Have reservations for 3 at Kinkead's for Monday night. This was the backup option since Nectar was closed.
Has anyone been recently (last 3-6 months)? Would LOVE to know your opinions. I've seen the restaurant mentioned in a few conversations as "overrated" and"resting on its laurels" which are frightening terms IMHO. Should I change the reservation to someplace else? If so, recommendations? I need something that is relatively close to The Fairmount Hotel (Foggy Bottom Metro).
You need to allow an hour and a half.
The crab cake appetizer is still among the best in the city. The grilled calamari with polenta ragu is outstanding. The pepper-crusted tuna is very good. (The fried claims will disappoint anyone comparing them with New England.)
The reputation for resting on its laurels comes, in my opinion, from the fact that all these dishes were on the menu 8 years ago, and they're still there. What was exciting then is no longer exciting after you've been there a dozen times.
But if it's your first time, you'll enjoy it.
As I type this it is 10:21 on Monday evening and I sincerely hope that you went to Kinkead's. For a period of a year or more when its sister restaurant, Colvin Run Tavern opened, it suffered in my opinion. Since the remodeling, based on two luncheon visits, it has returned to the level of excellence that James Beard recognized him for.
They recently shut down for a while to renovate and overhaul their menu. I haven't been since, but in our two trips we were well satisfied with the food, service, and atmosphere. I loved the clams appetizer and the Trio of Crème Brulees especially. As for the entree, I don't think you can go wrong with anything on the menu. Keep your reservation!
Ate there for the first time last weekend. The service was excellent. Lobster medallion appetizer was done perfectly. I loved the pepita crusted salmon, my husband tried one of the specials - which was supposed to be a mole sauce on halibut but is had way too much clove flavor. Decent wine selection. All in all a good experience though, we will be back.
We enjoyed our 2nd visit there less than 2 months ago. It was every bit as good as we remembered our first visit to be, and that one was pretty spectacular.
We are headed back to DC in a couple of months and look forward to celebrating our anniversary with another dinner at Kinkead's.
Most of what I read says they can be spotty. We've enjoyed a couple of consistently excellent experiences, and hopefully that trend will continue.
This makes for a wonderful meal:
the clam strips. This is meant to be shared or instead of an entree.
the asparagus soup (not exactly sure how this is listed on the menu, but has asparagus, peas, some bits of asparagus flan thrown in. Completely delightful, and one of the most inventive and delicious soups I've ever had)
I did not enjoy the polenta (a side dish).
Was there about three weeks ago. Just sat at the raw bar, no reservation necessary.
Yup. My wife had the clams last time...but they are not strips! They are Ipswich style, which includes the belly. She absolutely loved them...I was too full from lunch to even think about having a bite.
I remember eyeing that asparagus soup...definitely on the short list for next visit.
But our take on the polenta side dish (with tomato fondue) was the exact opposite of yours. We loved every dreamy, gooey, bright and cheesy bite.
That's what makes a horse race...
re: Tha Groovin' Gourmet
Well, to throw in my two cents, I had the fried clams last Tuesday lunch, and was a bit disappointed. True, I was mentally comparing them with Woodman's or whatever the name is of that place in Essex Mass that made them famous, and maybe between that place being so good and my memory being so questionable (it was many many years ago), it is an unfair comparison.
On the up side, I also had the clam chowder and it was fabulous.