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Kinship - The Upstairs Portion Of Eric Ziebold's New Mount Vernon Square Location, 7th and K Street NW

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That was awesome. I've had a reservation for January 6th for a week or so now and didn't think I could be more excited. I was wrong. Outstanding recap.

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When it was over I was tempted to hold my lighter above the table and call for an encore.

PS: As things are progressing smoothly Eric has freed up a couple more tables on Open Table, which may not be taken yet, and the full menu is available at the bar.

Amazing review!  Thank you.  I loved the rock 'n roll analogy.

Reservation made.....Friday night at 6..........reward for what I was just informed with be a long day of house work.

What the dress code?

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Based on my dinner here on Monday, I very much agree with the spirit of Waitman's excellent review, with the one personal note that I was actually never a fan of CityZen.  I had three consistently disappointing dinners in the main dining room there over five years, finding the cooking cold, underwhelming, and sub-Keller (the first time I ate at the Salon at Per Se, I thought to myself: "Oh, this is what CityZen trying to do, only this is good.")

But I loved Kinship and think the cooking here is more personal and has much more heart.  The flavors are direct and powerful, yet at the same time the cooking is creative and refined, with unexpected touches and moments of lightness to give the dishes a real lift.  I won't get into a detailed review of the dishes, except to say I enjoyed everything I had, with my favorites being the torchon of white mushroom and the lobster french toast.  It also made me very happy to see a rich, chanterelle mushroom sauce on a menu (the accompaniment for the hearty and satisfying Kinship Stroganoff).  The foie gras stuffed quail was wonderful -- with the richness of the foie and the earthiness of the black truffles all coming together beautifully -- but probably not worth $50.  I preferred the refreshing and delightful grapefruit terrine for dessert over the more one dimensional Valrhona chocolate cake.

To lessen the sticker shock expressed upthread, I'd echo what Waitman said: not everything in the top half of the menu is appetizer sized (as I initially assumed just from reading the menu), but the dishes toward the bottom of each section of the menu ("craft," "history," "ingredients") are more substantial.  I didn't order any of the "for the table" items, but I'd venture to say, based on my dinner here, and past experiences at CityZen, that the strengths (and value) of the menu probably are in the technique-driven dishes, rather than the more minimalist, ingredient-driven preparations.

Based on my perusal of the wine list, I'll probably pay the $50 corkage next time.

Looked like in the "soft open" period, the restaurant was holding back tables -- the dining room on Monday was never more than half full, and it didn't look like they were turning tables.

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Amazing review!  Thank you.  I loved the rock 'n roll analogy.

Reservation made.....Friday night at 6..........reward for what I was just informed with be a long day of house work.

What the dress code?I

I think jeans are fine. I personally think the sweet spot would be jeans, a sport coat and decent shoes, but I think you'd feel comfortable either more casually dressed or in a suit and tie.

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We had a very nice dinner for 2 this evening!

If you are wondering about portion size or how much to order, our waiter told us that generally for the items from the Craft, History, and Ingredients lists, the first two items are appetizer size, the next 2 are larger and might suffice for an entree, and 1 dessert was also listed. But some of the dishes are a bit in between. I remember him mentioning the sweetbreads with spaetlzle and a really wonderful chantrelle mushroom sauce and the Maine lobster toast listed with Indulgences. Good to split as an appetizer or have as your entree.

We were quite hungry and had plenty of food splitting the sweetbreads, the lamb served 3 ways for the table, a 3 cheese course, and the Valrhona Guanaja Custard cake (with wonderful pecan praline!). My favorites were the sweetbreads, the cheese plate, and Paul Marie cognac! Plenty of wows and mmmms at our table.

Half portion of sweetbreads

Full portion of lamb (served 3 ways  -loin, leg, and sausage) for the table with sweet pepper stew and grits

Full portion of the Valrhona

We'll be going back for more of the great things we missed out on this time!

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We had a very nice dinner for 2 this evening!

If you are wondering about portion size or how much to order, our waiter told us that generally for the items from the Craft, History, and Ingredients lists, the first two items are appetizer size, the next 2 are larger and might suffice for an entree, and 1 dessert was also listed.

Too funny!  We were there too and I was going to post a message about the first two items in each category being appetizer sized.

I'll do a full write up later, but the gist of it is, food: amazing, service: amazing, room: amazing, night: amazing.

Go now before the general public gets wind of this place!

