While we are on the topic of seafood I just had to mention that I had halibut on a white asparagus risotto with a rhubarb ginger compote for lunch at VOLT last week and it was absolutely the best piece of fish that I have ever had. Just perfectly cooked: moist and flaky. I was sad to finish it. It sounds lame but I actually had a dream about it that night! I don’t usually dream about food. Anybody have food dreams?
Coming: There’s a new restaurant preparing to open in downtown Frederick called Volt after the Chef/Owner Bryan Voltaggio. From their website:
Award-winning chef, Bryan Voltaggio recently left his duties as executive chef of Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, DC to prepare for the opening of VOLT, a restaurant and lounge located in downtown Frederick, MD. Voltaggio, with business partner, Hilda Staples will oversee the renovation and restoration of a Victorian brownstone mansion at 228 N. Market Street where the restaurant is set to open in June
That is one of the most interesting buildings in downtown Frederick. It has a really cool walled garden. I wonder if they will have an outside terrace area? There is a lot of buzz surrounding this and it is definitely high on my list of places to review. He has an interesting blog here.
Going: Venutis is going, going, gone. Saw someone scraping parts of the sign off the building the other day. Can’t say I am surprised. It was really good many years ago when it opened, but it has been circling the drain for quite some time, although honestly I haven’t been in there 18-24 months. Word is an Irish pub is opening there. A second location by people who already run one in Baltimore. Here is their website. Some of the appetizers listed are sushi, salsa and samosas!?! Sounds about as Irish as sobriety. However, their location in Baltimore was named “Best Irish Pub” by Baltimore magazine in the August 2007 issue. Three Irish pubs in Frederick? We’ll see.
This is just going to be a preliminary review, as I’m not entirely sure I am being fair. I went to Jennifer’s Restaurant (207 West Patrick Street) for lunch today. I’ve been there maybe a dozen times over the years. Always for lunch. Candidly its always been when someone else has invited me and chosen the place as it’s not at the top of my list.
Service: 75. They had two waiters working both floors and it was really, really slow.
Ambiance: 86. Its a pretty, old building done in the classic pub style.
Food: 82. This is where I’d like to go back. The menu is all over the place and there really isn’t any consistent theme. In discussing our experiences there with my dining companion, we both agreed that we’ve never had anything really good here. Nothing really bad either, just nothing really good. I wasn’t particularly hungry so I had the large vegetable quesadilla. I was average and the fresh spinach and other veggies were completely overwhelmed by the really strong red onion inside. Salsa was mediocre and clearly came from a can. Again, remember I’ve always been there for lunch. If there is something there you feel is outstanding let me know!
Drink: 85. Its a pub, so I didn’t look at what wine was available and went straight for the beer. They have four nice, clean taps with both Guinness and Smithwicks (one of my favorites!) on draught. I had a Smithwicks. It was absolutely the highlight of my dining experience.
Value: 81. Prices are in line with downtown Frederick, but the food is only average, so I am not getting a lot of bang for my buck.
Don’t think this is fair? Am I missing something? Is it much better for dinner? Please let me know.