Saturday, August 24, 2013

Range

Range by Chef Bryan Voltaggio offers modern interpretations using seasonal ingredients from the Mid-Atlantic region prepared through classic and progressive techniques. From a salumeria, bakery, and raw bar featuring Chesapeake shellfish to the rotisserie and wood fired hearth where meat, poultry, and game are carefully treated, each of the state-of-the-art open kitchens showcases the craftsmanship of the chefs. Range is located inside the Chevy Chase Pavilion. Closest Metro is Friendship Heights.


Photo via Eater DC
For our last Summer RW 2013 dinner, we chose to dine at Range.  We dined at Chef Bryan's other hot spot, Volt, for my birthday last year and so I was thrilled when he chose to expand a little closer to home.  Located inside the Chevy Chase Pavilion, it is a bit strange to walk past the mall shops like H&M to get to the restaurant.  Yet, the location is massive and we were escorted waaaaaay towards the back right through the main seating area, past the raw bar, and through another dining room.  My first thought was "Sheesh, it must be four times expensive to run this place - not just for the electric bill alone, but all the extra staff needed to cater the large crowd too."  The decor is plain - white walls, with muted tones of gray and beige in the chairs and table top place mats.  Nothing much to write about and it gave off a "hotel restaurant" vibe.  Even the servers blended in with gray oxford shirts and beige pants.

As for the food, we were happy to see that the entire menu was pretty much up for grabs during RW.  A choice of 3 courses at $35.13, 4 courses at $45.13, or 5 courses for $55.13 were available plus raw bar, salumeria, bakery, and pizzeria options for an additional fee.  Though tempted to try a bit of everything, Keith and I chose to stick with the standard three course menu.  To accompany our meal, I picked a delightfully crisp German Riesling.  It was a bit dryer and not as sweet, but paired well with all our courses throughout the night.

For the first course, I chose Beets that came with a delicate buffalo mozzarella and crushed pistachios.  I haven't had beets in a while and these were very substantial and fresh.  Keith ordered the Goat Cheese Seamless Ravioli that looked like round dumplings and came sitting atop a braised meat ragu. The dish was a very good portion and the sauce was tasty - Keith only wished the plate was much hotter and that he had a piece of bread to sop up the meaty sauce.

Next, I ate Seared Diver Scallops with farro and an eggplant chutney with a robust morrel emulsion.  The scallops were perfectly cooked with a nice buttery crust.  The eggplant was not that sweet and its earthy tones were accentuated by the rich mushroom sauce.   I absolutely loved this five-star dish and did not share one bite at all with Keith.  He didn't seem to mind as he enjoyed his own dish of Leg of Lamb with summer succotash and roasted peppers.   The nice chunks of meat were also expertly cooked and looked more like pieces of loin than the leg.  While the dish was good, it needed more seasoning - there was no punch in flavor and nothing unique in taste.  As an extra side, we ordered the Everything Mashed Potatoes - a play on the everything bagel, these spuds were full of flavor with the poppy seeds, fennel seeds, garlic, salt, and pepper.  While our mains were not as small as typical tasting portions may be, it was still nice to have an added starch on the plate.

Finally, for dessert I ordered the Peach Tart that came with vanilla ice cream and blackberries.  The crust was a small buttered pastry that was overpowered by the large buttered-poached peach half.  But the peach was so tender we were able to cut it with a spoon. Keith chose the Cheesecake that arrived with such a pretty presentation.  Two small cakes were on the plate - one with peaches and the other with raspberries.  On the side was a nice scoop of tart raspberry sorbet with graham cracker dust.  We shared the dessert course, and while I found the flavor of each to be incredibly fresh and summery, Keith insisted they both needed more crust to balance them out.  Regardless, I was pleased with the dessert as they were much better than expected and a nice close to the night's meal.

The high quality ingredients used with progressive techniques gives American classic dishes a modern spin at Range, which is consistent with Chef Bryan's portfolio.  While RW menus and services may be lacking at some establishments, it did not trip up the Range staff at all.  Everything was still handled expertly and we left very satisfied and happy.

Total Rating: 4.33
Food: 4.5, Price: 4, Service: 5, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

What I ate:
Beets
with buffalo mozzarella and pistachios

Scallops
with farro and eggplant with morrel emulsion

Everything Mashed Potatoes

Peach Tart
with vanilla ice cream and blackberries

Plus Keith ate:
Goat Cheese Seamless Ravioli
with braised meat ragu

Leg of Lamb 
with summer succotash and roasted peppers

Cheesecake
with peaches, raspberries, and raspberry sorbet

Range on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover