Last week, as part of The Big Read program, the restaurant Volt in Frederick, MD, run by Top Chef Las Vegas contestant Bryan Voltaggio featured a special tasting menu inspired by the life of Edgar Allan Poe. It was my first time eating at Volt, and it was impressive.
Right away, we started with the amuse bouche, which was the dish that won him an elimination challenge on Top Chef, a sweet and sour lime macaroon with guacamole.
We then were served bread. I chose the roll that had applewood smoked bacon in it.
The tasting menu offered two choices, Boston and Baltimore, contrasting the towns where Poe was born and died.
The first course from "Boston" was a New England clam chowder that was special in that the root vegetables, potatoes and carrots, were not quite vegetables, rather, the potato was like a small gnocchi and the carrot were more like noodles. It also had small spheres of balsamic vinegar in it.
The "Baltimore" opener was a blue crab cake topped with a chip seasoned with his take on Old Bay and served with a green apple remoulade and celeriac.
The second "Baltimore" course was a perfectly cooked pigeon served with caraway potato balls, cabbage, chard and roasted mustard seeds. The bird was so delicious and delicate in flavor, I can say that I have never had pigeon made so beautifully.
The second "Boston" course was Taylor Bay scallops with sea urchin, maitake mushrooms, coriader blossom with soy air. The blend of flavors, particularly with the sea urchin was wonderful.
For the main course, the "Baltimore" featured Voltaggio's take on pit beef with cut of wagyu beef prepared sous vide style to recreate the slow cooking. It was served over pureed potates and carrots and turnips. The resulting beef was tender and delicious.
The "Boston" main course was inspired by Poe's "The Raven" as he grilled black chicken served on two purees- parsnip and chestnut. Too bad the cooking took the black color out of the chicken.
For dessert, Voltaggio made a version of the Lady Baltimore cake with Mission fig and pecans accompanied by a fig sorbet.
The other dessert was a deconstructed Boston Cream pie.
As an extra treat, we received little ice cream sandwiches with homemade cookies. My favorite was the oatmeal cookie with coconut ice cream.
228 N Market St
Frederick, MD 21701-5335