Tag Archives: Goat Cheese

Volt Review

16 Jan

Are you all enjoying this lovely three-day weekend?  I know I am!  It’s been so nice to have an extra day to relax after several days of events and errands.  It also gave me time to catch up on my blogging for Imperfectly Delicious and Pamela’s PunchAnd boys and girls, I have a rave review for you! 

First let me preface this review by saying I grew up in a family of foodies.  My parents always used fresh ingredients in the kitchen and on the grill.  Which makes me appreciate restaurants like Volt, who really focus on using seasonal produce and local farmers.  That might make me sound snobby (my nose is in the air as I type), but I think you’ll all agree that at least 90% of the time fresh food just tastes better.  All of this is to say that my family was pre-disposed to like Volt for this reason, oh and because of the unbelievably positive press surrounding the restaurant. 

My family arrived about 30 minutes early to the restaurant, shocking given DC traffic on a holiday weekend.  The friendly hostess team took our coats and seated us immediately in a simple and chic dining room.  The dining room had cream-colored artistic lights, bright white table cloths, and vivid orange menus.  The multiple servers brought us drink and wine menus and enthusiastically described the artisanal cocktails.    I was freezing, so ordered a Hot Buttered Rum and my parents both settled on the EnclaveBoth drinks packed a punch and warmed us up quickly!

We stalled and snacked on house-made bread sticks dusted with fennel pollen, as we waited for my sister to arrive.  The servers were pleasantly patient and didn’t rush us in the slightest.  Once she arrived one of our servers (we had many) described the menu ordering options in detail.  At Volt you can either order a seven course protein-based tasting menu, a seven course produce-based tasting menu, or a four course menu that combines the two.  Our table opted for the four course tasting menu.

My first dish was the Oyster, Smoked Potato, Truffle and Bacon chowder.  This deconstructed soup was creatively displayed, and once combined, all of the ingredients formed the best chowder you ever ate.  Light and creamy with pleasant bite from the potatoes.

My second course was a recommendation from a friend.  I ordered the tangy Goat Cheese Ravioli with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Parsley Root Ash, and Sage Foam The pasta was spectacular!  I would have probably left the restaurant happy just by ordering this one dish.  The goat cheese was tart and creamy, and the mushrooms and sage gave the dish a deliciously woodsy flavor.  If you go to Volt this dish is a must-order item.

At this point the restaurant sent over their Wine Director to assist us with the expansive list.  Jill enthusiastically guided us through the menu, and helped us to select the perfect bottle for our tastes.  I loved talking to her and listening to all of the stories behind the different wines. 

For my third course I went against the table and ordered the Pork Shoulder, Sunchoke, Onion, and Cabbage.  As you can see from the image above, this dish way exceeded my expectations in terms of types of pork on the plate.  I not only had a nice portion of the pork shoulder, but also some pork belly and a sparerib.  The onions were the perfect complement and added a bit of sweetness to the dish.  The rest of the table ordered the Lobster, which was also outstanding.  I sampled a bite because it looked so pretty!  The lobster was perfectly cooked with just a touch of sweetness

My fourth course was dessert (yay), and I selected the Chocolate Marshmallow with Caramel and Peanut Ice Cream.  Oh heavens, my mouth is watering just thinking of it now.  I loved the rustic look of the dish and the playful touch with the gourmet marshmallow fluff.  I wanted to lick the plate. 

I would have too if I wasn’t so busy staring at the gorgeous plates around me.  Check out my dad’s striking dessert of the Peppermint White Chocolate and Eggnog Gingerbread.  How clever to take traditional flavors from the Holidays and reinterpret the presentation to invoke thoughts of Spring.

Oh but we weren’t finished yet!  Our four-course meal also included Volt’s complimentary tray of sweet bites to round out the meal.  These included chocolate and coffee macarons, house-made gelee, a fennel marshmallow, and hazelnut espresso truffles.  Two trays were delivered for our table of four!

This meal was absolutely divine.  In fact, it doesn’t even seem fair to call it a meal, it was more of a dining experience.  This dinner ranked up with the top five meals of my life.  The food was superb, and Chef Bryan Voltaggio elevated classic flavors with his witty, artistic presentation.  I would also like to say the entire staff at Volt were knowledgeable and welcoming.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been rushed through a dinner, but they let us truly enjoy our meal at a relaxed pace.  Hands down the best service I’ve ever experienced at a restaurant.  Finally, I know that $80 can seem like a lot to spend on a four-course dinner.  Our dinner was actually more like a seven-course dinner, and included the four courses described above with the bread course (bacon brioche!), complimentary dessert bites, and house-made granola togo delivered with our check. 

