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First things first, I absolutely love Volt (though I can’t afford to go there very often), so I have been itching to get to Range in DC to try out the new Bryan Voltaggio property and see what the great buzz is all about. Surprisingly, my verdict is: not so much.

Lets impose a roll call vote to get to the bottom of this:

YEA 7
Range has a beautiful clean layout (yea)
The blinking LED art in the hall somehow works (yea)
The wine program is supremely good with real sommeliers (yea)
Two dishes (of 7) were simply amazing (yea, real voltaggio)
Skip, the waiter, rocks (yea)
Great bread, especially the corn muffins (yea)
Management got a clue and interposed (yea)

NAY 12
Range is in a mall (nay)
The mall has Cheesecake Factory (nay)
The mall has H&M stores (nay)
Range feels like Las Vegas (nay)
Range has TVs behind the bar (nay)
Five dishes (of 7) were workaday (nay)
Wine glass was completely empty…three times (nay)
Not the best bread in DC, that goes to my fiend Larry (nay)
Management had to get a clue and interpose (nay)
Our waitress (not skip) was a newb out of her depth (nay)
No hot chocolate?! Can’t make it?! Really?? (nay)
Range is in a mall (nay)

The Nays have it.

What this all means in my little world is that I will stick to Volt. Malls give me hives, and Las Vegas is my personal idea of Hell.

Be forewarned.

For a month now, the Chicago Palomar has been leading the “battle of the Palomars.” With their artists suite hack, replete with house made jerky and a truly outstanding bar downstairs, they were looking like a lock. (Not to discount what San Francisco has been up to this year, I just need to get back there!) But Steph Vogel, GM at the DC Palomar has joined the game, and the Presidential Suite certainly doesn’t hurt!

Super friendly checkin. The valet guys remembered the mosquito.

Room 924 is not just a suite in name, with tons of room and stylish decor.

The fruit and cheese welcome package came in very handy as dinner was slated for late. And loyal readers already know how we feel about sparkling water here in noplasticshowersland.

Greetings

Greetings

What President would like this?

What President would like this?

It’s refreshing to be in a presidential suite that was designed well after the Reagan administration. Compare this gorgeous space to what the nearby Westfields Marriott has to offer. Kimpton = skinny pants, Marriott = khakis.

Presidential sleep land at the DC Palomar.

Presidential sleep land at the DC Palomar.

This chair is crazier than it looks from this angle.

This chair is crazier than it looks from this angle.

There are two bathrooms in this space, and room for a small gathering.

Powder room.

Powder room.

The master bath has a glass shower and a gigantic whirlpool tub.

Old school glass shower with a marble floor.

Old school glass shower with a marble floor.

The usual sink.

The usual sink.

A visit to obelisk (right next door) for said late dinner was solid, but not outstanding. A couple of the creations were remarkable. However, the day’s entres needed more sparkle. Fourth visit not a charm.

It got better.

Cupcakes and san pellegrino!

Cupcakes and san pellegrino!

Imagine that after a long boring meeting you walk in to drop off your computer and you are greeted with cupcakes and a specially concocted cocktail. Jerry Chou made day2 special. Thank you Jerry. (Hey Jacques, you know that sitting a manhattan around in a barrel after mixing it destroys the vermouth, but the guys at Urbana don’t.)

A nice dinner at Noras followed by a visit to Bourbon just up the street made the day complete. And what does Bourbon have in stock?

William Larue Weller

William Larue Weller

Hirsch 16 Reserve

Hirsch 16 Reserve

Day3 allowed for some time at the Phillips collection after a nice lunch at Bistrot du Coin. The Van Gogh Repetitions show is fantastic even if you have been to Amsterdam (where I will be Monday).

The permanent collection (Bonard)

The permanent collection (Bonard)

This Bonard of the purple person shares a theme with the Postal Worker edition six. Disappearing subject.

Purple person Bonard.

Purple person Bonard.

Dinner at the much anticipated Range (a Voltaggio restaurant) interesting. Won’t be going back. See review here.

Five showerheads and current lead in the battle of the Palomars to the DC Palomar. Better watch out San Francisco and Chicago!

Kandinski at the Phillips.

Kandinski at the Phillips.