Volt: Young Carrots (What’s Up, Doc)

Volt Carrots

The carrot is a humble food. It’s typically one of the first foods we enjoy as babies; a popular dieter’s on-the-go snack; a cartoon meal for Bugs Bunny; and the food our mother’s tell us will aid our vision. But, the carrot dish at Volt stood up against the likes of calamari and bacon smoked pasta Bolognese, lamb necks braised with hulled barley, corn dumplings and many other winning dishes.

The Best Thing on the Menu was none other than: Young Carrots charred backed in an aromatic salt crust, dressing made from the carrot’s green tops and marsh samphire, soured sheep’s milk ice, pickles of icicle radish, bitter and sweet lettuces. Like other molecular gastronomy chefs, Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio somehow creates the illusion of that you’re pulling carrots directly out of the dirt by using culinary magic tricks.

Our meal at Volt was a tale of two tasting menus. We experienced both the protein-driven tasting menu and the fruits & vegetables tasting menu. It was fun to pick a head-to-head matchup winner each course —  A long delicious boxing match that ultimately had the vegetarian tasting menu coming out on top. We feel we’re really putting our money where our mouth is, seeing as though we chose Volt as one of the top five surprise picks for vegetarians earlier this summer.

Even the dessert on the vegetarian tasting menu won out: Meyer Lemon aerated white chocolate, pudding of ruby grapefruit, sorbet of celery hearts and leaves, coriander blooms, crisp cardamom and bitter cocoa.

Meyer Lemon Dessert at Volt

A visit to Volt is worth the trip to Frederick, MD. Unfortunately, the drive precludes most DC diners from taking advantage of the wine program, but the food should more than make up for it. One last tip, Volt has a parking lot that’s free for diners located immediately adjacent to the restaurant.

Want to try one of Bryan Voltaggio’s creations a little closer to home? There’s always Range.

Young Carrots not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

Win a 24-Course Dinner for Four at Rogue 24

Photo credit: Washington Post

Photo credit: Washington Post

You and three friends can win dinner for four at one of DC’s hottest tables. You will make your way through 24 colorful, surprising and delicous offerings including our Best Thing on the Menu: Sugar Toads.

BTM teamed up with local blog powerhouse PoPville (Prince of Petworth) to bring you this opportunity (a $540 value). Click here for more information and to enter.

Rogue 24: Sugar Toad/Oyster/Nettles/Seaweed.

Rogue 24 Sugar Toads

The Sugar Toads are not a skinny jeans-clad hipster band opening at the 9:30 Club Saturday night. Rather, they’re starring down the street (and down an alley) on the menu of Rogue 24’s new spring menu. Chef R.J. Cooper goes local and gets creative all in one dish with the Best Thing on the Menu: Sugar Toad/Oyster/Nettles/Seaweed.

Sugar toads are actually northern puffer fish native to the Chesapeake Bay, and in recent years they’ve been elevated to a delicacy. If a fried delicacy is hard to wrap your head around, you haven’t tried R.J. Cooper’s blowfish bites. Unlike in Japan where puffer fish (known as fugu) require a special license to slice and serve, these green-eyed ugly mugs are harmless.

Moments before the sugar toads arrive at your table, you are equipped with medical forceps, the perfect utensil for dunking fish sticks into gourmet green goop, or for playing a jumbo-size game of Operation.

Like many modern chefs, R.J. Cooper plays with texture just as much as he plays with flavor. So prepare yourself for a 24-course journey through crunchy, fluffy, gummy, foamy, gritty and beyond.

Rogue 24 is just one example of the recent trend of restaurants asking diners to put the menu away and put their meal in the hands of the chef.  And at Rogue 24, you’re in good hands.

FOR A LIMITED TIME: WIN DINNER FOR FOUR

You and three friends can win a 24-course dinner at Rogue 24 – one of DC’s top 100 restaurants 2013. All it takes is a tweet and/or signing up for the Monthly Menu. The link will be released later today  (6/17) through our friends at local blog PoPville. Click here to learn more and enter the drawing.