Category Archives: Restuarants


A couple weeks ago was my 4 year anniversary with Perry. 4 years of dating that is. He told me we were going to a dinner, but held his tongue on the place. I bugged him long enough for him to tell me that we’re going to the Tasting Room. The Tasting Room…sounds like a bunch of samples. I love samples!

As we drove into Frederick, MD,  I eagerly watched out the window for our destination. After a 30min detour of getting lost in the countryside, we were on Main Street and I saw the Tasting Room ahead in the distance. As I urged Perry to find a parking spot, he drove right past the restaurant.

We parked right in front of the real destination, Volt, Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurant.

I almost skipped through the front door. I was at Volt!

After a very short wait in the bar/lounge, we were escorted by the hostess to the dining room. The wait staff was right on our toes. Between dressing and undressing the table, refilling water, to even folding Perry’s napkin when he was up for the restroom, they were more than on top of things.

Our waiter asked for our drink order. Perry ordered the Pomegranate Fizz (I’ll be nice and not comment here), while I decided on the Old Fashioned (little did I understand that I was ordering straight Bourbon with a bit of muddled orange and cherries).

The waiter encouraged us to order 1 of all 4 courses, as the menu was designed to order.

We didn’t order 4 courses each, but I think we ordered a nice range of dishes.

I decided on a 1st course:

tuscarora farm organic beets cherry glen farm goat cheese, upland cress, meringue

and Perry went for the:

yellowfin tuna tartare avocado, chili oil, petite cilantro, soy air, marinated whitefish roe

Watermelon amuse bouche served

For our main courses, I order a “2nd course”:

cherry glen farm goat cheese ravioli, maroon carrot, romano beans, maitake mushrooms, balsamic brown butter

and Perry choose  the main course of Striped Bass

For dessert we shared the

textures of chocolate chocolate ganache, chocolate caramel, pistachio, raw organic cocoa

The waiter also brought out a desert and candle for our anniversary …thoughtful huh?

Volt lavished us with surprises in addition to the dishes we ordered. We were brought breadsticks, choice of bread with our appetizer, a watermelon amuse bouche to cleanse our pallate, samples of pastries and wrapped muffins for our ride home (they didn’t make it past our car ride home 🙂 ).

In all, I loved the entire experience.

Sorry for the lag in blogging lately…I hope to keep blogging here and there.



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birthday dinner

Hey guys….I’m in Outerbanks with my family, but realize I have a big back-log on posts. So I’ll give you a quick catch-up. Last weekend was Perry’s birthday. And I had been wanting to take him to Woodberry Kitchen for a while. Here are some pictures from our visit (backwards from desert to the bread).

I can’t even begin to tell you how fresh everything was- we’ll be going back soon 🙂

See you soon… from the beach

– Jess

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Gin Mill

The other night, I went out to celebrate my friend’s last day at her job and start of her new job. We walked to a bar/restaurant in Caton, the Gin Mill.

They offer great happy hour specials from $5 appetizers to a variety of drinks ranging from $1.75 to $5.

We split the Blackened Ahi Tuna, a 6 oz. filet of sushi grade tuna blackened then served on a warm croissant with a cool ranch dressing & crispy onions.

And the Warm Pita Plate, which came with 4 dips: hummus, basil pesto, roasted peppers and olive tapenade.

Ryan enjoying his wings.

I wish that I lived closer to Canton, so I could visit the Gin Mill more often. Their truffle oil fries are to die for and  I really love the service and vibe of the bar.


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beach weekend

I spent the long 4th of July weekend in Ocean City, MD. One of my favorite places to relax in OC is Northside Park around 127th street.

At the park: A humble picnic of wine, chocolate, bread and cheese. Tobie being nosey.

The boardwalk in Rehoboth (about 40min from OC) is another favorite of mine. I shopped at the boardwalk and then stopped at Dogfish Brewpub for dinner and drinks.

I buy Dogfishhead beer often at my local beer store. So, I already knew what to expect when ordering their beer sampler.  The 60 Min IPA  tops the others with its refreshing, citrus flavor…in my opinion 🙂

I ordered a side of green beans. This $1 deal looked teeny on the plate.

