Sometimes, a new restaurant opens, and it’s at the top of my list. Other times, eh.
Range, up in Chevy Chase, was never really on my list. I was curious, of course, because it was a Brian Voltaggio restaurant, and we enjoyed Volt when we were there. But a restaurant in Chevy Chase Pavillion? Eh.
But then Range was listed as a “modern meatery” and I thought, why not?
In theory, we could have taken the Metro to Friendship Heights, not even left the station and walked right to Range. In actuality, the 20 degree day, the long work week, G’s headache and … well, it was so easy to order an Uber. This might be why my year-end Amex bill showed Uber to be one of our leading “merchants” of the year …
We walked up Vegas-like lucite steps that were lit from underneath, to a massive restaurant that took up half the floor of the mall. As we waited at the host stand, I noticed that we were right across from the Cheesecake Factory – argh!
Back to Range. Well, the place is massive. The staff wear bluetooth receivers in their ears.
We walked past the lively bar, past a dining room, maybe two. I lost track. Then we were led to a two-top in the middle of a back room, and unfortunately for us, the light seemed to shine right on us. Not the most romantic place, on this Friday evening.
The menu was extensive and frankly, everything looked delicious. I zeroed in on the meat dishes. After all, it’s supposed to be a meatery. What I didn’t realize is that the plates were shared plates. So slight change of plans, I guess. Although good thing G has a healthy appetite!
Our starter of charcuterie did not disappoint. We loved the pate and andouille sausage and especially enjoyed the accompaniment of pickled okra and cauliflower which cut the richness of the meats wonderfully. I could imagine the pickled vegetables in a Bloody Mary …
Sweetbreads were another standout, as was the hanger steak, which our server explained was made sous vide, so it would be rare (as we wanted), but not a bloody red.
We needed a vegetable, too, and chose the brussel sprouts, which came highly recommended by our server. The dish must be a universal favorite of the staff because as folks came by to clear our plates, each one said something about the brussel sprouts and kindly encouraged us to finish the dish.
The wine list was extensive and well-curated. We found a bottle of Vieux Telegraphe la Crau that was probably mislabeled at $85. Since we’ve see a bottle retail for that much, we decided there must have been a mixup, but we would be the beneficiaries. And the well-bodied Rhone was the ideal match for the rich and flavorful food.
So I was beyond full, but we wanted to try dessert, and there were so many choices. We bypassed the lemon dessert – which G later lamented – to try five handmade artisan chocolates. The chocolates came in a box, meant to be consumed on site or to be taken home, although who could resist.
So the verdict? Good food, but I couldn’t quite get over the mall location. And while it might be a good place to go with my parents the next time they are in town, the shared plates would get weird once there are more than 4 of us. So all in all, we’re glad we went, but I’m not sure we would go out of our way to try it again.