VOLT announced its new Spring 2013 menu. Here is a stylish two minute video they put out. I thought it was interesting that, if accurate, their recipes use both metric and English measurements in the same recipe. I’m far to anal to allow that. Of course I’m also not a world class chef either, just a guy with an internet connection. That corn gnocchetti looks awesome.
Category Archives: Restaurant- misc.
Just had a delightful lunch at Acacia courtesy of Frederick restaurant week. For those of you whose experience with this establishment has been limited to looking at the small area visible from the sidewalk on Market Street you should know that Acacia is truly a lovely space. You will also be surprised by how large it is. Tastefully decorated in muted, contemporary tones, the space continues back through two more separate dining areas and culminates in a beautiful courtyard. The food is contemporary American mixed with Asian influences. I know the term fusion has become a clichéd term in food circles, but Acacia does it well and does it authentically. I also really liked that they try to use all local and natural meats. Their menu states they use all natural pork products from Dorsey’s Meats of Woodsboro and local grass fed beef from Hedgeapple Farm of Buckeystown. There was also at least one vegetarian option for each course of the restaurant week menu.
Since this was restaurant week the worst part of the meal was having to choose only two courses out of appetizer, entrée and dessert. I opted for the appetizer/entrée option and started with the seared brussels sprouts. Wonderfully charred with just the right amount of salt and oil they were spectacular. I would have been satisfied to stop right there. Bravely, however I soldiered on with the Kung Pao chicken. The menu describes this dish as :”natural raised chicken stir fry, spicy hoisin glaze, peanuts, jasmine rice, black sesame-pea shoot salad.” It was perfectly spicy with delicious bits of chicken in a savory brown sauce. I also sampled the Jagerschnitzel- wonderfully crispy breaded pork tenderloin. The red cabbage marmalade was a terrific accompaniment to this dish.
I would also be remiss without mentioning that they had an excellent and varied wine list. Also available were nearly two dozen wines by the glass. I had a the top-notch Dr Loosen Reisling. It was great with the appetizer, but completely overpowered by the spice in the chicken. The negatives? First I thought the service was a trifle slow. The only complaint with the food was the pre-appetizer bread they served. Both I and my companion thought that it was not as fresh as it should be.
Overall I give Acacia high marks. It certainly is in the top tier of dining in Frederick . The ambiance is quite romantic and it would be a wonderful place to take a date. I plan on going back and enjoying the patio area once the weather warms up. I would also like to visit the bar one afternoon- their collection of scotches looks excellent.
Is nearly upon us! It will be March 4th through 10th. 22 local restaurants are offering prix fixe, multi course lunch and dinner menus. Full details HERE. I plan on hitting a couple, how about you?
The official grand opening of JoJo’s Restaurant and Tap House was this past weekend. They had a soft opening a couple of weeks ago. Occupying the space formerly known as Patrick’s Pub I wish them the best of success and will check it out. Anyone go and have any first impressions?
Is at it again. $300 fine issued to The Wine Kitchen after manager sips wine. The laws are truly ridiculous. Especially in this instance in a quality restaurant that takes its wine very seriously. Also having attended more than a few hearings they are comically Kafkaesque proceedings when the commissioners are awake. Based on this ruling here is evil Fred’s method for returning a wine you don’t like. Open it, drink some. Tell waiter its corked, cooked, brett or whatever. Then tell them you have to take your word for it and if they taste it you will report them to the Liquor Board.
Fred won’t be happy until the liquor board is disbanded and I can order wine on the internet!
According to their website it’s now open for dinner starting at 4:30 pm. Will open for 7 am breakfast July 7th. I promise this is the last you will hear about it until I review the place lest this turn into the Family Meal blog!
UPDATE: Dinner now starts at 3:00 pm. Sounds like they think they are in Florida?
The East Street diner supposed to open for dinner service this past Saturday and didn’t. No projected opening date as of today. ”Construction issues” is the word. I used to be a fan of the old Food Network (I think) series Opening Soon where they followed the genesis of a restaurant from conception to opening. I never saw a single episode where they opened on time and on budget.
Frederick Maryland Online has an update (with pictures) on the new East Street restaurant Family Meal. They must be getting close. I drove down East Street on Thursday around noon and it looked like they were having some sort of staff meeting/training session inside.
