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Jan 8, 2010 08:32 AM

Volt, is it worth the hike?

i live in bethesda. my wife got a res at volt for my bday. is it worth making the trip to frederick or could i get a meal that is as good if not better in DC?

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  1. If it is not Table 21: I have had better meals in DC (Sushi Taro, Minibar, Komi, etc etc). But we went to Volt on the way back to Baltimore from a road trip, so it was a nice meal in that context. I would say really good, not outstanding. Why not?

    8 Replies
    1. re: sweetpotater

      we have a 5 month old so it means 2 more hours of a babysitter and a long drive. we are leaning towards doing it but i figured i would get some opinions. i am not expecting komi or minibar, so i guess thats good :)

      1. re: elegantelliot

        I understand it's pretty hard to get a reservation there now

        1. re: elegantelliot

          The raves about Volt are for Table 21 which has four seats. The restaurant itself is very, very good but no better than 15 or 20 restaurants in the D. C. area. But Table 21 is a different matter: it IS better than Komi or MiniBar. It IS worth the drive from D. C.

          But ONLY Table 21. If you sit anywhere else in the restaurant it is a different experience. Again, a very, very good one but not the over the top, blow out, incredible experience that so many have written about. Again, ONLY Table 21 is this. I also understand that Table 21 does not have an available seat on a Friday or Saturday night until July of this year.

          I do not mean this critically of Volt itself but when I say 15 or 20 restaurants in the D. C. area I am including everything from Citronelle to CityZen to Palena, Vidalia, Black Salt, Marcel's, etc. Volt is an excellent restaurant. But again, the extraordinary experience is at one of their four seats in the kitchen which you must reserve for by name, Table 21.

          1. re: Joe H

            Joe, it's even worse than you say - I'm hearing reports that Table 21 is in fact sold out, every night it is open, for a full year...

            1. re: DanielK

              We have reservations at Table 21 for my husband's 66th birthday and he hasn't even celebrated his 65th. We think this is a hoot!

              Incidentally, we were much more bent out of shape trying to speak to a living human being who could act on our request than on the wait we now face. I think my husband left four or five phone messages on their reservation answering machine over a three-week period with no response. He only got his reservation because he called yet another time and lucked into speaking to a live person.

              1. re: Indy 67

                A great post!!! Now, while you are waiting please give Enzo's Chef's Table at Teatro Goldoni a try. For what is on the plate it is a shade better...

                At some point Enzo Forgione will show up on television and he will also have a year's + wait. In the meantime, like Volt last Fall, it is available.

                1. re: Joe H

                  Actually, we did the Chef's Table at Goldoni for my recent birthday. We adored our meal there.

                2. re: Indy 67

                  I want to also add this: fifteen or so years ago there was a restaurant outside of Seattle called the Herb Farm which had a similar year's wait for a table. My wife and I made a reservation a year in advance to the day and began our wait. Eleven months passed and one night, there was a fire.

                  The restaurant burned down.

                  Today the "new" Herb Farm is 15 or 20 miles away in an Inn at Little Washington like setting which is entirely different from what it originally was, literally set in the middle of a large garden (i.e. "the Herb Farm") I note this because Volt's Table 21, in its own way, is entirely different. Yet, I wouldn't wait a year. Who knows what could happen while you/we are waiting! I'd call a few times and let them know that you're available on short notice to come. Sooner or later someone will cancel.

        2. It's absolutely worthwhile; while my meal at Volt a few months ago had a few minor missteps, it's on par with anything in it's price range in the district.

          1. We drove there one friday night, it was full so we had to sit in the lounge and get burgers and fries and those alone were worth the hour drive from DC.

            1. It is worth the trip if you have an opportunity to walk around the town a bit. The area where it is located has some nice shops and other restaurants. The food itself is very good but not on the par of the best of DC. If you are a Top Chef fan it may also be worth it because Bryan is there all the time and you have a pretty good chance of seeing him if you go to the bathroom.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rappel75

                Maybe we're just more willing to drive for a nice meal, but from Bethesda, Volt is a fairly easy hop. Even from here in Kensington, it's at most 20 minutes more each way than a trip to Eve or at times getting DT and finding your own parking.

                Plus unless you hit a jam on 270, it's an easy route. We had a lovely afternoon in the fall when we took the backroads up, grabbed the lounge lunch and zipped back. It was our first trip there and we were hooked.

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