A Hamburger Today
First Look: Bryan Voltaggio's Range in Washington, DC
Chef Bryan Voltaggio's next opening in the D.C. metro area is actually in D.C. proper. Located just off the Friendship Heights metro in the Chevy Chase Pavilion, Range is pretty massive: 14,000 square foot with over 300 seats, including a 30-seat bar and 55 counter seats facing open kitchens. There are seven stations: charcuterie, bakery, raw bar, rotisserie, wood fired hearth, dessert and candy, and coffee bar. Each is a great window into how Voltaggio crafts his menus and an opportunity to interact with chefs, and even ask them for shopping advice at the attached gift shop (yeah, there's a gift shop).
Voltaggio is offering inventive seasonal dishes inspired by Mid-Atlantic regional flavors and ingredients. Take the "Everything Bagel" Chicken dish: roast chicken, potato, and mashed potatoes seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and poppy seeds to emulate the flavor of an everything bagel. Or the Kimchi Linguini: linguini flavored like the traditional spicy, pickled cabbage dish, kimchi, with uni, scallops, and nasturtium. Traditional dishes with modern interpretations that fold in flavors from different regions into familiar staples.
There's also a bevy of standard offerings available. The wood-fired hearth turns out nicely charred pizzas. The charcuterie offers a wide selection of fresh, regionally sourced meats ranging from a housemade garlic sausage to Virginia country hams. Voltaggio is all about using the entire animal, so you'll also be seeing some alternative cuts. Or fresh oysters and sushi at the raw bar. Make the rounds and there's little doubt left as to where the double-entendre of breadth and rustic appeal in the name "Range" comes from.
Not forgetting the before and after dinner treats: the elongated, marble bar serves a wide selection of cocktails ranging from variations on classics to more inventive drinks like the "I'll Have a Chocolate Martini," which is not actually a chocolate martini and is made with Cynar and chopped almonds. On the opposite side of the massive space is the candy bar where you'll find a brightly lit glass counter filled with housemade bon bons, truffles, and elaborately dressed peanut brittle.
Range opened last weekend. If you haven't made the trip out to Frederick, Maryland, to see what Bryan Voltaggio's been up to, head to Friendship Heights to check this spot out. With so many different stations, it's kind of like the fanciest cafeteria you could imagine.
See a sampling of dishes from Range in the slideshow.