I just finished reading Joe Bastianich’s autobiography Restaurant Man
For those of you that don’t know Joe, he is Lidia Bastianich’s son, an Italian winemaker, importer and enthusiast as well as Mario Batali’s longtime partner on some of New York’s most successful restaurants. Overall is was an enjoyable, although uneven read. Joe was brutally honest, about himself and others. In fact I think it was pretty clear that he settled a few scores in this book, which would have come off as mean and petty if he had not been so honest about himself. I found the parts about running and opening restaurants fascinating. His relationship with his mom and Mario was really endearing. He writes with a direct, f-bomb laden style that had me laughing out loud at times. He once spilled wine on the Pope! He is definitely a person I would love to hang out with on a New York stoop with a bottle or two of wine. If nothing else we could talk about our former lives as Deadheads!
VERDICT: A fun, fun read. If you like restaurants, Italian food or wine or enjoyed Kitchen Confidential then this book is for you. Makes me want to go to Babbo in the worst way.
I saw that Bryan Voltaggio’s Family Meal restaurant has been interviewing two days last week for help. That must mean they are getting close. I drive by the location on East Street several times a week and it still looks to me like they have a ways to go with the construction. Last week when I drove by Chef Bryan was outside gesticulating wildly at some workers. I would also note that the website now says opening Summer 2012. I’ll pass on more information as soon as I have some.
Here is a picture of the construction going on inside that Chef Bryan posted on his twitter feed. The look is definitely not what I expected in a diner, but I doubt this will be your usual diner.
The Frederick News Post reports that Bryan Voltaggio’s (and Hilda Staples’- don’t forget the other half of the team. The media, including this article, always seems to forget her) new restaurant will be named Family Meal. A first or second week of June opening is slated.
I came across a great article in the May 2012 Atlantic Magazine by Tyler Cowen. Its called Six Rules for Dining Out and I found it fascinating. Amongst the rules are: in the fanciest restaurants, order what sounds least appetizing. Sound nonsensical? Read the article and see his logical explanation. I also loved his take on Thai food. It reinforces my concerns about Thai food that I’ve expressed here previously- do I really know what authentic Thai food tastes like? Give it a read. I also saw at the end of the article that this was adapted from his forthcoming book: An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies
. FCPL has it on order and I’m third in the holds line, so number one and two read quickly!
Just noticed that the Volt blog was updated with some information and pictures on the new diner project that they are working on. Interesting transition from car dealership to diner. Blog entry here.
Just wanted to say that I’ve been on an Asian kick lately. In the space of a week I have eaten at both Lucky Corner and Sumittra. I’ve reviewed Sumittra before and found it to be excellent. I been back at least half a dozen times since that review and it has never disappointed. It has become our go to Thai place in Frederick (Sorry Thai Rice!). However, this was the first time that I had been to Lucky Corner and I had to wonder what took me so long. I sampled the chicken Pho, mango chicken, veggie egg noodles and veggie hot pot. I don’t have time to do a full review, but the food was uniformly delicious, the menu was filled with dozens of things I would have been happy to try, and the service was perfect. I’m curious as to how it stacks up to the other two Vietnamese restaurants in Frederick? Comments anyone?
Word is that Lunchbox opens tomorrow. I will stop by next week and let you know. Anyone care to post any of their impressions in the comments?
Word is that the team of Voltaggio and Staples are opening a new restaurant in early December on Carroll Creek. From the description its going to have to be on one side or another of the Wine Kitchen. It will serve sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts in a casual setting. Here is the website. Not much to see right now.
UPDATE: Hadn’t seen this when I wrote the above entry, but Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post has a more in-depth article here. BV is going to be busy next year! He also reports on some major changes at Volt:
Come January, Voltaggio plans to introduce some significant changes at his flagship restaurant. Volt will dispense with its a la carte menu and offer instead a four-course list for $80 that will completely change at the start of each month. Lunch service will be cut back to Saturday and Sunday, a move that will help Voltaggio and his team “push Volt to the next level” — finetune dishes, prepare additional canapés, re-write those menus — since the kitchen space will be free weekdays.
Just saw that Danielle’s restaurant at Shab Row shut its doors for good. There was some indication they were going to try something different but apparently now they are just plain closed. I remember when the space was occupied by Tauraso’s. It seems to me that local restaurants who are serving higher end ”American” cuisine are having a harder time of it than some other more specialized restaurants. What do you think?