My overall rating is an A+ for Volt. Truly inventive and delightful food and worth every bit of traffic.   Thanks to my fabulous family for the reservation, meal and company!

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

27 Nov

To follow-up on yesterday’s Thanksgiving Recap post, I wanted to share the three recipes I contributed to my family’s feast.  At my mother’s request, I brought my Eggplant Dip, my Chocolate PB Chip Cookies, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

These sweet potatoes were creamy with a little tang from the goat cheese, and the caramelized onions were the perfect complement.  This dish was so simple, portable, and is sure to become a new holiday staple!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with  Caramelized Onions

  • For the Mashed Sweet Potatoes
    • 4 large sweet potatoes, roasted
    • 6 oz of goat cheese
    • 3 tbs butter, melted
    • 1 tsp pepper and a sprinkle
    • 1/2 tsp salt and a sprinkle
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • For the Caramelized Onions
    • 2 large onions, chopped
    • 1 tbs olive oil
    • 1 tsp granulated sugar
    • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
    • sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste

First roast your sweet potatoes on a baking sheet covered with foil in a 400 degree oven for an hour.  Make sure to poke several holes in each sweet potato with a fork to let the steam escape.  Your sweet potatoes will be finished when a fork can easily be inserted and the potatoes are tender.  I roasted these the night before to save a step on Thanksgiving.

Once the sweet potatoes cool, peel off the skin and transfer cooked potatoes to a large bowl.  Add the goat cheese and mash the two together.  Once combined, melt butter in the microwave for 40 seconds, and then pour over potatoes.  Add salt, pepper, and fresh nutmeg to bowl and stir.

After you finish with the potatoes, chop two large onions.  Transfer the onions into a pan over medium heat coated with 1 tbs of olive oil.  Stir the onions to coat and let them sit for 15 minutes or so, stirring periodically. They should look similar to the above picture.

After about 15 minutes, add 1 tsp of sugar to the pan and stir.  Cook for 15-20 more minutes stirring periodically to make sure the onions do not burn.  The goal  of caramelizing onions, is to release their natural sugars and soften them just shy of burning themStir the onions from time to time during the cooking process, but do NOT over stir.  This will prevent the onions from ever caramelizing.  TRUST, I think this is what took me so long to finish mine.

Top the mashed sweet potatoes with the caramelized onions, and serve warm.  My father is not a big onion fan, so I served them on the side for himHey, it’s the holiday season and I was in a giving mood!  These Mashed Sweet Potatoes stand on their own, but give them a try with the onions if you are not opposed to them.  I think they really give this side its pop. 

Eggplant and Sundried Tomato Dip

25 Sep

I often feel like the best part of any meal is the dip at the beginning.  So I’m bringing you my second dip recipe of the week!  I created this recipe a year go because I needed to find a new way to use up my eggplant before it went bad.  I love the earthy taste of roasted veggies and there’s nothing easier than throwing all of the ingredients in a blender.

Eggplant and Sundried Tomato Dip (serves 4)

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 tbs fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 oz container herb goat cheese
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 6 sundried tomatoes with a little oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp of salt, plus a sprinkle
  • 1 tbs pepper, plus a sprinkle

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In the meantime, peel and chop your eggplant into bite sized pieces.  Transfer eggplant to a bowl, and mix with 2 tbs olive oil, sage and rosemary.  Spread eggplant onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in a 350 degree oven for approx 25 minutes.  Let eggplant cool and then transfer to a large food processor.  I typically use my blender since I have a mini processor.  Add packet of goat cheese and sundried tomatoes with a little of their oil.  Pulse a few times on the chopped setting, then add the rest of salt and pepper and stir.  Blend again on the chopped setting for about another minute until dip gets to your desired consistency.  I like my dip thick and so it stands up to pita chips.  If you like your dip a little thinner, feel free to add a bit more oil and blend longer. 

Also, apologies for the lack of pictures!  It’s been a busy week and I accidentally ate all the dip pre post… 🙂