Packed Suitcase | Noshing on 6-courses at Volt in Frederick, Maryland
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Noshing on 6-courses at Volt in Frederick, Maryland

Noshing on 6-courses at Volt in Frederick, Maryland

Menu and Cocktail

I created my 55 Places Bucket List in 2008, long before I heard of Volt Restaurant and chef Bryan Voltaggio.

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!

Me at VoltMy 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!

Volt Amuse Bouche

An amuse-bouche trio: with a tasting of shrimp, squash and a beet macaron filled with foie gras mousse


Volt Course 1

Course #1: Roasted beets and crispy greens with a frozen Greek yogurt and chocolate. (yes, chocolate!)


Volt Course 2

Course 2: Young Carrots charred in an aromatic salt crust, dressing made from the carrot’s green tops and marsh samphire, soured sheep’s milk ice, pickles of icicle radish, bitter and sweet lettuces


Volt Course 3

Course 3: Pasta Bolognese made from 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

Volt Course 4

Course 4: Halibut with green cabbage and wild mustard leaf, spanish sherry vinegar and chorizo with pickled mustard seeds, purple top turnips and a dollop of green apple juice


Volt Course 5

Course 5: Braised pork cheek and jowl with red pearl onion, celeriac and fava beans


Volt Course 6

Course 6: Ruby beets and granola with roasted sunflower seeds, cocoa, roasted oats, vadouvan, sorbet made from goat’s milk and scattered petals of wild violets


Volt Bonus Desserst

Bonus desserts! Two kinds of truffles (one chocolate, one caramel) a tamarind gelée round, and an almond cookie. Yum!


Volt Breakfast!

If the meal wasn’t enough, we were sent home with 2 freshly made coffee cakes for breakfast the next day. The cakes were really tasty, and unique due to a very spicy touch to the crumble.

  • Ethan Douce
    Posted at 09:21h, 11 July

    Really good post and of course beautiful pics 🙂

  • Di
    Posted at 22:53h, 29 July

    Thanks Chris for the review. Claudia and I have always talked about going here. We can never seem to get in.