Family Meal and ALFIE BOE!

by Beth on February 10, 2013

On Friday night, two of my favorite ladies headed to Frederick with me for a girl’s night of food and music.

which one is my sister?

We started out our night at Brian Voltaggio’s relatively new family style restaurant, appropriately name Family Meal. I had heard mixed things about Family Meal in the 8 or so months that it’s been open, but I wanted to give it a try. They were nice enough to hold our table even though we were HORRIBLY late (thanks Friday night traffic).

An assortment of food

But that was about the last great thing about the service at Family Meal, which was downright bad. The food was overall pretty good, but the service was bad, Bad, BAD. Like, half of our meal didn’t come out, then it was undercooked, then the manager comped us dessert and the wait staff forgot that too. Yikes. Definitely not the product you expect from a restaurant associated with a high profile chef. Yes, I would likely go back to try it again, but I’m not sure I could recommend it to anyone at this point, despite the food and reasonable food.

the main event!

But the so-so meal was forgotten soon enough because we were on to our main event–a concert with Alfie Boe! Who is Alfie Boe? An English Tenor, best known for being Jean Valjean in the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert. Obviously, he’s a pretty amazing Valjean, so we were really excited to see him in concert!

alfie on the drums

And after seeing Alfie in concert, I like him even more. For a classically trained opera singer, he was so much fun on stage. Full of jokes, relaxed, grateful to his audience. Not stuffy at all! And he sang a bit of everything, from opera, to show tunes, to Elvis! His voice was amazing for everything, and he had so much energy, he filled every bit of the venue, from the front row, all the way back to our seats in the nosebleeds.

alfie on the balcony

About those nosebleeds. That’s where we were sitting, which was seriously disappointing. But this was a benefit concert for Maryland Public Television, and we made a donation to get seats without knowing where our seats would be. But at the end of the night, it turned out to be okay. See Alfie didn’t stay on stage the whole show. He was getting out in the audience a fair amount, but we thought there was no chance he would come up to the balcony. But then suddenly during a rousing rendition of Drift Away, he disappeared, and suddenly REAPPEARED in the balcony! He was going up to people and having them sing the chorus with him. He looked up towards us, and I pointed to Eileen and Kori, and next thing you know, he’s next to us and they are singing in the mike and he’s holding Kori’s hand! AHHHHHH!!! Of course, I was freaking out waaaaay too much to realize that I should use the phone in my hand to take a picture. Duh. The blurry picture above was taken about 30 seconds before all of this happened, so it has to be good enough! It was amazing though. Definitely put this into best concert ever territory!

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Biz February 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Wow, for such a top notch chef you’d think by month 8 the staff would have their act together – although part of me think chefs have such high egos, that they don’t bother with service because they think people will show up anyway.

So glad the concert wiped away the dinner memory!

CatSynth February 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm

The food definitely looks good in those photos – sorry it didn’t live up to your expectations and that service wasn’t that good. Sounds like the concert was fun, though.

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