For almost a year (and even before Top Chef) I have been waiting to eat at Volt. When Bryan Voltaggio was selected to be on Top Chef, I knew that it was going to be harder to get a reservation. At long last, I made a reservation about a month ago for my dad’s birthday, though as it turned out, my family couldn’t make it and ‘the vegetarian’ and I got bumped up to the Chef’s Dinning Room at Volt. It was disappointing that I couldn’t go with my parents for my Dad’s birthday (not because they were going to pay), but I knew that we’d have another chance in a few months.
Tonight’s dinner was amazing. And I’m not just saying that. It lived up to the expectations that I have had for almost a year. Each course was prepared with meticulous precision and care. Every ingredient had a purpose, and each dish achieved what it set out to do, wow me and the rest of the diners.
Here is a break down of the courses. We each did the 6 course tasting menu which you are required to do in the Chef’s Dining room. I did the regular and Anna did the Vegetarian tasting menu.
Here we go:
The Amuse Bouche’s were: a guacamole macaron, ceviche and a turnip soup with some sort of air. All three were delicious, especially the turnip soup, as the air was topped with a bit of prosciutto.
The first course was a potato and leek soup with a scallop and bacon. It was rich and creamy, and because it wasn’t a huge portion, you didn’t feel bloated and stuffed with cream. It was the perfect starter. If you look back two posts on my blog, you’ll see potato leek soup, but, this was better (hello, captain obvious!).
Second course. Hudson valley duck liver seckel pears, pistachio, anise, vanilla brioche (from website), aka. foie gras. This dish looked incredibly rich, but it turned out to be every but rich. The pear sauce that is on the top and bottom brought out the flavor in the liver and took it to a new level. There was also dollops of apricot on the liver, giving it a nice tangy taste as well.
The vegetarian second course: Cherry glen farm goat cheese ravioli butternut squash, sage brown butter, shiitake mushrooms. I took a small taste and the sauce was richer than Warren Buffet, but the size of the portion was just right.
Third Course. This was prawns, braised in butter with cucumbers, and I think
squid ink tagliatelle. The prawns melted in your mouth and the air acted as additional sauce. The Pasta was cooked and salted quite well and a bit of all three components worked in perfect harmony.
Vegetarian course three. Pine nut noodles, with shiitake mushrooms “chips,” and bok choy. I took a tiny nibble of this, so I cant describe it too much. However the shiitakes were like little chips that some how mixed a crunchiness and a moistness all in one.
Course four. Iberico-red wattle pork belly cranberry beans, calypso beans, red ribbon sorrel, mostarda. I think this was the star of the night. The pork belly was as tender as it could be, almost like a pulled pork butt that tasted like it was roasted for a month. The beans were a perfect texture to go along with the pork, almost like “pork and beans” Volt-style.
Cours four for the vegetarian was chick pea flour gnocchi with calyso beans. The gnocchi melted like butter.
The fifth course. Veal with mashed potatoes each topped with a different sauce. Starting from the green: chive, red pepper and raisin. Sous vide turnips that tasted like they were jello and still contained all the good turnip flavor (yes, they do have good flavor if cooked right). It was topped with a red pepper ribbon. This was the best “looking” dish of the night, but actually was the only dish with a problem. Too much salt, that is all (In Toby’s british voice).
I was getting to full to try this, but it was a cauliflower dish with beluga lentils with zatar.
The last bite…is the best.
Overall, I was very impressed with the complexity and overall concept of the meal. The waiters, servers and Bryan himself were all friendly and helpful. Each dish was explained and served promptly. The chef’s dining room is an experience, I cant even imagine what Table 21 is like. I would highly recommend this restaurant if you love food and what to be served visual eye candy in the aesthetics of the preparation AND eat the best food imaginable. Its not cheap, just take a look at the website for an idea. The tasting menu is required in the chef’s room.