Think Before Bolting to Voltaggio’s VOLT

For us, VOLT is meant for special occasions and hence, Christmas Eve provided the perfect excuse to check out the hype surrounding the Frederick-based restaurant. We were eager to see what Bryan Voltaggio had to offer bearing in mind his utmost respect for food ingredients. After sitting in the bar, we were escorted to the dining room and settled on the three course prix fixe menu. Our server seemed young, but was incredibly incisive in his vocal delivery when describing the menu. The restaurant in its decor and menu did not evoke anyholiday spirit. And our ears were treated to music from The Verve.

Our party submitted our executive decisions to our incredibly incisive server. My order consisted of cheese ravioli as my starter, free bird farms chicken as my main dish , and textures of chocolate for dessert. Whilst waiting for our meal, I spoke with the staff – questioning them about the history behind the premises. There seemed to be more wait staff than guests. They were polite, but a slight air of arrogance runs through the establishment. Some of them seemed dazed by the fact that they work for a celebrity chef and in turn, it showed with their demeanor. It should be noted that Mr. Voltaggio was not on site that fine afternoon.

Upon arrival of our food, it appeared well-presented. But less than five minutes later, my chicken was sent back. It was under-cooked and the plate itself seemed rather cold. The scene repeated itself with another guest at my table and another patron seated next door. We were told the bird was sensitive to high levels of heat. That’s gotta be one sensitive chicken. Our food was brought back after being heated to the right temperature. We received an apology which was graciously accepted. Mistakes are made. I – for one – believe in second chances. But the experience left us underwhelmed. And the tiny chocolate dessert provided no layers of texture.

Bottom Line: You come to VOLT to impress. Nothing more. It should be noted that one member of our party suffered from food poisoning later that day.

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The Review: Red Fox Inn

Drive away from the hustle and bustle that is our nation’s capital along a picturesque route 50, and immerse yourself into the historic town of Middleburg, Virginia. At the corner of East Washington and South Madison Streets, you’ll find over 250 years of history at the Red Fox Inn. Red Fox is said to be America’s oldest operating B&B. It was here during the Civil War, General Jeb Stuart met with Colonel John Mosby and his famous Mounted Rangers.

Upon entering, the rustic elements stand out and create a charming ambiance that most establishments will never attain; the muted lighting, dark wooden floors, enduring walls, and large beams that have stood the test of time since 1728. The patio seating area is an oasis during these summer months. Our party arrived shortly after lunch, and thus sampled items from the “Lighter Fare” menu. The fried chicken with mashed potatoes and a biscuit were agreeable. The crème brulée infused with hints of lavender provided the ultimate pleasure during our visit. This family owned business has great potential to lure patrons who seek a true and unique dining experience away from the senseless worship of chain restaurants.

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