After 10 years, Voltaggio’s Volt still electrifies
It’s a given today that Frederick is a foodie destination. But that wasn’t the case when chef Bryan Voltaggio opened Volt in a grand old mansion on Frederick’s historic Market Street 12 years ago. Soon after, in 2009, the chef and his hometown gained national recognition when he was a finalist on season six of “Top Chef ” (his brother, Michael, was the winner). Look for him to reappear on the Bravo show in a new allstar season of the reality competition that airs March 19.
In recent years, Voltaggio has opened and closed multiple restaurants in the Baltimore area. In Frederick, he operates Family Meal. He and his brother together run the steakhouse at MGM National Harbor, Estuary in Washington and a quick service restaurant in Santa Monica, California.
But Volt is special.
“Obviously that restaurant means a lot to me,” Voltaggio said. “It’s part of the fabric of Frederick, and it’s helped shape in some ways downtown dining.”
You don’t need to be “Top Chef ” host Padma Lakshmi to appreciate Voltaggio’s dishes. At Volt, the most eye-popping, conceptual plates of food are just as yummy as they are pretty to look at.
We didn’t spot Voltaggio in the kitchen during our two recent visits to his flagship restaurant. But our experiences suggest that his staff are fully capable of executing his vision for food that ignites the senses. For $150, guests can sample practically everything on the menu, as I did during one visit at the chef ’s counter. It’s an intimate, unforgettable experience, but I’d skip it for now and just order multiple courses. (My reasoning on that later.)
Dinner in the well-appointed dining room started with a savory macaron with foie gras that my dining companion and I consumed in a bite. As part of the tasting menu, an early course of bay scallop crudo wowed with its mix of green apple in a delectable butternut squash ponzu. It was topped with foam and garnished lovingly with greens and crispy rice. From there, we were delighted by the pink foie gras torchon, as velvety as panna cotta, which received an acidic hit from some baby
Volt chef/owner Bryan Voltaggio