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Bryan Voltaggio Envisions Bringing New West Coast Sandwich Shop to D.C.

Santa Monica may not have the only Strfsh for long

Celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio recently cooked a private Capital One-sponsored dinner at the Wharf.
Photo: Getty Images
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Just days after opening a shiny new fish sandwich shop in Southern California, celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio tells Eater he may have to bring fledgling Strfsh closer to home.

“Strfsh is very much a brand. We can’t just have one. I’ll need one in my backyard,” the Top Chef alum and Maryland native says of the quick-service eatery he’s installed in a Santa Monica food hall with younger brother and fellow restaurateur Michael Voltaggio.

Bryan Voltaggio currently operates several D.C.-area restaurants including multi-course-centric Volt in Frederick, family-friendly Aggio in Northern Virginia, and modern American-themed Range in D.C. He and Michael opened critically acclaimed Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse at MGM National Harbor late last fall.

Next up in their growing co-empire is Monger, a Gulf-inspired full-service restaurant set to open in Miami’s 50,000-square-foot food hall Central Fare in the first quarter of 2018. The brothers are also making a Top Chef comeback this winter, serving as guest judges on Season 15: Colorado.

Now the brothers are adding another title to their resumes: money men. The duo is partnering with Capital One and Mastercard on Savor, a new credit card that rewards users for dining out.

“A card that pushes people into my restaurants is fantastic. I get reservations and you can get cash back,” Bryan says.

He hosted a glitzy invite-only dinner at D.C.’s newly renovated Wharf November 1, serving up some of his greatest hits over the years to financial professionals and media. The first course, with salt roasted beets, farm goat cheese, and figs, was an ode to an inaugural menu item at his first restaurant Volt.

The autographed menu from Voltaggio’s dinner this month. Bryan’s says he’s been a customer of the sponsoring financial institution since back when it was Chevy Chase. The new card also rewards its holders with cash back on groceries.
Photo: Getty Images

“Customers told me they hated beets as a child but now all of a sudden I’d changed this awful memory,” he says, adding that one of his favorite things about being a chef is changing perceptions around food. Even his brother has done an about-face regarding his dislike for Brussels sprouts and broccoli, Bryan Voltaggio says.

His next big solo project is a yet-to-be-named restaurant at the Conrad hotel in CityCenterDC. Look for it in 2019.

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