The coronavirus has changed a lot about the way we eat — it’s even changed Frederick’s flagship restaurant.
Volt, the well-regarded eatery from celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio, reopened this week as a new concept, Thacher & Rye. Volt, which shut down in March for the pandemic, first opened in 2008 in a 19th-century brownstone mansion on North Market Street. Thacher & Rye is located at the same spot.
Voltaggio could not be reached for comment, but told The Frederick News-Post that the new place “is more of an everyday, neighborhood restaurant" than its predecessor.
Among the changes are dropping the restaurant’s 15-course tasting menu and adding more approachable items like burgers. Other offerings include lasagna, roast chicken and fries with dipping sauces.
It’s an adaptation seen elsewhere in the industry as restaurant owners seek to accommodate everyday diners and those who may be reluctant to linger for six or more courses. This month, high end Mount Vernon eatery Magdalena, located in Baltimore’s Ivy Hotel, reopened as a more casual bistro under the same name.
“The long dining experience and the tasting menu and something that involves multiple steps of service is just not what people are looking for right now,” Voltaggio told the Frederick News-Post. “They want something a little more simplistic, recognizable and comforting in a lot of ways.”
Voltaggio’s Family Meal eatery, also in Frederick, remains closed for the pandemic.
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Voltaggio recently competed on another season of “Top Chef: All Stars.” He was runner-up, losing out to California chef Melissa King.