The Dogpile- Pitas with spinach artichoke dip, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and green onions. The name was very fitting for this tasty mess!

Do you have a favorite spot to visit on vacation?


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little one is twenty one

Whew…I feel like I’ve been non-stop lately and blogging has been last on my list. Work has been super busy with half of my team out of vacation. Sorry no excuses! 

Last weekend was my sister’s birthday, not just any birthday, but her 21st birthday. 


On Saturday night, before her after midnight festivities, we went to Clyde’s for a late dinner. I had no idea that they serve food until 12pm on the weekend. I will definitely be back for a late night snack. 

Another surprise was their food! I was expecting sub-par bar food, but the menu surpassed my expectations. 

American Farmhouse Cheese Sampler with strawberry black pepper jam and pecan raisin bread. 



Fried zucchini sticks: tempura battered and with a lemon aioli sauce 


And a (messy) Bacon Cheeseburger: 


What’s your favorite late night spot for food? 


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college friends

This weekend, I took a long-awaited trip to visit my girlfriends. Since college, my close group of 7 friends moved all across the US  (and 1 to Australia). It has been hard to meet up, but finally 5 of us were able to take a weekend in NY.

My friend Amy and I were the last to arrive in NY. We went straight to our hotel in midtown Manhattan to meet the others.  After catching up in the room, we decided to start a bar crawl.

Our first spot was my favorite. I was starving, so we went to a little Italian restaurant to sit down and get appetizers.

I ordered grilled mozzarella and sangria. And couldn’t have been happier.This was my first time eating mozzarella prepared grilled and it won’t be my last. They also served us bread with basil olive oil to dip, which we devoured on the spot.

In-between our reckless bar hoping. We stumbled across a street fair.

Raphaela with her corn pancakes filled with cheese.

Spice stand at the market

Later in the night, not wanting to end our drinking spree for a sit-down dinner, we took a quick pit stop for some NY pizza. I can’t believe 2 slices were about the size of half a pizza…and I ate it all! Please don’t forget tha fact that I am not a huge fan of pizza.

Us and $4 margaritas 🙂

What’s your favorite NY restaurant?


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NY bagels and Portalli’s

I took a quick road-trip over the weekend from Baltimore to NY to meet some girlfriends from college. And when I say quick I mean it. I was up and back in less than 24 hours.

For brunch on Saturday, my girlfriends and I stopped in a crowded NY bagel shop. I admit that I was a little intimidated walking in. There were many options and you had to know exactly what you wanted when you reached the counter. My friend, Ashley, being overwhelmed too, went for the safe choice, a bagel with cream cheese. I decided on the “Veggie Delight” bagel with a “Health” salad on the side.

Talk about an over-stuffed bagel.

On Sunday, I was back home celebrating my Dad’s birthday with dinner at Portalli’s, located in Historic Ellicott City. The restaurant opened recently and it was our first time visiting. Being relatively late on a Sunday night, we had almost the entire upstairs to ourselves.

My sister, Steph, ordered the Portallian Flatbread Pizza with crumbled goat cheese, peppadew (I learned peppadew is a type of pickled, sweet pepper. The name makes you want to say it more than once, doesn’t it.), jumbo lump crab and parsley pesto. Steph was happy with her flatbread, despite it being a bit fishy.

My father had the Duck Confit Manicotti house made with duck confit, ricotta, goat cheese, carmelized onions and wild mushrooms. He struggled to find the duck meat in this dish. But besides this fact, he said it was very rich and enjoyed every bite.

I went with the pasta special, Pasta Diablo, containing shrimp, scallops and crab meat. For me, there was the perfect amount of heat in the dish. It was a simple and not far from the traditional dish. I have no complaints; I cleaned my plate.

Some would say that the portions in general at Portalli’s are small. I imagine they are sized for a 4 course dinner and not intended to be ordered exclusively. I can imagine that people complain about the small size, being accustomed to incredibly large servings at restaurants.

– jess

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