Anyone been to Kinmont?
New, apparently reasonable local-ish seafooder in the old Zealous space on W Superior?
So, I did. Four of us had a very nice diner on Sunday night. Really enjoyed the smoke fish dip appetizer, didn't try any oysters but others seemed to be enjoying, among us we tried all three catches of the day that were each excellent. I had the olive oil preparation and while there was oil on the plate it was not greasy and it was very well seasoned. Sides were good but might have been the lowlight which was really the $2 charge for rolls . . . really? Nice cocktails and good beer list.
I had dinner at Kinmont tonight, and I was not impressed.
I started with the King Crab Gratin. I had hoped for a dish with lots of lumps of Alaskan king crab and lots of crab taste, but 'twas not to be. There was way too much "cheesy" flavor and way too little "crabby" flavor, and not enough crab. Since it was a fairly small portion size, and since Kinmont is supposed to be a seafood restaurant, is a lot of crabmeat really too much to ask? Apparently it is. Furthermore, even though there wasn't much crab in the dish, the crab was apparently not sufficiently picked through, since there were two separate pieces of crab cartilege in the dish. This dish was a definite "miss" in every way.
I then had the rainbow trout in brown butter. I liked the trout, but hated the brown butter. Not only did I not like the taste of the brown butter, but it overpowered the delicate taste of the trout. Fortunately, it was easy enough to scrape the brown butter off the top of the fileted trout, so I could eat the trout and leave the brown butter over. So the preparation was a "miss" but my enjoyment of the trout itself made this a "hit".
There were only two desserts available - seriously? - and I didn't find either one appealing. (They were an apple pie with cheddar cheese, and an ice cream sandwich using peanut butter cookies.) So I didn't have dessert. I consider the limited selection a big disappointment.
The service was okay but I got the distinct impression that the dining room (which was full) was understaffed with servers. There were not many servers, and they all seemed extremely busy. My server was friendly and helpful but there were times when she was too busy with other tables to come by, and I could tell that this was not her fault, she was doing the best she could. The bus staff and runners seemed adequate, but not the waiters/waitresses. I could maybe understand a dining room being stretched thin at a peak period, but this was a weeknight, and Kinmont has been filling the place up. Hopefully they will hire additional waitstaff now that they are pulling in crowds.
Also, the dining room was VERY VERY LOUD. It's the kind of place where you're half shouting to people at your own table to be heard. The music, with the bass cranked up THUMP-A-THUMP-A-THUMP made this substantially worse. It's too bad restaurants do this, because for many of us who go out to eat to enjoy spending time with others, having to shout and strain to hear each other makes dining an unpleasant experience.
So no, I was not impressed with Kinmont, for all of these reasons.
i just ate there on monday night with 5 other food enthusiasts and we LOVED it.
we started with the seafood platter, it was fabulous, especially the cold mussels, the tartare, and the crab legs, which are conveniently sliced down lengthwise to alllow for easy, delicious access.
we tried the chowder which was perfectly rich, not too salty, not too thick or heavy - just a lovely chowder. the parker house rolls for 4 for $2 were a bargain and so, so, so soft and smushy and good.
we ordered the trout with olive oil, capers, simple but absolutely beautifully cooked, just to the point of done. it was great. we also had the halibut with ramps (awesome), the chicken fried quail (crunchy! delicious!), the squid ink pasta (other people liked it more than me, i thought it was pretty good but a little clumpy - strong flavor), and the steak (surprisingly fabulous. medium-rare and juicy, great beef flavor, no sauce or accoutrements needed). for sides we had the kale, which was good but not memorable, the mushrooms with some kind of whipped ricotta (fantastic), smoked carrots (a must) and the farro (simple, good with the proteins).
we had both desserts and enjoyed them so much we ordered another (the banana peanut butter cookie thing).
all in all, best dinner we've had since nico osteria last month, and equal to nico, along with our other recent outings: duseks, bavettes.