How’s your January health kick going?
If you follow me on Instagram, it’s clear that mine is going swimmingly.
Carrying on from the December indulgence, (I’ve gained about 10lbs since I’ve landed stateside – be impressed) we booked dinner for DC Restaurant Week at RANGE.
You may have previously read about my dinner at Volt, Bryan Voltaggio’s stunning, fine dining restaurant located in Frederick, Maryland in a 19th Century brownstone mansion. Having enjoyed this experience so much, I was really looking forward to trying RANGE, a much more modern menu using seasonal ingredients from the Mid-Atlantic region.
The restaurant boasts 9 open kitchens, including a salumeria, bakery, raw bar, rotisserie and wood fired oven. The decor is welcoming and neutral whilst staff dress in converse, jeans and aprons complete with built-in corkscrew pockets. Overall, a more laid-back, accessible affair compared to Volt.
Alongside an extensive menu separated into categories by kitchen, RANGE has a killer cocktail list. Owen Thomson, RANGE’s beverage director & head mixologist, has a creatively named selection of drinks made with an array of ingredients. His Inept Carnie, a favourite of my mother’s, is made with scotch, pumpkin shrub and Averna.
I requested a non-alcoholic cocktail, dealer’s choice, and received a pineapple, lime, almond & ginger beer concoction.
From the Restaurant Week menu, we each chose a starter, main and dessert, which we all shared.
(dining with me comes with an obligatory share factor of whatever you’ve ordered)
Artichoke, mozzarella, maitake, taggiesca olive pizza Beet, burrata, pistachio & sorrel vinaigrette Lacinato kale, ceasar, sourdough, egg emulsion, pecorino
Delicious combinations, fresh ingredients and large portions.
The standout dish for me was the Kale Caesar. (is that a pun, Chef?)
A tasty, healthy ingredient covered in a creamy dressing and topped generously with cheese – always an excellent idea.
For our mains:
Goat cheese ravioli, braised meat ragu, basil & parmesan
Roasted half chicken, lemon, garlic, bulgur wheat, smoked raisins Rockfish, yellow fish, parisian gnocchi, dandelion
Wow. The Goat cheese ravioli was stunning. Such a dramatic flavour from the cheese paired beautifully with the meat ragu.
The chicken was incredibly tender and made the perfect vehicle for the generous portions of roasted garlic I covered each bite with.
The Rockfish was tasty, but the gnocchi too dense and butter sauce too rich for such a delicate piece of fish.
Let’s take a little breather before we move onto dessert, shall we?
The bathrooms at RANGE are weird.
I like weird.
The spaceship-like door has a little round disk which you pull at gently before the door slides open on its own. Don’t stand there like a moron trying to close it, it will eventually close on its own.
(there should really be a sign…)
The room is very dark, with backlit panels behind the sink and mirror which make you sort of glow.
The sinks are freestanding glass basins with automatic faucets and secret lever soap… It took me awhile to figure out this wasn’t also automatic. All part of the spaceship mystery, I guess.
Now that you’ve made some room following our little adventure, it’s dessert time!
Apple tart tatin with cinnamon caramel ice cream & apple butter
Meyer lemon custard, marshmallow, blood orange, white chocolate Bittersweet chocolate semifreddo, white chocolate pudding, olive oil gelato
All the desserts, as you can see, were beautifully presented.
However, I felt each missed the mark a little on flavour. I didn’t dislike any of them, but each had such unique combinations that could’ve really stood out.
To make up for my minor disappointment, we ordered a selection of truffles from the candy bar. Earl grey & salted almond truffle, honey lavender truffle and everyone’s favourite – Mexican hot chocolate truffle
RANGE was yet another delicious experience and I continue to be impressed by Bryan Voltaggio’s work. If you’re in DC, I’d definitely recommend a dinner with friends & family here.
If you don’t plan on dining here but are in the area, please promise you’ll at least try the Mexican hot chocolate truffle? And maybe get an extra one for me…Thanks!