Friday, February 24, 2017

Voltaggio Brothers Steak House

Known for their time on Top Chef, brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio join forces for the first time with their modern steak house located in the new MGM at National Harbor. The dishes at Voltaggio Brothers Steak House draw inspiration from their home state of Maryland amid nostalgic design details and contemporary furnishings that produce a feeling of coming home.

We celebrated Keith's birthday dinner here after walking around the casino a bit and playing a few of the slot machines. (I won $16 on a penny machine, only to spend it all again later... ha!)  The restaurant was packed, and arranged in different "rooms" of a colonial-style house, like a library or den, formal dining room, and casual dining room or kitchen.  We were seated in the far back at a table immediately in front of the open kitchen, which made it incredibly warm.  The decor was a mix of grandma's charm with modern masculinity.  I adored the little dining plates with the floral pattern and cute birds and bees.  The lighting fixtures were also cool, and reflected star-like patterns all over the tableware (which you can see in many of the pictures below).

I chose a bottle of 2011 Worthy, Sophia Cuvee, Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, CA.  It had a leathery and peppery finish that was interesting on the palate, and paired well with our meal.

For starters, we shared the Big Eye Tuna that was prepared in the manner of a steak tartar with lots of onions, capers, and mustard.  It had bold flavor, a bit heavy on the salt, but the tuna was of nice quality.

We also shared the Oysters Rockefeller - here served in a lighter manner, yet still delivering that rich and creamy flavor.  The aerated spinach bechamel was vibrant and smoked shoyu and bacon bits on top added that extra umami.  I loved this appetizer and could have eaten a couple more.

For my entree, I chose the Maine Lobster & Blue Crab Imperial that was stuffed in a portabello mushroom and served in a Tom Kha (Thai coconut sauce) with pickled mushrooms and tons of fresh basil.  Again, the seafood was of the highest quality - very meaty, especially with the portabello - yet, the coconut sauce was a bit too concentrated.  Don't get me wrong - I love these flavors and still cleaned my plate, as I found the flavor to be intoxicating, but I had to drink a lot of water to counter all the salt.

Keith chose steak for his main course, naturally.  The USDA Prime 45-day Dry-Aged 22 oz Bone-In Ribeye took his fancy.  Though he asked for medium-rare, it was surprising a bit overcooked.  Topped with a pork crackling, the meat itself had decent flavor and didn't need any of the fancy sauce offerings.

He added a side of Young Broccoli, which had great flavor from the charred lemon and garlic aioli, and the Potato Gratin loaded with Gruy√®re cheese and thyme.  The potatoes were a bit greasy, but were comforting and delicious.

Lastly, we had to get a birthday dessert.  Keith chose Chocolate - pieces of sponge cake with dollops of pudding around a bar of mousse and topped with a scoop of ice cream.  The chocolate flavor was intense and paired well with a glass of Barolo Chinato.  (You can see the star pattern reflection of the lights again in this plate!)

Overall, service was typical of any formal steak house and the atmosphere was a bit more mixed of clientele, probably due to its location within the casino.  While the food was very tasty and had a couple interesting twists, we found it all to be overly salted and a bit underwhelming for the brothers' resume.  Nevertheless, we enjoyed our meal and I would recommend this restaurant to those looking for a celebratory steak dinner.

Total Rating: 3.8
Food: 4, Price: 3, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 4

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