Just noticed that the Volt blog was updated with some information and pictures on the new diner project that they are working on. Interesting transition from car dealership to diner. Blog entry here.
Tag Archives: restaurant
Just wanted to say that I’ve been on an Asian kick lately. In the space of a week I have eaten at both Lucky Corner and Sumittra. I’ve reviewed Sumittra before and found it to be excellent. I been back at least half a dozen times since that review and it has never disappointed. It has become our go to Thai place in Frederick (Sorry Thai Rice!). However, this was the first time that I had been to Lucky Corner and I had to wonder what took me so long. I sampled the chicken Pho, mango chicken, veggie egg noodles and veggie hot pot. I don’t have time to do a full review, but the food was uniformly delicious, the menu was filled with dozens of things I would have been happy to try, and the service was perfect. I’m curious as to how it stacks up to the other two Vietnamese restaurants in Frederick? Comments anyone?
Word is that Lunchbox opens tomorrow. I will stop by next week and let you know. Anyone care to post any of their impressions in the comments?
Word is that the team of Voltaggio and Staples are opening a new restaurant in early December on Carroll Creek. From the description its going to have to be on one side or another of the Wine Kitchen. It will serve sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts in a casual setting. Here is the website. Not much to see right now.
UPDATE: Hadn’t seen this when I wrote the above entry, but Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post has a more in-depth article here. BV is going to be busy next year! He also reports on some major changes at Volt:
Come January, Voltaggio plans to introduce some significant changes at his flagship restaurant. Volt will dispense with its a la carte menu and offer instead a four-course list for $80 that will completely change at the start of each month. Lunch service will be cut back to Saturday and Sunday, a move that will help Voltaggio and his team “push Volt to the next level” — finetune dishes, prepare additional canapés, re-write those menus — since the kitchen space will be free weekdays.
Wherein I break my own rule and review a chain restaurant. I know this does not really fit my criteria of a chain: there is one Wine Kitchen in Leesburg and they opened one in Frederick last month. If you have been paying attention to my twitter feed you would know this review was coming. First impressions were very good: the space is tastefully decorated in what I’d call semi-modern style with lots of wood and metal. Plenty of tables overlook Carroll Creek and in the other direction the open kitchen. There also was a private room which looked like it could easily seat twenty or so. When I was there is was still under construction.
The food was very good. I started with the butternut squash soup which turned out to be the highlight of my meal. Rich creamy soup with fried goat cheese balls and a drizzle of olive oil. I came close to licking the bowl on that one. I also sampled the sheep’s milk agnilotti, the heritage pork belly and the Border Springs Farm lamb flatbread. All three of which were delicious. I cannot stand overcooked pasta and I am happy to report that the agnilotti was cooked perfectly. The pork belly had a nicely crisped exterior and a juicy inside. The menu is not huge, but there is plenty to choose from.
Of course, like the name implies this place is about wine. The best way to enjoy this is get one of their flights. These are groupings of three wines, thematically tied together. They come in high quality glassware and each flight was accompanied by a little set of cards explaining the three different wines. I ordered the Italian Renaissance, which was the only flight that had both white and red wine. I had the white (Fuso Verdicchio) with the soup, which made for a terrific pairing. The other two were reds. The only down note was that I felt like the last wine of the flight, the Marabino Noto Nero D’Avola, was a little old and flat tasting. I always have a little bit of a concern about freshness in places that have a lot of wine by the glass available on the menu, yet just keep the partially full bottles out on the counter with the corks stuffed in them. On the plus side there are lots of interesting flights to try: Pinot Evil and a flight of three bubblies caught my eye.
The service was good and the lunch with appetizer, entrée and a flight of wine each came to about $40 each including tip. All of us agreed that it is well worth a return trip. On the way out we noticed a nice set of leather sofa surrounding a fireplace. That would be the spot to while away some time while sampling their wines!!
