Family Meal is quickly becoming a major brand for chef Bryan Voltaggio, who has opened locations of the restaurant in Baltimore and Frederick, and is planning one in Richmond, Va. This month, an Ashburn location debuts at 20470 Exchange St. Though out in Loudoun County, it's the closest Family Meal location to downtown D.C.
"We've stuck with some of the same core menu items," Voltaggio said. "It's the same kind of fare, the diner reinvented." That means classics from the original location like chicken pot pie fritters and fried chicken. They have a new meatloaf preparation and fried hot chicken that they're carrying over from the Baltimore restaurant. New to the restaurant: clam chowder bites, roasted brussels sprouts with a Caesar vinaigrette, a short rib-spiked French Onion soup, and a beat and burrata salad. They'll also offer chili with the fixins, a burger with pepperoni worked into the patty (pepperoni also makes an appearance in the restaurant's salt cod, spinach and artichoke dip) and a pimento mac and cheese.
Pastry chef Chris Ford, a relatively new hire for Voltaggio's company, has worked out desserts like a banana and butterscotch pudding and a devil's food sundae. "It's pretty ridiculous," Voltaggio says of the latter. Chef Justin Zawoysky, who has worked with Voltaggio's restaurants since graduating high school, is the chef de cuisine for the Ashburn Family Meal.
Visitors to Family Meal will recognize some of the warm woods and finishes of the original restaurant. They've added new lighting fixtures and a different layout, with a more separate bar and a U-shaped kitchen. The Ashburn design will serve as the prototype model going forward, Voltaggio said.
Expansion of the restaurant doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. "I really love Family Meal and think it could end up in any suburb around the D.C. metro area," Voltaggio said. The restaurant's official opening is scheduled for Feb. 25.