Wood-Oven Archives - Please The Palate
archive,tag,tag-wood-oven,tag-713,bridge-core-2.3.7,ajax_updown_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-22.3,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_top,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.2.0,vc_responsive
  • All
  • Cocktails
  • Food
  • Lifestyle
  • Podcasts
  • Travel
  • Uncategorized
  • Videos
  • Wine
FIG Restaurant has been serving up California Cuisine inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica for years. But some changes have taken place and now there is the NEW FIG Restaurant. Fig at Fairmont The space is still the same and the covered patio is flush with natural light. The decor now has a warmer feel to it with hanging plants adding life to the space. And there is a wood burning oven that has been added that you can see when you first walk into the restaurant. Fig at Fairmont Fig at Fairmont At the helm of the new FIG Restaurant is the personable Chef Yousef Ghalaini. A native of Lebanon, Chef Ghalaini grew up in his grandfather's bakery where he first learned the art of the wood-burning oven. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley and worked in Napa, Florida, Connecticut and New York before coming to FIG Restaurant at The Fairmont Miramar. At FIG Restaurant, Chef Ghalaini works with local farmers and fresh California ingredients to create his Mediterranean inspired menu that integrates the warm spices and legumes of Lebanese cuisine. 
I continue to marvel at how many great restaurants there are now in DC and it is actually difficult to chose where to go when I only have a few days in town.  On my last visit, I was able to make it a double "Top Chef Weekend". The first night we ventured to Bryan Voltaggio's new restaurant Range. The next night we ventured to Mike Isabella's Graffiato, which means "graffiti" or "scratched." I will be honest in saying that, as a loyal Top Chef viewer, Mike Isabella on Season 6 was not one of my favorite contenders. He was too arrogant for my liking and his dishes didn't seem to be as exciting as some of his competition (ie. the Voltaggio brothers). But, I became a fan of his when he was on Top Chef All-Stars and after eating at Graffiato, I can say with confidence that his food is exciting and flavorful.
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.