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In looking over wine list I was shocked at how reasonable it was.  It's 13 pages and it's broken  up into a lot of categories (not just red and white).  There's: New World Assorted Reds, Old World Assorted Reds, New World Pinot Noir, Old World Pinot Noir, New World Rhí´ne Varietals, Old World Rhí´ne Varietals, etc, etc.  Some of those categories are further broken down into subcategories like: Outside of Burgundy, Burgundy, Côe de Nuits, etc.  In nearly every category and some of the subcategories, there was at least one bottle in the low $40 range(!!) and if not, there was bottle in the low $50 range.  I compare this to the wine list at Momofuku where the cheapest bottle was 60 bucks and am very favorably impressed.  We started with this Chablis for $42(!!) Guillaume Vrignaud, 2014.  It was wonderful.

The wine list looks really interesting.  Has anyone ever tried dry Hungarian Tokaji?  I may get that when we go later this week just for the novelty value. In researching it a bit I came across an Eric Asimov article from a few years back which notes that one of the best producers of dry Tokaji shares ownership with Domaine Huet in Vouvray, which also produces a stylistic range from very dry to very sweet based on one grape.  We rang in the New Year with an outstanding Moelleux (the sweetest style) from Huet, and although that wine isn't on the Kinship list, other Huets are. I don't suppose there's a bar at Kinship?  :)  Could make for a great night of wine tasting.

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There's a lovely bar and little front lounge.

Dry Furmint / Tokaji is really interesting.  At its driest, it has a sweet nose but tastes bone dry.  Ever have "Y" d'Yquem?  But it sometimes has a mildly honeyed taste and some residual sugar -- more like semi-dry Vouvray.  

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One thing I love is having my prejudices challenged, then destroyed.  I did a silent "oh, come on" eye-roll at "chocolate chip cookie dough soufflé".  Fortunately Mr P doesn't have my food snob issues; he ordered it.  It was excellent.  No comment on the rest of the experience, as other people have written much more and better than I could.

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That was awesome. I've had a reservation for January 6th for a week or so now and didn't think I could be more excited. I was wrong. Outstanding recap.

Tick tock, tick tock.

It's been 2 and half days.........

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One thing I love is having my prejudices challenged, then destroyed.  I did a silent "oh, come on" eye-roll at "chocolate chip cookie dough soufflé".  Fortunately Mr P doesn't have my food snob issues; he ordered it.  It was excellent.  No comment on the rest of the experience, as other people have written much more and better than I could.

I'll do a longer combined writeup of a few meals at Kinship soon.  But there is one thing worth noting about the chocolate chip cookie dough souffle for the table: It's not really for the table -- unless you are dining alone or just want a small, sweet bite to finish.  It's labeled as for the table and costs $24.  But it's an entirely normal-size souffle; I think a bit smaller than the ones at Fiola Mare.  It has two quenelles of ice cream on the side.  Indeed, since souffles are mostly air, it's an especially odd dessert to call for the table.  Very tasty.  But quite surprising and a bit of a rip off compared to the rest of Kinship's price point.

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I've heard that Kinship is "come as you are" (as opposed to Métier, which will have a dress code) - from what I've heard, they're taking the food, service, drinks, etc., every bit as seriously as they did at CityZen, but you can go to Kinship in jeans (or a tux, depending on what kind of night you feel like having).

Is this in line with peoples' experiences? In other words, if I sally in there in a sweater and jeans, am I going to feel comfortable?

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Is this in line with peoples' experiences? In other words, if I sally in there in a sweater and jeans, am I going to feel comfortable?

Yes, you'll be fine, so long as they are not tattered jeans and a ratty sweater.  Even then you'll probably be fine.

I wore jeans (my "dress" jeans :unsure:) and a sweater and a nice pair of boots and fit right in. I remember seeing a couple men in jackets, but I don't recall seeing any ties.  I don't think it's possible to over dress.......you'll fit right in a full suit and tie, and it would be appropriate for the room but hardly necessary.

Wear what you'd wear if you went to a friend's house for dinner.

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Tick tock, tick tock.

It's been 2 and half days.........

Ha! Sorry, sorry! :rolleyes:  Girlfriend had a conflict, ended up having to push it back to tomorrow night, the 11th. I did learn in the interim, however, that my old bartending partner from Le Grenier, Kirsten Mikaelbrown, is the new somm there - she kicked ass for a while at Rose's, and Kinship is super lucky to have her on board. Can't wait!

