(Video by Clubhill Media)
The construction paper has come off the windows at chef Bryan Voltaggio’s Range, which held a walk-through and tasting at the Chevy Chase Pavilion on Monday.
It’s the most attractive hangar you’ve ever dined in. The 14,000-square-foot space was formerly a SteinMart, where customers roamed the aisles in search of hidden discount racks of denim and sweaters. Now it’s “Oh, hey, there’s a huge wood-burning hearth,” or “Yikes, that’s a lot of shrimp.” Such is Range’s, well, range, that I needed to ask for directions to the walk-in charcuterie closet.
In keeping with the expansive theme, Range’s menu could be described as sweeping. It is indeed — as Voltaggio told The Post’s Tim Carman — a celebration of meat.
There’s an entire subsection devoted to hams (“Tasting of all hams: $24”) for example, with everything from cod face and beef shin to a meatloaf-topped pizza and kimchi linguini with uni and bay scallops. The priciest thing on the menu is a $65 wood-grilled wagyu beef tenderloin, with most other items $12 to $25.
The cocktails at Owen Thomson’s 25-seat bar are all $11, whether you order the obliquely titled “The Name Says It All” (a vodka soda) or the “Vegan Sacrifice,” a spicy scotch-and-ginger-ale concoction on the rocks — except those rocks are made from “beef ice,” which a bartender identified as clarified veal stock. (There also are three bottles of Pappy Van Winkle’s behind the bar at present — but you won’t have a chance to order any until the restaurant opens to the public beginning with a Dec. 15 preview.)
A 1,200-square-foot retail space — offering $15 hamburger presses and $800 thermal circulators alike — anchors one end of the restaurant (at left in the panorama beneath this post), near the in-house sweets shop. Customers will be able to walk in to purchase sweets without sitting for a meal.
Friendship Heights doesn’t want for much, but with apologies to the Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s Little Italy, destination dining isn’t the tony enclave’s strongest suit. But Voltaggio’s latest broadens the neighborhood’s dining portfolio — at least for meat-eaters. (And if nothing else, it’s much more convenient than Frederick.)