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Restaurant K

It seems as if Restaurant K is opening this weekend. I've been hearing a lot of buzz about this place and am very interested to see what's coming out of the kitchen (and as always what they are charging for it :) ).

Zagats already has their preview up and it sounds promising, especially for the vegetarians out there. (Plus it's listed as Moderate right now...which is good but I also find is the hardest category to target on Zagats since it seems to be "moderate" on a swinging scale):

"In the Golden Triangle space that used to house Jimmy’s on K St., chef Alison Swope cooks up original Contemporary American fare with plenty of vegetarian options, as well as Mexican-influenced dishes from her now-shuttered restaurant Andale; splashy artwork brightens the comfortably clubby space, and its long polished bar is a lively perch for power types – and local denizens of the burgeoning neighborhood – at lunch and happy hour."

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  1. If the food is anything like Andale, I plan to stay away. We gave that place multiple tries and it just was meh at best. Looking forward to hearing feedback on it once it's open though...

    2 Replies
    1. re: KWynn

      Or if it's anything like Jimmy's on K from what I hear of the old restaurant. Never went there myself but I never heard anything good coming from there.

      1. re: KWynn

        I have to agree with you about meh food. I really tried to like it, but seemed to be missing "something". But the house 'ritas were yummy!! I even ate at her venture (at same location) before she turned it into Andale.

      2. I just looked at their menu. Prices don't seem too bad. Appetizers in the $7-14 range and entrees in the $18-29 range. This is for dinner.

        1. Restaurant K by Alison Swope Swope opened Monday, September 17. We had dinner there last night. For only being open one week, I was surprised at the few service or kitchen glitches. Everything was running very smoothly.

          Chef Swope describes her menu as "Modern American." There are obvious nods to Asian and southwestern cuisine but it is not Andale with a new name.

          Ambiance is nice but I would prefer to sit away from the adjacent bar area to minimize noise. We sat on the other side of the dining room which was about half full and could carry on a conversation wothout straining to hear.

          The wne list is modest, with about a dozen or so each of whites and reds by the glass and about an equal number of bottles for under $50. Another few dozen are in the $50 and up range. We had a very nice Phelps 2002 cabernet sauvignon (which normally sold for $200) for $125 (an opening special).

          Bread is from Firehook bakery. Service was friendly and knowledgable.

          The chef offered an amuse bouche of a single slice of poached pear with a cabernet sauce. Very nice. The standout dish of the evening was the not-to-be-missed appetizer wild mushroom baklava with goat cheese. Excellent and highly recommended. We also had the duck pastrami appetizer which came with a homemade spicey mustard, carmelized onions, and arugula. Different and tasty.

          For entrees,my GF had the tuna which was served with red chile-coconut sauce, basmati rice ‘flapjack’, sesame seasoned bok choy and shiitake mushrooms. It was good but not anything special.. Neither of us would order it again. I had the salmon fillet wiith red pumpkin seed sauce flavored with smoky chipotle chiles and farro-kale risotto. I enjoyed that very much and would order it again.

          For dessert, we shared the chocolate cream pie with sour cherry coulis and toasted almonds. It was good but very heavy. Better shared than ordered alone. Next time we would try something lighter.

          We enjoyed the evening and will go back. In comparison to the recently opened Proof, I would say the ambiance is a tie, Proof has the better wine cellar, and K has the better kitchen. Of the two, I prefer K.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Dakota Guy

            Sounds promising. Wine aside (since I probably will never be ordering a $200 bottle of wine on a regular night of dinner...lucky you!!! :) ) how much was the meal for 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 1 dessert?

            1. re: Elyssa

              The meal of 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 1 dessert was approximately $95, with tax, without tip. About average for similar restaurants. By the way, their valet parking is only $5 (pre-tip).

              1. re: Dakota Guy

                Not too bad...about the same at Cashion's or other restaurants of the moderate to upper moderate price. (And as Tom has mentioned in a recent chat...$100 is about the average price these days in DC for a dinner for 2 at a "moderate" priced or "nice " restaurant. )

            2. re: Dakota Guy

              Any idea of they have a website up yet? A quick google search didn't find anything...
              Thanks for the review. This sounds promising!

