So if you’re local to LA, or planning to visit, I highly recommend Street. It’s relaxed and casual enough for regulars but an “experience” for out-of-towners. And it’s surprisingly affordable. Three entrées and two cocktails plus tip ran us about $70.
I’ll out myself and admit…I wasn’t the biggest Kevin “Dirty Bear” Gillespie fan in Season Six. (Still the best, EVER!) Bryan “Big Volt” Voltaggio was my pony, if only because he was constantly making Li’l Volt whine things like “Don’t be a dick, Bryan,” while wrapping his already sealed “Glad Family of Products” container in roughly 3,842 yards of plastic wrap, solely to piss off his brother. That and Bryan seemed an earnest, thoughtful chef.
So when my family recently moved to the thriving metropolis of Spotsylvania, VA, I demanded that we make the two-hour drive to Volt. After all, it’s one of the TC meccas: the little restaurant that could after it got a huge boost from being mentioned on a really popular show for 12 weeks. And, well, Bryan doesn’t disappoint.
First, though, the neighborhood. Yes, I know the Voltaggios are from Frederick, MD and he wanted to be located near the local farming community, but if your goal is to open a posh restaurant, you may want to choose your neighbors a little more carefully:
I kid. (Not really.) Frederick is a quaint, 19th century city and the downtown area is a hipster paradise with its red brick townhouses and artisanal shops, but I don’t know if a smoke shop that advertises “Hippie gifts and tobacco” really jibes with haute cuisine.
But whatever, Volt itself is gorgeous. Occupying the main floor of the Houck Mansion, it’s very warm and inviting (especially since the lounge is right off the main entrance) but does have a slightly formal feel to it. And the hostesses were clearly not of the LA variety. They were very friendly and chatty and helpful and even grabbed my phone out of my coat pocket when I told them I was planning on being the asshole fangirl/tourist and wanted to take pictures.
As we had the earliest reservations for brunch (they seriously book quickly so plan ahead) we briefly waited in the lounge where I, once again, had a delicious cocktail – this time a more traditional Negroni, which they still managed to look swank by serving it in a champagne glass. It was almost too pretty to drink, except brunch always tastes better when you’re a sheet and a half to the wind.
Not my actual Negroni but…PRETTY!
But we weren’t in the lounge long. Once in the dining room we were set upon by the bread server. Yes, there’s a friendly young man walking around the dining room with a basket of breads and you get to choose which delicious bread, roll or biscuit you want. I went with the vanilla roll, but the cheesy biscuit looked damn good. The bread server came around several times, each time with a new type of bread, including a cinnamon bun that looked like it was wearing a hat. I don’t know. I was two sheets to the wind and it amused me.