Kinkead's - Rumblings of discontent
- Jim Zurer
As a fervent long-time admirer of Kinkead's, I have been disturbed at the rumblings of recent discontent with the dining experience. Much of the discontent has been picked up off of the Washington Post weekly chat session. Tom Sietsema noted that he had left Kinkead's out of his Fall Dining Review--for inconsistency--and there were other posters who expressed concern.
I was worried when I found out that there was a Virginia location opening and I haven't been to the restaurant in a couple of months. Any recent experiences to relate--bad or good--from DC Chowhounds?
I, too, am a long time fan of Kinkead's, though I haven't been there in six months or more. I had heard through the grape vine that the chef is spending a lot -- or all -- of his time at the Tysons Corner location. That could account for some of the "inconsistency" reports. Today's Washington Times contains a highly favorable review of the Virginia operation.
re: Jim Zurer
Interesting. She didn't mention a single dish that my wife and I had when we were there. Hopefully our early experience was the rare exception. As for the D. C. location I have raved about the food there for years yet over the past several they have become quite arrogant about their seatings insisting on at least two turnovers. On my last visit in July I left with the feeling that the food was equal to many one and two stars in Europe yet the style was an insult compared to the European, "the table is your's for the evening." Of course so few American restaurants have this philosophy any more that the argument has become virtually moot. But most restaurants (Obelisk, Citronelle, etc.) at least accept a few 7:30 or 8:00 PM reservations, if only on weeknights. I never found Kinkead's to be even that flexible.
Tom Sietsema did elaborate on his recent displeasure with Kinkead's during the chat today. Here is the quote...
In brief, Kinkead's can be a stellar seafood restaurant. But what I found there prior to the fall dining guide wasn't pretty: Rude hosts. Inconsistent service. Back dining rooms that don't look like they belong to an expense-account establishment. And, sadly, cooking that wasn't up to snuff. All this for a lot of money. I attribute some of those flaws to the restaurant's recent opening of a sister in Vienna, Colvin Run Tavern: attention was elsewhere. I do hear, however, that Bob Kinkead is spending more time at his namesake restaurant, and I applaud that news.