UPDATE 10/26/11: The Frederick News Post is reporting that the restaurant owed more than $353,000 in sales and witholding taxes. Ouch!
Got an email from VOLT. They’re having a party at Harry Grove stadium next Tuesday the 18th:
Please join the Voltaggio Brothers for an action packed night at the Harry Grove Stadium
- Home of the Frederick Keys Baseball Team - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 6 -10 p.m.Two of America’s best chefs have joined together in the creation of VOLT ink, a new cookbook by Bryan and Michael Voltaggio… and we are throwing a party to celebrate!
Concession food courtesy of the Voltaggios take on ballpark food. Beverages by Flying Dog Brewery and Brewers Alley. FACKA Double Header (Frederick Adult Co-ed Kickball Association) featuring one regular game and a second All Star Game with the brothers playing on the East
Coast vs the West Coast team. Concert provided by the Regal Beagles Yacht Club Band and the Blatant 80′s. Kids Fun Zone for oodles of fun for the kids.
Entry tickets $8 for adults and free for children 12 and under. Children will need a ticket for entry.
Early release of the book will be on sale for $40 and the brothers will be on hand for signatures.
I’m going to keep an eye on the forecast for Tuesday, but right now it looks decent. You can get tickets by calling 301-815-9939 or clicking here.
It has been a little over three years since I first reviewed Nilgiris Indian Sizzler. Well their website may still be up for now but the restaurant is gone. Yesterday I drove by and noticed it was closed. Sad to see that since it was my favorite lunch buffet. With the demise of the Bombay Grill a year or so ago that leaves only the Clay Oven on the Golden Mile as your source for Indian dining in the Frederick Area.
UPDATE: There is a sign in the window that says Delhis will be opening soon.
The other day I stopped by the new Frederick Wine House location at the Wegman’s shopping center. I’ll do a full review of that later, but while I was there I noticed the Coal Fire Pizza restaurant located just a few doors down. I’ve been talking about this place since December 2009 and alas they are still not open. They have a hiring and opening soon sign out front but it is still clear that construction is going on. I will definitely review this place once it opens. Perhaps it will give Il Forno a run for its money as the best pizza joint in Frederick? We will see.
Excellent front page article in today’s Frederick News Post. Talks about Bryan Voltaggio’s collaboration on a new brew with Flying Dog Brewery: Backyard Ale. The beer is designed to go with “smoked and barbecued foods.” Downside is that FNP says it goes for $5 for a 12 ounce bottle. Ouch- seems pricey for a regularly brewed beer.
Also in a sidebar the article talks about Voltaggio’s new TV show that he’s working on that might air on PBS in the fall. Equally interesting is the tidbit that he is now considering the old Carmack Jay’s property for his new second restaurant.
A neat article in today’s Frederick News Post about Brewer’s Alley’s Amber Fields Best Bitter. This new British-style bitter is a result of a ten year (!) project between their brewmaster and a local farmer to brew the first commercially produced beer from locally grown barley. Pretty cool. I’m going to go down and have a pint. Well maybe not right now since its only 7:55 in the morning as I write this.
Full article can be read here.
First of all I really had no intention of doing this review. A full review on a brand new restaurant isn’t fair to anyone. However last Thursday we were walking downtown, hungry and decided to see if the new Thai restaurant that has been slowly assembling over the past couple of months was open. Lo and behold it was, so we stopped on inside. At that time we had no idea that this was their first day open. The place was fairly empty when we first arrived but soon it was packed. About ten minutes after we were seated it became apparent that the staff (looked like one waitress for all 72 seats) was in the weeds. It took an hour and a half for us to get two appetizers and two lunches, for which the waitress apologized profusely. At one point people were giving up waiting to be seated and were leaving.
On the plus side we both felt the food was very good. I had the drunken noodles which were pleasantly spicy with lots of perfectly done vegetables. The fried tofu was light and crispy. The spring roll was delicate, airy and full of crunch. The only complaint I had was I felt that the noodles in the drunken noodles dish were a little overcooked and mushy. Anyway I’m going to give them some time to get their rhythm and then I’ll be back.
Sumittra Thai Cuisine located at 12 East Patrick Street.
UPDATE: Added full review on May 16th.
More closings. Proof the bakery/sandwich place on East Patrick Street is closed. The windows are covered with paper. The good news is that the sign says a Thai restaurant will be opening soon. I look forward to giving it a try.