Range- Washington D.C.

Range Beef Marrow

Range- Washington D.C.

Conceptually, this restaurant seemed fabulous. An area of town with little choice when it comes to dining options and located inside the popular Chevy Chase Pavilion. You know you will have patrons from the mall, but also the bizarre addition of hotel guests also located inside. What could be bad? The execution. It was scattered and awkward. To be honest, I felt kind of awkward sitting in my “booth”. It wasn’t really a booth, but more like the table and bench seats you would find at any mall food court. Yes, Range is in a mall, with the Embassy Suites guest hallways directly in front of you for your viewing pleasure during the meal. I felt like I was making a pit stop between errands, on display, and spying on hotel guests. What else am I going to look at in the long time gaps between tapas?

We should probably talk about the food though…it was good tapas. Not the best thing out there, but not horrific. Our table had enjoyed this style of dining many times before in areas all over the world. We’ve had better. There is probably better in D.C. as well. The family style portions weren’t enough for the whopping three people we had in our dinner party. Thankfully, nothing was so spectacular that we fought over the last bite. Did we get the wrong plates? Not likely, because we tried something from every kitchen that Range boasts about. Don’t get me wrong, Brian Voltaggio is such a talented chef and we love going to Volt. I know this isn’t Volt, and was totally looking forward to new dishes and sleek casual atmosphere. Additionally, we’ve eaten at our fair share of restaurants located inside of something much bigger (mall, casino, airport), so it wasn’t the location that was so odd for us that we couldn’t enjoy ourselves. It was a combination of so-so food with peculiar atmosphere and crap service.

We had to flag down a server every time our wine glasses were empty. We aren’t fast drinkers, and gave ample opportunity for one of the bazillion staff members to come by. They did come by, but just walked right on past us. There was always something more important they had to do. One of the guys that was busing a table felt sorry for us, and came over to say he would find someone. The time we had to wait to receive our first dish seemed like an eternity. I almost ordered room service from Embassy Suites. There is no bread, but you can pay for a bread basket that I heard was good. We did order the iron skillet corn bread with bacon marmalade. It came out last, which was odd. I could have used that corn bread to munch on in the years it took for my actual food to arrive. Granted, it was a Friday night, and the restaurant was busy, but if you put that many seats in a restaurant, you should have trained staff so that everyone has an enjoyable experience rather than just have the opportunity to say, “I ate there”.

So, yes…I ate there. I don’t recommend it to anyone. I don’t want to go back. I’ve heard the service has improved, but we weren’t there that long ago so I think what we got was the “improved”. Below are the dishes we sampled. We ordered the bone marrow for our friend to try. He had never tasted it, and we raved about how delicious it cooks up. Sadly, he didn’t try his first taste because even we weren’t excited to finish it.

Iron Skillet Corn Bread, Bacon Marmalade

Tasting of All Hams (range fresh hams, surryano Virginia ham, newsom’s Kentucky country ham)

Pork Cheek Ravioli, corn, caper tomato

Salumeria pizza with preserved tomatoes, burratta

Beef Marrow Bones, pinenuts, golden raisin

Roseda beef ribeye cap steak, chimichurri, roasted shallot

Roisserie potatoes, bacon, caramelized onion

Fried Brussels sprouts

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