“I’m going to have a crazy 2012,” says Bryan Voltaggio, and we don’t disagree, given his plans next year to open North Market Kitchen in downtown Frederick and Range , a bistro with a meat focus in Chevy Chase. Today brings news that the chef and co-owner of the destination restaurant Volt in Frederick is also preparing to open a soup-and-sandwich concept on the city’s Carroll Creek Promenade within a matter of weeks. Voltaggio is calling the casual 30-seat restaurant Lunchbox and promising “fast food done right.”
Among the headliners on the menu will be a Cuban, a muffaletta, grilled cheese and a portobello sandwich made with local goat cheese and pesto made with area greens, and everything but a cool Maryland crab filling will be served hot off a press. Soups will run from shiitake with roasted peanuts to alphabet, the latter a nod to the Frederick County Library next door. Salads and sweets will also be available at Lunchbox, which replaces La Dolce Vita in its space. True to its name, the restaurant will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.
Customers will order at a counter but have their food delivered to them — on metal cafeteria trays — in a dining room dressed in reclaimed barn wood and gray accents, says Voltaggio, who has designed the operation with the intention of replicating it down the road. He hopes to open Lunchbox either Dec. 3 or 10.
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.
But wait! There’s more!
Voltaggio also has an idea for a diner, yet to be named, that he wants to open on East Street in Frederick in what used to be a car dealership. The restaurant’s due date: March or April.
The chef plans to install sous chefs from his ranks at Volt to helm both new concepts.
Plans for the $2 million North Market Kitchen, once on hold , are going forward after Frederick’s mayor and board of aldermen recently changed the city’s code to allow businesses to break up hefty water and sewage fees into four equal installments. “The first project is becoming the last project” to launch, says Voltaggio, who now hopes to introduce North Market Kitchen in fall or winter of next year.