When Bryan Voltaggio opened Volt, his prix-fixe restaurant in Frederick, it began with an a la carte menu. As of Friday, it will become one again. Voltaggio announced the switch in a press release, saying that he wanted to encourage the freedom of choice among his diners. Table 21, the 21-course chef's table within the restaurant, will remain unchanged.
The new menu isn't too far removed from the prix-fixe experience: Voltaggio said he structured it in a way that would allow diners to create their own DIY tasting menu. The menu is divided into categories -- fruits and vegetables, pasta and grains, fish and shellfish, meat and game, and cheese and dessert -- that encourage guests to create multicourse meals. Guests can still opt for the tasting menu experience for $95 with optional beverage pairings for $65.
The move away from the pix-fixe tasting menu could also be a sign of fatigue for expensive, multicourse dinners. Vanity Fair's Corby Kummer wrote about the tyranny of tasting menus last month, and Post critic Tom Sietsema grew weary of them back in 2008.