Well Dined

25Feb/150

Volt – Valentine’s Day Menu

I know I've been really slow in posting, but that's been because of traveling and (drumroll please) buying a house! We are in the process of moving and decorating and all of that, so posting will still be delayed for a bit.  But then I expect to be back in full swing, and with a much better photo set-up.  So until then, here is a review of the Valentine's Day menu at Brian Voltaggio's Volt in Frederick, MD.

We've been wanting to try out Volt for years, in particular their Table 21 chef's table, but just never made it.  But we finally made a commitment and braved the icy conditions and  hour drive to come for Valentine's Day dinner.  We were a little disappointed to see that they did not offer valet, especially because of the weather, but we were able to find street parking 1 block away (free after 5 on Sat).  The decor is sophisticated and clean, and the staff are very professional.

For the holiday, they had a 7-course prix fixe menu with optional wine pairing (7 2oz pours).  The pacing was perfect, as was the amount of food - just enough to allow you to explore the flavors, but not enough to grow tired of the dish. I wasn't struggling to finish at the end like with some tasting menus.  I was driving, so my husband ordered the wine pairing and I had a sip with each course to test the pairing. They were all excellently paired, though my favorites were the whites in the beginning.

Amuse Bouche - oyster with salmon tartare, "tartar sauce", dill. Paired with Sparkling Rose.

Beets, burrata, celery, lemon - very nice, bright, fresh. Paired with Gruner Veltliner (Austria).

Black bass, sunchoke, apple, fennel - very interesting, German flavors I would normally pair with pork or chicken, perfectly cooked. Paired with Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre).

Lobster, celery root, abalone mushroom - lovely, perfectly cooked. Paired with Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast).

Foie Gras, truffles, arugula, salsify - a decadent mousse, the favorite course. Paired with Pinot Noir (Ladoix) - we were concerned when we saw this on the menu, because we thought the foie would be seared, and we prefer it with Sauternes.  But the light Pinot was actually perfect with the chilled mousse.

Beef short rib, coffee, chocolate, guajillo - described as a take on mole, each of our least favorite course, but still good (just not as good as the other courses). Paired with a Granche blend (Chateaneuf du Pape) - also our least favorite wine (but again, still good).

Dried cherry, elderflower vinegar, buttermilk - pretty cool, a cherry macaron frozen with liquid nitrogen and shattered with a St Germain gelee (yum) and a sweet buttermilk. Loved this. Paired with a Rose (CA).

Almond cake, banana, caramel, yogurt - wasn't impressed by this one. The cake was moist, and sitting on creme anglaise, but there wasn't a ton of flavor and I didn't think the caramelized banana frozen yogurt (good on its own) went with it very well. Paired with a Sauternes.

We were also each given a box of 4 chocolates (2 of which were awesome, 2 of which were okay) and I was given a rose.

I was very impressed by the food, the service, and the price - very reasonable.  I also really liked the atmosphere - old townhouse turned serene and modern inside.  I would love to come back and try Table 21 (but not when the weather is that bad - nightmare).

28Feb/140

Range by Bryan Voltaggio

Another belated Restaurant Week post brings us to a somewhat new Bryan Voltaggio concept in Chevy Chase - Range.  Located inside Chevy Chase Pavillion (across from Mazza Gallerie), the interior is huge and split into multiple dining rooms.  Unfortunately, we were sat in the far back in the most remote and boring corner.  We still had pretty decent service, though, especially considering how packed it was.

The New American menu has a lot to choose from with a raw bar, charcuterie, wood fired pizzas, and a range of cooked dishes.  The cocktails are innovative, and the wine list is good (our server recommended a wine from a vineyard that has a personal relationship with the restaurant and is hard to get elsewhere).

Well Dined | Range

There was a cheese course on the restaurant week menu, so we went ahead and got that.  But we also wanted charcuterie, which wasn't on the RW menu, so we ordered that a la carte - you can see the portion difference in the photo.  Both selections were great and the housemade accompaniments were topnotch.  I especially liked the mostarda and the fig jam.

Well Dined | Range

My second course was the kale caesar salad with egg emulsion that everybody is always posting about, with good reason!  It's a caesar, but it's one of the best you are ever going to get.

Well Dined | Range

Jasper choose the beet salad with burrata.  Pretty standard combo, well executed.

Well Dined | Range

For my entree, I choose the goat cheese ravioli with meat ragu.  Yummy, but the filling was pretty much just goat cheese, and a lot of it.  I like goat cheese, but I would have appreciated a better balance.

Well Dined | Range

Jasper choose the lamb with carrot-jalapeno romesco, which he said was awesome.

We had a good time and enjoyed everything we ate.  I would like to return to try out more of the menu, especially with a group since the menu seems to be suited for it.

19Jul/130

2941

I've written about 2941 before (here and here), but not since they revamped their restaurant to be a little more casual and less intimidating.  We had been checking their ever changing menu online, but nothing really caught our eye until recently.  Then, all of a sudden, the whole menu matched what we were craving and off we went!  Be aware that this menu is from a few months ago.

IMG_1088

Steak tartare with basil, Parmesan, toasted bread, and micro greens.  This is really a 1 per person size, and trust me - you won't want to share.

IMG_1089

Zucchini fritters with a feta and mint dip; salmon carpaccio.

IMG_1090

Beet salad (sorry for the fuzzy photo - somebody was impatient to eat it).

IMG_1091

Tuna tartare with avocado, crispy shallots, and jalapeno.  I was actually I little disappointed because the avocado was more like guacamole, which wasn't what I was looking for.  But by no means was it bad.

IMG_1094

Asparagus ravioli with white asparagus, mint, thyme, burrata, and Parmesan.

IMG_1092

Duck confit ravioli with tomato jam and fiddlehead ferns.

IMG_1093

Yummy steak fritte dish.

IMG_1095

Strawberry shortcake with coconut, shredded phyllo, and white tea ice cream.

Overall, everything was as fresh and beautiful as it's always been and the more relaxed atmosphere was refreshing.  I don't think the remarketing has done any damage to 2941 and I hope it helps to bring in more people.