              1. re: KWynn


                had dinner there on saturday. Alison Swope has outdine herself. The baklava appetizer is not to be missed. Pork Osso Buco is amazing.

                1. re: graham0317

                  We didn't try the Osso Buco but we saw it on other tables. It looked very good. My GF made a note to try it next time we go.

            3. Just visited Restaurant K for a second time since they've opened. First time around I had the crab ravioli, which was excellent. The service also went smoothly.

              This time around the service showed some significant new-restaurant glitches. First, the waiter's exceeding enthusiasm struck us all as quite odd. Second, for some reason the entrees showed up as some of us were only half way through the appetizers. Third, my hanger steak (which the chef recommended--and I ordered--medium rare) showed up black and blue and I had to send it back (first time I have ever sent anything back - I'm not picky). Fourth, one member of our five person party had his banana fritter dessert show up early. After between 10 and 15 minutes, he finally starting eating, then finished, and then 10 minutes later all of our sorbets showed up (plus another banana fritter for him). Finally, when I checked to see if anything had been comped b/c of all the service problems, I discovered we had been charged for an extra drink.

              Nonetheless, the food was quite enjoyable and perfect for a work-day fancy lunch (except for all the problems).

              1. Had lunch twice in past two weeks. The transformation of this place from Jimmy"s to Restaurant K is beyond belief. Ms. Swope deserves kudos for her culinary expertise and whomever is directing the staff rates a gold star in my book. Both lunchtime meals were over the top.and the service was superior.

                1. Heading to K for a last minute dinner this evening...any other recommendations or suggestions of items to avoid from people who have tried it since the last post? Definitely plannying to try the mushroom baklava app!

                  1. Went there for lunch today. Menu had a a Southwest Nouvelle lilt to it, befitting the chef's Andale background I suppose. I was prepared for another kind of drab DC expense-account place but I must say I was impressed. Green chile corn chowder was excellent, creamy and just a bit piquant, wonderful antidote to cold weather . . . corn kernels were actually crisp. Had something called a ``Sloppy Joe-se,'' a sloppy Joe made out of pork suffused in green chile. (Guess I was in a green-chile kind of mood.)
                    The ``Joe'' made the roll a little gloppy but was nevertheless very flavorful, not too spicy hot. Not exactly Santa Fe-worthy but good, with a nice complement of homemade chips. All in all, a place I'd go back to. Lunch prices are not overly steep for that kind of place; ambiance/decor is fine (low lights, but not too low).

                    1. On Valentines Day Restaurant K's Alison Swope and Fox 5 News showed up to our home for a surprise breakfast in honor of my husband who just returned from a year long tour in Iraq. The food was amazing. Alison cooked up Chili quili’s topped with scrambled eggs. Fresh succulent Anjou pears accompanied by devonshire cream topped with a fresh rasberry were our first course. For bakery accompaniments she served bran muffins and pecan sticky buns. I was very pleasently surprised at the taste of the chili quili's. At first sight even though the presentation was pleasant it did not do justice to ambrosial experience that was to come. I think both my husband and my eyes very possibly rolled into the backs of our heads at the pure pleasure of the different taste sensations that rolled over our tongues as we ate.
                      We definitely will be making a trip to the restaurant!

                      1. Anyone have recent experiences here for dinner? I'm debating on going there this weekend. Thanks!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: csorrento

                          Went for lunch about 3 weeks ago. Food was good, not great but good. they still have some kinks to work out in the service (the runner brought our entree as we were eating our soup). But the GM and our waiter was very apologitic and accomodating. Even comped my lunch. I'll go again for a second chance.

                        2. I was there in October so hopefully they ahve imporved since then but my impression was mediocre food with BAD service. Like insisting on serving warm white wine bad. Spilling a pitcher of water on my mom bad. On forgetting 2 entrees bad. They may have worked out the kinks by now but given that there are so many other great options in DC I wont be going back

                          1. Sorry to say that Restaurant K has closed.