It’s Art’s birthday today! How did we celebrate Art turning 41? Well with a 21 course meal at Volt! Not that we don’t love our local DC restaurants — goodness knows we do — but we’d been talking about heading out to Frederick to try out Volt for a while, and Art’s birthday seemed like a good reason. (woah — long sentence)
I started the process of trying to book reservations almost two months out, because I knew I was looking at a popular place. Turns out, I don’t have a clue about how far out you have to make reservations when a a celebrity chef is involved. Table 21, the 21 course tasting extravaganza, was booked through the end of the year. I decided the chef’s table would have to do, and I still couldn’t get anything for Saturday night, so I booked for Friday and planned to combine it with a tour of Flying Dog Brewery in the afternoon.
On Thursday my phone rang and I got the awesome notice that there had been a cancellation at Table 21, and would I like that instead of my chef’s table seats? Heck, yeah!!!
What I can say is that it was a total experience. We were a few minutes late, and missed the “flavors of sazerac” course, but made everything else. I expected the food to be killer, which it was. But I was also totally impressed with the service, especially my “no shellfish, no pork, no rabbit” requirements. The staff was fabulous and gracious about it. The few dishes that had one of the above in it, were made without and the staff would let me know each time they announced the course that mine had been made without it.
Out of the 21 courses we tried, only one was lack luster and it came at the very end (the “wedge salad,” which was something like lettuce granita with frozen blue cheese powder. Can’t really speak highly for frozen lettuce…). At that point I was so full, I was almost grateful that I didn’t to eat something.
What’s not listed on the menu below are the Hot Buttered Rum (NOM!!) and the take home treats. Art ate the take home treats in the car right after the meal. I couldn’t even look at them….
For those into the celebrity chef thing, yes we did see Bryan Voltaggio. No he didn’t come over and say hello or anything. We did get to see Sous Chef, Graeme Ritchie, and the entire Volt team in action all night. Table 21 is literally in the kitchen, so you get to see the amazingly well choreographed chaos that is a restaurant kitchen.
Table 21 Menu for 10.21.2011