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."
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.
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.
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).
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.