Just saw that Danielle’s restaurant at Shab Row shut its doors for good. There was some indication they were going to try something different but apparently now they are just plain closed. I remember when the space was occupied by Tauraso’s. It seems to me that local restaurants who are serving higher end “American” cuisine are having a harder time of it than some other more specialized restaurants. What do you think?
UPDATE 10/26/11: The Frederick News Post is reporting that the restaurant owed more than $353,000 in sales and witholding taxes. Ouch!
In Frederick is now open. I hope to give a review soon, but have an impending vacation looming. We’ll see.
It has been a little over three years since I first reviewed Nilgiris Indian Sizzler. Well their website may still be up for now but the restaurant is gone. Yesterday I drove by and noticed it was closed. Sad to see that since it was my favorite lunch buffet. With the demise of the Bombay Grill a year or so ago that leaves only the Clay Oven on the Golden Mile as your source for Indian dining in the Frederick Area.
UPDATE: There is a sign in the window that says Delhis will be opening soon.
The other day I stopped by the new Frederick Wine House location at the Wegman’s shopping center. I’ll do a full review of that later, but while I was there I noticed the Coal Fire Pizza restaurant located just a few doors down. I’ve been talking about this place since December 2009 and alas they are still not open. They have a hiring and opening soon sign out front but it is still clear that construction is going on. I will definitely review this place once it opens. Perhaps it will give Il Forno a run for its money as the best pizza joint in Frederick? We will see.
I have never been to Thailand. I have never stayed at a Holiday Inn Express either, but I have eaten a lot of Thai food around the United States. It is my favorite Asian cuisine hands down. The reason why I feel I have the need to say this is that I have always had the suspicion that maybe the Thai food I am used to and like is an Americanized distant cousin of authentic Thai food. Sort of like what happened to Chinese cuisine when it came here. I wouldn’t know the difference. But I do know what I like in Thai food. Anyway, with this disclaimer out of the way if you are still interested here are my impressions, likes and dislikes of Sumittra:
I have now eaten twice at Sumittra and am delighted to report that since my first experience the service has improved markedly. They appear to have gotten their sea legs. During my most recent visit the service was right where it should be. During my visits I sampled a number of their offerings. Some items I really loved and some not so much. The highlights were the fried tofu appetizers: perfectly crispy and not greasy. The drunken noodles- I loved the flavors and the heat; and their sweet and sour stir fry. The latter was filled with perfectly cooked, yet still crispy, vegetables and covered with an excellent sweet and sour sauce. The sauce was perfect. Not too sweet and not too vinegary. I used every last grain of rice soaking up all the drips of that sauce. However, the dishes I wasn’t crazy about (the chicken satay and the Pad Thai) were all because of the same fault: they were just too sweet. I found the sauce on the satay to be too much sugary coconut and not enough peanut flavor. The Pad Thai was, in the words of my dining companion, “cloyingly sweet.” Having tasted it I would certainly agree. I don’t think I could have eaten a whole plate of that. Thai Rice on the Golden mile still has the best Pad Thai in town as far as I am concerned. On the plus side the menu is large and there are easily a dozen or more dishes I am really eager to try. I definitely will be back to try them. I haven’t even gotten to the curry section yet! Also of note is that almost every dish they offer can be made vegetarian. No liquor license yet and both times I’ve been too stuffed to try dessert.
The restaurant is very tastefully decorated in oranges and blacks with tons of exposed brick. It projects a modern, hip vibe. My only beef with the ambience was that the last time I was there is was loud. I mean really loud. I think this was primarily due to one eight person group that was so raucous they bordered (the wrong side of the border too) on rude. This certainly isn’t Sumittra’s fault so I can’t hold that against them. In hindsight I had no problems the first time I was there with the noise level.
To sum it up Sumittra Thai is an excellent and much needed addition to the downtown dining scene. However, beware of dishes that have sweet flavors. The chef just seems to go overboard with that taste. They are located at 12 East Patrick Street. No website that I am aware of.