Food & Drink

Voltaggian breadth in Friendship Heights

Published On 12/17/2012 Published On 12/17/2012

Bryan Voltaggio's RANGE is so massive, you'd need one of those expensive British SUVs to drive around and see it all. What are those things called again? Anyway, the 14000sqft space dedicates separate, open-cooking stations to preparing anything your little heart desires, from rotisserie to raw bar, all relying on only the most regional flora and fauna. The restaurant actually wraps around the center of the Chevy Chase Pavilion, so revel in making eye contact with jealous people riding the escalator. This wood-fired pizza is layered with bacon & charred onions, but if you're feeling super ambitious, you can also get one topped with meatloaf. Beautiful beasts from Border Springs and Roseda Black Angus Farm are butchered on site. Check out this venison saddle with juniper berries -- the most beautiful-looking rotisserie since that "set it and forget" infomercial. Over at the pasta station, there's delizioso kimchi linguini with uni, Chesapeake bay scallops, and a beautifully named leaf called "nasturtium". Oh, and they pulled in José Andrés's old spirit-leader Owen Thomson to man this bar, where his 16-drink menu includes gleefully titled tipples like the mezcal-heavy "Mexican Warhead", the Scotch/pumpkin shrub "Inept Carnie", and the gin/apricot punch "Revoked Celebrity", aka what happens to their licenses after being constantly pulled over in their Ranges. Photo by Ken Goodman Photography

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1. RANGE 5335 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015 (Friendship Heights)

With 300 tables, two open kitchens, and a menu that borrows from both Italian and American cuisine, Bryan Voltaggio's newest restaurant shows some truly impressive range (sorry). Stationed in the Chevy Chase Pavilion, the sleek 14,000sqft eatery boasts a rotisserie-equipped wood-oven, a raw bar, and a separate in-house Salumeria for the careful treatment of locally-sourced poultry and game. The menu offers plenty of inventive small plates (alongside house-baked bread), an impressive list of Mid-Atlantic oyster options, and a variety of wood-fired pizzas. The meat-centric entrées like rotisserie pork shoulder topped with apple cider-mustard reduction are inventive (and tasty), and the expertly curated wine list is designed carefully around Range's staple menu items -- while the space is clean and minimal, the cuisine is nothing if not complex.

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