Monday, March 29, 2010

Table 21 at Volt

So Fougoo, Redneckhunter and I were lucky enough to score reservations to Table 21 at Bryan Voltaggio's Volt restaurant in Frederick, MD the week after the finale of the most recent season of Top Chef. Unfortunately, Bryan was not in the kitchen the night we had dinner there. Regardless, it was an unforgettable experience.
We started with a drink of ginger ale with an absinthe foam. Not too heavy on the alcohol- nice starter.
Our next course was his take on chips and dip. However the "chip" was freeze dried prosciutto, and the dip was a potato foam. The combination was really clever.

Course 3 was had one of the items he won with on an episode of Top Chef. There were 3 macaroons- a sweet & sour guacamole, a beet foie gras, and a Caesar's salad. The guacamole one was probably still my favorite.

We then had a tuna tartare with avocado, wasabi, and whitefish roe.

Course 5 was a pine nut veloute with shitake pearls, chili oil and basil.

The following course was a boneless duck wing presse on top of onion noodles with dehydrated bacon and and celery. Kind of like a gourmet McNugget. The noodles were not so much of a success though- bit rubbery.

Course 7 was delicious: it was a ravioli stuffed with Cherry Glen Farm goat cheese with brown butter served with butternut squash puree and topped with sage foam.

We then had seared scallop on top of beluga lentils and cauliflower with a vintage caymus reduction.

Course 9 was sturgeon on top of ruby quinoa with black trumpet mushrooms.

The last seafood course was a Marveta farmed prawn with a vinaigrette served with a sunchoke puree and strips of green apple. Yes, I did eat the head.

We then started into the "meat" courses. The 11th item was fried sweetbread with meyer lemon, olive and caper sauces to accompany the dish.

Course 12 was a duo of slow braised pork belly which was delicious. I liked the bacon chip that came with it. It came with nice calypso beans, an heirloom white bean, and some nice chard leaves.

The next item was Hudson Valley foie gras that was prepared in more of a dessert fashion. It was topped with Seckel pear marmalade and pistachio soil, and the "bread" was vanilla brioche toast. This was really nice- the foie gras was smooth and buttery and complemented the sweet flavors well.

Course 14 was Longnecker Farm rabbit prepped in 3 different ways. It was a mini version of a dish on the regular menu. The rabbit is still one of the best tasting I've ever had, and I like the little ribs. It came with a sweet potato puree and brussel sprouts.

We then had beautifully cooked Heritage duck served with orange braised endive, kohlrabi and crosnes (the cute spiral item on the plate).

Course 16 was lamb, cooked sous vide, topped with grains of salt, and served with curry yogurt, cauliflower & edamame, and garlic spinach.

The 5 courses were dessert. We started with a cheese dish. We were served Monacacy Gold, a soft creamy goat cheese, with orange gelato and balsamic vinegar.

Course 18 was my favorite dessert, a Meyer Lemon curd with ginger ice cream and anise hyssop.

The 19th item was a dessert that was all white: coconut sorbet, vanilla cup and lavender dust. I'm not a fan of lavender as it reminds me of lotion when too strong.

Although bursting at the seams at course 20, I did enjoy the chocolate peanut mousse with tonka bean ice cream.

The final dish was mini ice cream sandwiches.

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