The affair stared poorly. Trying to get a reservation at the highly-acclaimed Volt in downtown Frederick was becoming a hassle. After a solid game of phone tag with my reservationist, I finally made it on the books.
First impressions shouldn’t be overlooked and mine was a positive one as I took my seat in a setting that paralleled a contemporary art display. A chocolate ceiling against white walls and white leather booths were a reminder not to forget to order the Textures of Chocolate dessert.
Intentionally skipping breakfast, we were prepared to enjoy the wine and cheese pairings with our three course meal.
First Course – Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with Wasabi Whitefish Roe
I’ve heard that tuna tatare is passe and I don’t care. The delicate morsels of tuna were refreshing and I appreciated the foam made from the whitefish roe. Furthermore this may be the closest I’ll get to having a culinary “experience” at el Bulli. This meal was paired with a glass of Botani Moscatel Seco and it was indeed seco, or dry, and had a lingering fruity aftertaste that reminded me of pears.
My only regret was that there wasn’t more of the tuna — and I deliberately paced myself.
Second Course – Barramundi with Silver King Corn, English Peas, Gnocchi and Summer Truffle
The Barramundi, also known as Asian Seabass, was crusted on one side and placed on a bed of the silver king corn, English peas (some pureed and others whole) and gnocchi. On the perimeter of the plate was corn foam, to my delight. For me, hold the peas and somehow make both sides of the fish crispy and keep the interior the same — moist and flaky. For our wine we had a pinot noir and that’s all I can tell you. It left no impression, good or bad, but I do recognize that I wouldn’t have known what to pair the Barramundi with.
Starting from top to bottom, and as we were instructed to eat it, our cheese plate went from soft to softer: brie, asiago, cheddar and blue cheese. To enjoy the artisan cheese we had some artisan nutty bread. But nuttier still was our wine pairing, which was actually a pale Indian Ale. The Raging Bitch, made from Flying Dog a local Frederick brewery, was selected for this meal due to the carbonation in the beer to help cleanse our palate. Success!
Dessert – Textures of Chocolate: Dark Chocolate, Ganache, Chocolate Caramel, Raw Organic Cocoa
I love chocolate. Period. But this beautiful plate was more Death by Chocolate as even this chocoholic wasn’t able to finish it, which was truly sad. But cheer up, there was a glass of 10 year-old pure chocolate port from Portugal to enjoy. After one sip it was clear, I like port.
Want to make a reservation? Good luck!