18 Dec Eating: DC’s RANGE by Bryan Voltaggio
RANGE is the newest restaurant to open in Washington. D.C. Not much of a foodie town when I lived there over a decade ago, today Washington, D.C. has transformed into a food and cocktail destination. RANGE, led by Chef and Owner Bryan Voltaggio (Bravo’s Top Chef season 6 finalist) and an amazing team including co-owner Hilda Staples, general manager Steven Fowler, wine director and Master Sommelier Keith Goldston, beverage director Owen Thomson, chef de cuisine Matt Hill, pastry chef John Miele and pizza-maker Edan MacQuaid, is no exception.
RANGE is a 14,000 square foot space located on the third floor of the Chevy Chase Pavilion. Located in a mall and surrounded by neighboring malls, the modern space shares an atrium with the Embassy Suites hotel and other retail shops. However, it is not a hotel restaurant, or for that matter a typical mall restaurant.
The name RANGE has multiple interpretations as it can represent the range where the animals come from, cooking on a range or the range of menu options. And there is no shortage of options! There are nine open kitchens including a raw bar, a bakery, a charcuterie, a rotisserie, a wood oven, a pasta bar and a patisserie. In addition, the sweets counter sells handmade chocolates and baked goods and the retail store sells high-end kitchenware.
RANGE offers a 30-seat marble-topped bar that also serves as a lounge area, a 55-seat counter top where guests can engage with the chef and dining tables that seat 300. No matter where you sit, at the bars or the tables, the kitchen is the focal point of the dining room.
Wine director and Master Sommelier Keith Goldston and Beverage director Owen Thomson are leading the creative wine and cocktail programs.
The cocktail bar features homemade syrups, bitters and sodas, as well as fresh fruit, and all cocktails are well-priced at $11. There are also punches available ($42) and house-made sodas for those craving something non-alcoholic ($3).
East Sea with gin, st. germain, kombu broth, hellfire bitters with a sea bean garnish which gives a refreshing finish
Unfinished Mishap with cachaca, mango (roasted in-house), lime, kummel (made with fennel and caraway)
Mexican Warhead with mezcal, roasted apple, strawberry vinegar, apricot
The international wine list is extensive (and still growing), with a strong emphasis on Burgundy, but also offering local Virginia wines and unique finds, such as a Pinot Noir from Patagonia, Argentina. Wines by the glass range between $9-$20.
The broad menu focuses on the Mid-Atlantic region. We wanted to try something from each section on the menu but alas, had to make choices. Of the choices made, each dish was spot-on!
From the Bakery: Skillet cornbread with bacon marmalade ($3)
From the Raw Bar: Yellow fin tuna with soy, lime and jasmine rice ($10) – this dish was exquisite. The harmony and balance of flavors were perfect – fresh, tender fish, savory soy, a pop of lime and the crispy rice for a little texture.
From the Wood Oven: Beef marrow bones with garlic, golden raisins and caramelized onions ($12) – the sweetness of the raisin and onions did not overpower but rather cut the richness of the marrow.
From the Pasta: Goat cheese seamless ravioli with braised meat ragu ($9) – tender, soft ravioli that oozed with mild goat cheese
From the Accompaniments: Fried brussels sprouts ($5) – crispy leaves but tender hearts