, I think that's mainly because the criteria I use is not just the quality of the food but whether or not it is reasonable to come back over and over again. For the restaurants on my top five list, I can see myself going back repeatedly and I have. For a place like Volt, you need to plan it out well in advance and it certainly does not evoke the casualness that I like in my top five. That being said, Volt definitely makes my top five if I were just rating the best meals I've ever had in a restaurant. It may even be at the top of that list.
So, instead of going to Woodberry Kitchen for my birthday this year (like I thought I would), I managed to get a reservation for Volt on short notice (someone happened to cancel). So, eight of us made the drive up to Frederick, MD. Having eight people go was good and bad. It was good because we have the opportunity to try a good variety of the dishes on the tasting menu. It was bad because you could only choose either the four-course tasting menu ($80 per person) or the seven-course tasting menu ($95) so either way, it was not going to be an inexpensive meal. The best part about it was that my two young nieces came so that they could have the opportunity to taste such great food at such a young age (9 and 11).
We decided that all of us should go with the four-course tasting menu (even though they did have a kids' menu) and even though I linked the menu above, it changes constantly and you may have most of the items you find on the website but there also may be one or two changes. So, the best thing about dining with your family is that the meal really becomes a family style meal even though each person is given their own individual portion. This allowed for me to taste just about every dish that the table ordered. We were started off with an amuse bouche macaroon with a soft foie gras mousse center. Right then, we knew we were in for a culinary experience.
For appetizers, we ordered four out of the five selections. One of the quirky things about the restaurant is that the menu only lists the ingredients of the dishes but not how they are prepared. So, the four dishes we ordered for the first course were listed like:
- kampachi blood orange, nasturtium, ginger
- venison horseradish, green apple, rye
- jonah crab cucumber, green mango, coriander
- beet walnuts, blue cheese, watercress, sherry vinaigrette
For the second course we ordered:
- ravioli black trumpet, celery root, goat cheese
- turbot butternut squash, brussels sprouts, radish
- foie gras ruby beets, blood orange, fennel
- sweetbreads sunchoke, black kale, bacon
For our next course, we ordered:
- lobster black forbidden rice, coconut, madras curry
- sturgeon jerusalem artichokes, maroon carrot, fennel
- lamb cauliflower, chick pea, golden raisin
- pork potatoes, baby turnips, hickory smoke
Our final and dessert course consisted of:
- banana black sesame, coconut, pineapple
- chocolate marshmallow, caramel, peanut
- apple cinnamon, rosemary, almond
After the dessert, they brought out a french vanilla & hazelnut semifreddo with a candle on top to celebrate my birthday. Normally, I'm loathe to have any sort of public display like that for my birthday but the semifreddo was simply amazing. It was rich, creamy and decadent and I would celebrate my birthday every day if I could have that every day. I also washed down my meal with a PBR. I have very fond memories of PBR and any restaurant that serves that beer already has a leg up in my book. Too bad they didn't have tall boys.
I don't think Volt is the neighborhood restaurant that I would go back to on a regular basis. It is, however, a very worthy food experience that I would put at or near the top of my list of all-time meals. It barely squeezed in on my bucket list but only because of the hype surrounding it and the proximity to where I live. But, after having gone there, it should have been placed higher on the list simply because they make great food in a great setting with great service that if you have a chance to enjoy, you should take that opportunity every day and twice on Sundays.