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Jan 9, 2001 09:34 AM

Kinkeads ?

  • j

My old friend, and now a client, is coming to DC and I want to take him and a couple of his colleagues out for dinner. Have heard many good things about Kinkeads but have not been there myself. Is it a nice place inside - and how is the food? Appropriate (upscale enough)for business dinner?

Is it in the same building as Tower Records?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. (Apologies to AlphaDog for my harboring on the H-Post's crabcakes. I promise to keep to my earlier promise to accentuate the positive.)
    Kinkead's is indeed, and in fact, in the same building as Tower Records, a once-promising mixed-use urban-renewal gig that's aging somewhat fast (GW students, and the homeless) but still has its charms; but you need not step inside the mall to visit Kinkead's, which has an outside entrance on H St. Decor is warm-toned English library, with an upstairs that's quieter. Food is excellent. But why not try something new? DC Coast, on 14th and K, is pricey but (mostly) worth it. The whole Cantonese fried bass is a mega piece of fish, and wonderful, with a nice soy-based dipping sauce; so big, share it and indulge in 2 or 3 apps. More dramatic decor, too: a former bank, then a McD's (notorious for the hooker trade, when the nabe was what we remember), and now quite elegant. Great bar scene, too. Absolutely appropriate for business. Enjoy, Juan.

    4 Replies
    1. re: John

      I can't agree with you....DC Coast is good, although some have said it is coasting a bit because the boss is focusing attention on TenPenh. But Kinkead's is an experience. I know that people are getting tired of hearing this from me, but it is true.

      A couple of drawbacks...the outside mall sitting is dreary--don't accept it. Either make a reservation or wait for a table. Second, it is definitely getting priceier..with appetizers on both sides of $10 and main dishes in the mid-20s.

      But it is still amazingly consistent at turning out food at high levels of quality. We have been there close to forty times over the years and I think I have had only two dishes that were just average.

      Old Zurer family saying after eating at some hot new spot in town and spending $40 a person or more:

      "It was good, but we could have gone to Kinkead's."

      Jim Zurer
      Washington DC

      1. re: Jim Zurer

        If the Zurer Family is keeping the tab to the $40 range at Kinkead's, they ain't tippling, or they ain't tipping. But more power to them. Don't get me wrong: a wonderful place for dinner, on someone else's (deductible) tab. And I agree with Jim Z that diners should avoid the inside/outside tables, which are mostly harassed by the homeless. But K's is nice. President-elect Gore and the Liebermans had dinner there last week (calling the Kosher Board: if they serve shellfish (and they do), is it okay?), and it's been holding up. But try DC Coast for more of a scene, if you're looking.

        1. re: John

          I misspoke....I meant that whenever I am at another restaurant and spend $40 or more, I say I could have gone to Kinkead's...even though the tab there will likely exceed $60 a person.

          In the old days there was a separate menu downstairs which did allow for a relatively "economical" Kinkead's experience.

          Jim Zurer
          Washington DC

      2. re: John

        DC COAST

        and get the smoked lobster.

      3. I (sort of) second John's post. I love Kinkead's, but beware of the mall. If you go there, make a reservation and specifically ask to be inside, upstairs. You don't want to end up eating out in the mall seating.

        1. Kinkead's is definitely appropriate for a business will see lots of suits, but it is not elegant or stuffy. Dress code is relaxed, table are pretty well spaced, and the service is friendly, but professional.

          Let us know how you enjoy it.

          Jim Zurer
          Washington DC

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jim Zurer

            Thank you for the info on Kinkeads. Sounds nice and will probably take the old colleague/new client there. Jim stated that dress was 'casual,' I understand that to mean one does not need a tie or jacket to feel appropriately dressed?


            1. re: Juan

              That's correct, you do not need to were a coat and tie. They have smiled upon me even when I showed up in my jeans, but it is certainly nice enough that you will not feel uncomfortable no matter how dressed up you get.

          2. I love Kinkead's and am particularly partial to their entree of pepita crusted salmon with crab, shrimp, corn, and chile ragout...although the roasted cod with crab imperial and virginia ham is awfully good, as is horseradish and walnut crusted flounder. MMMMMM.