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Range, Chevy Chase - Chef Matthew McGhee Replaces Matt Hill, GM Jon Barry Replaces Steven Fowler in a 14,000 Square Foot Space

Friendship Heights Chevy Chase Pavilion Pan-Everything Pizza Charcuterie Cocktails Great Wine List www.bryanvoltaggio.com

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#151 Pat



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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:53 AM

I was invited to go with a couple of friends to Range on the 19th. Good thing I'm going before anyone else leaves.




The way I read the article, he'll still be there on the 19th (presuming he typically works Sundays).

#152 MsDiPesto



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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:27 PM

Last Sunday evening, four of us went to Range to try the Restaurant Week menu. I wasn't sure what to expect. In addition to the less than stellar reviews on this thread lately, I had been scanning Washingtonian's Very Best Restaurants issue while waiting in line at Giant a few hours prior to our dinner reservation, and noticed that Range was conspicuous in its absence. I was aware it was the last night for Chef Hill's tenure at Range as well. 


We had a 6:15 reservation, and on our arrival (after scoring a great parking space across the street) we were escorted to a banquette table across from the wood-fired kitchen. Caveat:  The RW menu seems to have been “disappeared” from the internet, so I have to rely on memory for the following descriptions.


I was driving, so instead of a cocktail, I had a glass of their ginger beer, which was wonderful, and seemed to be pure ginger that had gone through a juicer. One of my companions had a drink that I can’t remember the name of, but it had “Oak” in the name. We all tried a sip (as we would share all of our dishes), and agreed it was tasty and complex and went down very easily.


We decided to spring for the bread basket from the regular menu that came with five different spreads, and it was worth it. My starter was the Little Gem salad, and I appreciated that the blue cheese did not dominate the dish, which is usually the case when I order a wedge salad. The tomato puree made a very nice dressing, and the lettuce was fresh and lush. Another member of our party ordered the roasted beets, which contained both golden and red beets. Someone else ordered the roasted carrots, and I really liked those too. I’ve never met a roasted carrot I didn’t like.  I regret that I can’t recall the 4th appetizer.


On to the entrees. I ordered the sirloin steak with shitake mushrooms that came on a bed of grits. Loved the mushroom and grits, the steak was flavorless, despite being cooked to medium rare as requested. I didn’t finish it. The person sitting next to me ordered the Hangar Steak medium. It arrived less than rare, and was sent back. When it came back to the table, it really wasn’t much better than it’s original state, and the diner had lost interest in it by then. Another person ordered the octopus, which seemed to be a grilled tentacle over a bed of pasta. His wife didn’t like it, as she thought it was too salty, but he was fine with it. I didn’t try it, but now regret that (I’m not a seafood person, especially if it’s the least bit “exotic”, and I have a low bar for that term).


His wife ordered the dish we declared to be the hit of the evening…the Goat Cheese Ravioli. It was absolutely delicious. When ordering, the sole male in our group sprung for a side for the table of the grilled cauliflower with olives and dates. Meh, we had consumed too much food to appreciate it by then, and I thought it the cauliflower was pretty much raw with grill marks, making it a disappointment.


For dessert, I ordered the apple tart with cinnamon ice cream. Some of us felt that the ice cream needed more cinnamon. The tart was presented on a light biscuit and was good. The guy ordered what turned out to be two cookies that were like brownies, one of which was a blondie with macadamia nuts, and it came with two different scoops of ice cream. That didn’t get finished despite the aid of the entire table. I’m afraid I don’t recall the other two desserts.


I did have one glass of wine with dinner, and the sommelier who came to our table was fun to talk to. The other two women had seen the movie “Som” and a lively conversation ensued. Not wanting to entirely defeat the concept of RS, we ordered a bottle that was around 33 dollars, and was pretty darn good.


Service was friendly and attentive, and we made sure to tip accordingly. All of the employees we had contact with were cordial. We enjoyed the totally unpretentious atmosphere of Range (the guy with us was in jeans…no problem).


As for the steak issues, I chalk it up to the fact that something has to be sacrificed to offer RW prices. Or perhaps beef is not their strong suit. I will have to return to explore the menu further as there were several things I wanted to try, and will be glad to go back to do so. 


Loved the dim, spacy restrooms!!

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A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch. - James Beard

#153 cjsadler



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Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:23 AM

I see I missed some discussion of this awhile back.  I'd only had cocktails here before and never looked at the wine list until the other night.  I was shocked.  I don't think there's a restaurant anywhere in the area with lower wine markups (If there is, I'd like to hear about it).    Even at the low end*, the markups are unheard of in DC.  We ended up with a fantastic Tuscan blend recommended by the sommelier (blanking on the name right now). 


*And you can go pretty low. I think I even saw a sub-$20 bottle or two.   One example that caught my eye, as it was recently a wine-of-the-week at Calvert Woodley: Laura Hartwig Cabernet, which retails for about $16.  Any other place, this would easily be marked up to $40.  At Range: $22.  

Chris Sadler

#154 MsDiPesto



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Posted 03 February 2014 - 01:42 PM

The sommelier described to us how the restaurant will buy large amounts ("palletloads") of wine if the price becomes reasonable enough to pass on to the customers. He told us what the markup was, but I can't remember. It was definitely reasonable.

A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch. - James Beard

#155 jondagle



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Posted 03 June 2014 - 05:51 PM

Any updates on Range or Aggio?  Planning on making an outing with friends in the 'hood.


Thinking now that Palena is gone I better get around to some other places.... ;)

#156 DonRocks



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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:38 PM

Any updates on Range or Aggio?  Planning on making an outing with friends in the 'hood.


Thinking now that Palena is gone I better get around to some other places.... ;)


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