6/18/2012 09:46:00 AM

First Look: Bryan Voltaggio's Family Meal, Opening Late June in Frederick

photo by Lorraine Fitzsimmons
Family Meal, a modern American diner, is the latest Bryan Voltaggio (Volt, Lunchbox) project in Frederick, Maryland. Slated to open at the end of June, it will offer affordable all day meals in appealing surroundings. We took a trip to his burgeoning hometown, for a quick peek at his venture.

The Setting: Awash with clever design, the space is aided by the generous use of natural materials. You'd never guess that this welcoming space used to be a car dealership. There's a super-long counter fronting the kitchen. Showroom windows and high ceilings keep it light and airy. Low-backed booths are set against the windows. Barn wood and vintage touches (cup holders, shelves of home-made preserves) add homey charm. There is an outdoor patio with stylishly shaded tables.

The Food: The American comfort food canon - fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and meatloaf -will be glossed by the Voltaggio touch. There are plenty of counter seats where diners can watch the plating of iPhone snapshot worthy cuisine. Local produce is a given for any Voltaggio operation. The staff won’t have to go far for tomatoes – they’re growing them on site. Draft beer and cocktails, including boozy milkshakes, will be some of the adult beverages.

The Scene: This personable, family-oriented restaurant will fill the market gap between Voltaggio’s high-end Volt, and his counter-serve, sandwich shop Lunch Box. Busy bee Voltaggio is also readying Range an ambitious restaurant, wine store, coffee bar, bakery and more in Chevy Chase, Maryland for an early fall opening. Its good news for his DC area fans who won’t have to travel quite so far for his cooking.

880 North East St., Frederick, Maryland

1 comment :

  1. My wife and I spent our first of many evenings at Frederick’s new diner, Family Meal. “Diner” is a misnomer in terms of menu concoctions but not in terms of the friendly atmosphere and accommodating wait staff. Presentations are absolutely top drawer, outdone only by food quality.

    We had a couple beers, Chicken Pot Pie Fritters, Fried Green Tomatoes, Deviled Eggs and the slam-dunk of desserts in a light melt-in-your-mouth eight layer chocolate cake and a lemon meringue pie with blue berry toping and blue berry ice cream. Outstanding!

    The fritters were excellent. The coating on the green tomatoes, topped with candied bacon, could have been lighter but great flavor and the deviled eggs were a delight. Bacon to caviar topping, each was special.