Kinkead's: What to order / Where to sit?
Any suggestions on menu options and the best table?
It's a special occasion for us, so we want to do it right.
There are a number of very tasty options on the Kinkead's menu. Their crab cakes are very good - they serve them on a very sweet and cream-rich corn coulis, with pickled okra - as is the wood-grilled squid appetizer (my personal favorite). Generally speaking, Kinkead's excels at more complex presentations of fish, so I would choose something unusual (like the tuna milanese) over the more simply grilled items. They do simply grilled very well, but I feel like you can find similar presentations elsewhere.
The more vexing question is where to sit. Kinkead's effectively has three different seating areas, only two of which are acceptable. The upsairs is divided into a number of areas, but I consider the upstairs level as one seating area and you should be fine almost anywhere in there (although the rooms off the central area will be quieter than the central upsatirs). There is a downstairs seating room that is also acceptable. However, they also put a number of tables effectively in the hallway of the mall that the restaurant occupies and, frankly, I would refuse to eat at one of those tables. You will be forced to deal with a high colume of foot traffic and noise from a Bertucci's and an ice cream shop, each of which are popular with GW undergrads. I'm always a bit stunned to see people eating there, but they seat parties of all sizes in the mall, and it's just not right for a restaurant of that quaity.
Since the day Kinkead's opened the signature dish has been its pepita crusted salmon. There are a number of other excellent dishes (i.e. whole bellied clams, lobster rolls among others) but this is the dish that is most associated with it. It it is on the menu his Portugeuse seafood stew is his best stew but he rarely has it anymore since it is extremely time consuming to make.