Food and Drink, The Features

Bryan Voltaggio’s Range Set to Open in Friendship Heights

Get ready, DC—Bryan Voltaggio is coming to town. And he’s making a bold entrance with a 14,000 square foot, 300 seat, multi-station restaurant complete with tatted up, Converse-sporting staff in Friendship Heights. RANGE is set to open to the public on December 18th.

The open and airy RANGE (yep, in all caps) is built around the concept of an open kitchen with individual stations dedicated to specific foods–a charcuterie station, raw bar, rotisserie, wood fired hearth, baker, dessert and candy and coffee bar. However, the entire menus is available wherever you decide to sit.

Much like the restaurant space itself, the menu is expansive, ranging in dishes such as a smoked trout roe with potato-shallot tots, to headcheese with a sunchoke relish, to roasted pork cheeks with celeriac and moustarda. If our taste of kimchi linguini with briny uni and bay scallops was any indication, there’s going to be a very long wait for a table here. Other highlights included a refreshing kampachi (similar to a yellowtail tuna) tartare with pine nuts, lemon and coriander, and a creamy ricotta ravioli with braised meat ragu. The added bonus was extremely thin crust pizza topped with bacon and charred onions.

Prices don’t appear to put you over the edge. Entrees hover around the $15-$30 range, though there are the obvious ones that are more pricey, such as the 36-day-aged new york strip, wagyu beef tenderloin or rotisserie lamb neck. Sides and smaller plates go from $3 for dishes like cornbread with bacon marmalade up to $13 for specific charcuterie.

Cocktails on the menu run the gamut from simple, “the name says it all” drink is just a vodka with soda, to more complex punches like the “serpentine overtone” with tequila, cranberry, hum liqueur, lime and black pepper. Draft beers and wine are also available by the glass. If you’re going for non-alcoholic drinks, there are some house sodas that we can’t wait to get our hands on, like grapefuit and ginger beer.

After the jump, you’ll find a photo slideshow of RANGE that We Love DC caught a sneak peek at. Make sure you check out the retail space on the side of the restaurant, where you’ll find kitchen tools that Voltaggio has worked with Williams Sonoma to pick out, a rotating selection of goodies from the chef’s purveyors and more.

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Food and Drink

Rogue Sessions: Celebrity Chefs Rally to Support RJ Cooper

Rogue 24 by RJ Cooper
Courtesy Angie Salame

It is an unfortunate circumstance that will bring together some of the most talented chefs from the nation for a culinary showdown of epic proportions. Chef RJ Cooper, the mastermind behind Rogue 24, will undergo open heart surgery this month to correct a genetic heart defect which could be life-threatening if not treated.

In his place, ten of Cooper’s closest friends – who also happen to be some of the most talented chefs in the nation – will each take over the kitchen at Rogue 24 for a week. The impressive roster includes José Andrés, 2011 James Beard Outstanding Chef, David Posey from Chicago’s 4-star restaurant Blackbird and formerly of Alinea, Spike Gjerde, chef/owner of Woodberry Kitchen, Nancy Oakes, James Beard Best Chef California and chef/owner of Boulevard, and Top Chef contestant Jennifer Caroll, who worked with Eric Ripert at 10 Arts in Philadelphia and Le Bernadin in New York. And that’s just the half of them.

Each Rogue Session will cost $185 per person, and includes a 24-course dinner which will feature twelve dishes prepared by that week’s visiting chef and twelve Rogue 24 favorites, and wine and cocktail pairings by celebrity bartender Derek Brown and Beverage Director JP Fetherston. Tickets to these coveted sessions will be sold one week in advance exclusively through Gilt City. The first session kicks-off January 10th and will be lead by Top Chef contestant Bryan Voltaggio of VOLT. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Share Our Strength.

Now, if this isn’t the definition of chef love I don’t know what is.

The Daily Feed

Recapping COCHON 555

Photo courtesy of
‘Pork at Cochon’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Sunday afternoon the smell of roasting pork bits was wafting through the Newseum as five chefs competed to win at Cochon 555. After rounds of pulled pork, pork rinds, pork infused cocktails, pork belly, pork shoulder, and every other pork concoction and confection you can think of, The Source’s executive chef, Scott Drewno, was crowned the prince of pork. Drewno will go on to compete at Grand Cochon in Aspen this June.

Competing chefs also included Tarver King of Ashby Inn and Restaurant, Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar, Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak and Bryan Voltaggio of Volt. Additionally, Jason Belleau of Whole Foods Market and Pamela Ginsberg of Wagshal’s Market went head to head in a butchering competition that involved a lot of sawing and slinging of every single piece of the pig.

Five wineries from around the country were represented at Cochon, however, there were plenty of pork-inspired cocktails, including a martini with olives stuffed with pickled pig knuckle from Sobel, bourbon cider with pork pearls from Drewno and a smoked ham cream soda from Voltaggio.

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Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed

Bringing Bravo’s Top Chef to DC

Photo courtesy of
‘Paul BOCUSE, French Cook’
courtesy of ‘alainelorza’

The foodies over at DC blog Capital Spice have been intently watching and covering this season of Bravo’s Top Chef, and last week they offered up a fantastic interview with Frederick, Maryland’s own final contest Bryan Voltaggio.

Leading up to this Wednesday’s finale, the site is running a contest that not only gives the winner a Top Chef prize package, but also pitches Washington, DC as the fantastic location for the next season of Top Chef.

So here’s your assignment: Concept a Top Chef elimination challenge that highlights something uniquely Washington. Think: locations, ingredients, events, guest judges who best represent DC, etc.

DC would be an amazing venue for Top Chef. We’ve got a solid culinary community with DC denizens, like Spike Mendelsohn, Carla Hall, and Mike Isabella already showing DC skills on Top Chef, and currently Mr. Voltaggio making a very strong play the Season 6 title.  Additionally, DC offers a fantastic array of high-quality restaurants (with celebrity chefs,) historic eateries, local breweries, gourmet shops, great farmers’ markets, superb area produce, and a solid wine scene.

Capital Spice will take submissions until the beginning of the Top Chef finale this Wednesday night and will announce the winning entry on Thursday. Put your creative hats on! Get to brainstorming! And let’s bring Top Chef to DC!