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Feb 25, 2002 06:45 PM

Kinkead's - and a thank you to Jim Zurer!

  • t

Thanks to Jim, whose opinions I've come to respect since I've been reading here, I had a memorable dinner at Kinkead's this weekend (of course, all the other input I gathered helped, too!).

I had a special occasion this weekend and decide to go with Kinkead's, a place I have wanted to try for quite a while. My quick review is this:

Contrary to so many reviews, we found the front of the house staff to be quite friendly and pleasant - not a snooty person to be found. Our server was especially warm and it was obvious that she knew many of her clients well enough to even garner a hug from one group.

It is definitely a place that manages to have a special occasion feel without being limiting. There were jackets, there were even a few ties, but there were plenty of neither. This was the ideal place for my date, who wanted a special meal without pretensions. There were young couples where a tall glass of beer was served, and a couple of tables with people who had brought their own wines.

The sommelier is incredibly unobtrusive, but his presence is amazing. Our server chatted with us on our wine choice, and mentioned the resources the sommelier has given them. The sommelier came to every table, even if it was just to peek at our choice and top off our glasses.

The seafood is impeccable, and the sauces are some of the best I've had. Even the desserts are great. The highlight of our meal was the appetizer "lobster gratin with lobster, potato and parmesan gnocchi, fennel sherry cream and basil" - incredible gnocchi that are creamy at the center and crusty on the top, with a sauce that blended the listed ingredients into a much better whole.

Someone here mentioned that the pepita crusted salmon was one of their favorites, and we ordered it, too. What a great dish! We also ordered another signature dish - cod with crab imperial, and it was fabulous, including the mustard cream sauce (though the spoonbread was dry) - I'd beg for another serving of that crab imperial topping!

I wanted to add a little bit of information to the general endorsements of this restaurant. We loved it!

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  1. I chose Kinkead's for my birthday dinner last month. My husband ordered fried clams as his first course--it turned out to be everyone's favorite of all the dishes we ordered that evening, although my monkfish was excellent. Husb, who has been a fried clam fan all of his life, declared them to be hands down the best fried clams he'd ever eaten.

    1 Reply
    1. re: zora

      The fried clams are is hard for me to resist them.

    2. Thanks for your kind words. I am very glad that you enjoyed your meal at Kinkead's. Were you there on Saturday night? If so, that may have been us hugging our favorite waitperson, Debra.

      Jim Zurer
      Washington DC

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jim Zurer

        How about that! We might have been the couple in the booth next to you, the ones getting the slightly embarrassing candles in our desserts for our "special occasion."

        Hope you enjoyed your dinner as much as we did!
        Thanks again!

        1. re: Terrie H.

          That was us at the table for four across the aisle. My wife was remarking about how much you were enjoying your meal.

          We have been going to Kinkead's since it opened and have enjoyed getting to know Debra Rubin and the rest of the staff. We feel as though "Kinkead's" is our restaurant and that feeling enhances our enjoyment of the amazingly high quality level that the kitchen produces. This has resulted in our commenting after having a good, but not memorable meal at other similar restaurants -- "It was okay, but we could have gone to Kinkead's".

          Interestingly enough, on our visit last Saturday, our appetizers were very slow in arriving (Debra attributed it to a back up at the raw bar) and my entree (the rockfish in the spicy crust) was not up to par--the fish was excellent, but the texture of the crust was somewhat dry and needed work. But everything else was wonderful....and we will be back as soon as we concoct a suitable occasion.

          Hope you get to go back before too long.