RANGE Restaurant by Bryan Voltaggio

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.

RANGEAlongside 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.

RANGEI requested a non-alcoholic cocktail, dealer’s choice, and received a pineapple, lime, almond & ginger beer concoction.
RANGEFrom the Restaurant Week menu, we each chose a starter, main and dessert, which we all shared.
Obviously.
(dining with me comes with an obligatory share factor of whatever you’ve ordered)

To start:

Artichoke, mozzarella, maitake, taggiesca olive pizzaRANGE RANGEBeet, burrata, pistachio & sorrel vinaigrette RANGELacinato kale, ceasar, sourdough, egg emulsion, pecorino
RANGE RANGE

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
RANGERoasted half chicken, lemon, garlic, bulgur wheat, smoked raisins RANGERockfish, yellow fish, parisian gnocchi, dandelion RANGE

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…) RANGE
The room is very dark, with backlit panels behind the sink and mirror which make you sort of glow.

RANGE

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.
RANGENow that you’ve made some room following our little adventure, it’s dessert time!

Apple tart tatin with cinnamon caramel ice cream & apple butter 

RANGERANGE Meyer lemon custard, marshmallow, blood orange, white chocolate RANGEBittersweet chocolate semifreddo, white chocolate pudding, olive oil gelato
RANGE RANGE

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

RANGERANGE 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!

Volt

This Christmas, Santa definitely heard me loud and clear.
Dinner reservations at Volt for quite possibly, one of the best tasting menus I’ve ever had.

Volt, owned by Chef Bryan Voltaggio in Frederick, Maryland is housed in a spectacular 19th Century brownstone mansion. The Victorian exterior encases an elegant, modern dining room, lounge, and kitchen. The Voltaggio Brothers have steadily attempted to reinvent American cooking through their creations of farm-to-table cuisine.

But enough about that, are you ready for some food porn?

Fennel Pollen and Sea Salt Breadsticks

Celery Macaron Filled with Foie Gras with Apple Butter and Celery Foam

With mom’s house cocktail came the most amazing Candied Cherries.
They were so good, we had the waiter bring us some to nibble on. 

Every few courses, the waiter would appear with a basket of freshly baked, hot rolls, each completely different to the next. I began with a Black Truffle Biscuit and a Bacon and Rosemary Roll, but must admit I tried at least a bite of each of the seven different rolls offered.
What was I supposed to do, say no?

There were three of us, and we each shared our courses so I thought I’d give you a little taste of each. The more food porn the better, right?

Starters:
Kampachi Sashimi with Fennel, Blood Orange, and Candied Ginger

Salsify with Quince, Country Ham, and Hazelnuts 

Venison Tartare with Horseradish, Apple, and Green Soy PasteSecond Course:
Goat Cheese Ravioli with Yellow Foot Mushroom, Chanterelle, Vegetable Ash, and Parsley Root

Foie Gras with Shredded Coconut, Coconut and Coriander Puree, and Ground Cocoa and CoffeeSquab, with Roasted Parsnips, Dates and GroatsThird Course:
Butter Poached Lobster Tail, Cauliflower, Smoked Raisins, and Vadouvan 

Pork Shoulder, Sunchoke, Onion, and Cabbage

Beef Calotte with Endive, Fennel, and Vanilla Flavoured Potatoes Before the cheese course, we ordered teas and coffee.
I had my favourite, pure Matcha Green Tea. Not only is it delicious, it helps with digestion, which was much needed after the three courses and mountain of bread I nibbled my way through. 

Then came a decadent plate of local cheeses served with little toasts to smear them on.
Cheddar, Midnight Moon, Goats Cheese, Grayson, and Blue
Dessert:
Red Velvet Cake, Cheesecake Ice Cream, Crushed Pecans, and a Lime and Vanilla DrizzleBanana, Black Sesame Cake, Nitrous Frozen Coconut Ice Cream, and PineappleChocolate Rocks, Toasted Marshmallow, Caramel Pieces, and Peanut Butter Ice Cream

After Dinner treats:
Chocolate Macaron with Espresso Ganache, Passionfruit Mango Gummy, Hazelnut Truffle, and a Homemade Fennel and Lemon Marshmallow Before leaving, we were given a little coffee cake for the morning after.
A naughty reminder of the evening before’s indulgence.
Then, like a true chef groupie, I took a picture with Chef and Owner Bryan Voltaggio. It’s quite awkward, but it gets the job done.

An incredible combination of flavour and texture in each dish whilst keeping the number of ingredients to a simple minimum.For reservations, book here.
This is a weeks in advance reservation kind of restaurant, but if you’re going to be in the area and have the chance to go, I’d definitely recommend it.