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I can't compete with Waitman's rock star review, so I will keep mine brief. We went last weekend. Loved the space, service was amazing, and there wasn't an off bite or sip the entire evening. We had the Angolotti, Corned Beef Cheeks (my favorite dish of the evening - it is both immediately recognizable from vision and taste as both beef cheeks and corned beef), Sauerkraut, and Stroganoff, plus a couple of gifts from the kitchen, the braised apple and vahlrona custard desserts, plus a great bottle that Kirsten picked out for us.

You can certainly spend a lot of money here, and we ordered way too much (especially once you add in the desserts and gifts), but the 4 savory dishes we ordered came to $82, and we could have walked away satisfied with just that.

Don, you are safe adding this one in bold in the dining guide. Instantly one of the top 10 restaurants in the area, strike that, top 5.

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It's amazing. I don't have a lot to add to what's already been said, but we loved our dinner there Friday night, and we were able to simply walk in and be seated. The tuna sashimi dish from the "Indulgence" section was ridiculously good. 

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I did learn in the interim, however, that my old bartending partner from Le Grenier, Kirsten Mikaelbrown, is the new somm there - she kicked ass for a while at Rose's, and Kinship is super lucky to have her on board. Can't wait!

You heard it here first!

On the way out we stopped to say hi to a woman we recognized from Rose's Luxury who turned out to be Sommelier, Kerstin Mikalbrown (from the website). We thanked her and praised her for the "something for everyone" wine list (and we ended up getting two bottles).

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The wine list is pretty interesting, has a nice variety of price points, and the mark-ups are much more reasonable than what I remember from Cityzen.

I look forward to trying it out.

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Went for an early dinner last night with the family with a 5:30 reservation. Got a nice seat in one of the booths which is perfect for the kids and the banquette seating is wonderful for stretching a little at the end of a filling meal. We started with a bottle of the Hexamer Quartzit Riesling which was really nice. It wasn't rated as a spatlese, and the sommelier said it wasn't quite like a spatlese, but I would definitely say it was like a spatlese. Anyway, a very nice bottle of riesling for the price point.

We picked our various dishes and asked they be brought in order the kitchen recommended. First came the small loaf of crusty bread which was wonderful. Some of the best bread I've had in a restaurant since the amazing bread cart at Joel Robuchon in Vegas. The accompanying butter was also wonderful.

First two dishes out were the sunchokes and the toro. Sunchokes were very nice and I especially liked the chimichurri sauce. Our daughter insisted they were little roasted potatoes. As long as she ate it, I let her call them whatever she wanted.  In retrospect I agree with the previous post that the toro was the one miss on the night. The amount of toro is reasonable for the price,in my opinion, but with the four taste presentation, I felt the emphasis was too much on the tastes, not the toro which seemed overwhelmed by the bolder flavor profiles of salt, sour, sweet and spicy.

The stroganoff and lobster were next out and were both incredibly rich and should be at the top of anyone's list of dishes to get. The one disappointment on the stroganoff was that it was not quite hot and the sweetbreads weren't as juicy as I have had them. Perhaps it sat for just a couple minutes while waiting for the lobster? The taste on the stroganoff was fantastic though and just coated the mouth in richness. Unfortunately the kids did not like the sweetbreads, which fortunately meant more for us. This was their first time to try them. They did love the spaetzle which they thought was like chow foon, I guess they are both thick fried noodles as the spaetzle did have a nice crust to them. The lobster, which we were told was one of the most popular dishes was also great. Lots of lobster and the combination of flavors was perfect balance of richness and brightness.

Last dish was the turbot, we got the large size which is HUGE. They bring the whole side to the table after cooking and then bring it back to filet and garnish with garlic chives. Fortunately we did get the large size because our son absolutely loved this dish. Of the eight pieces the fielts were cut into he ate nearly three. The accompanying potatoes were very good, but the portion seemed very small. If the fish was intended to serve 3-4 people as the waiter stated, the potatoes seemed like an appropriate amount for two. If the fish is meant for 4, the accompanying potatoes should also be increased in quantity, in my opinion. Likewise, we got a second order of parker rolls which there is a charge for, even though we got an entree intended for 4 people. Given that, in the future, I would probably get the +smaller portion and use the $30 difference to get another small dish and the second order of rolls.

Finished off with the chocolate chip cookie souffle which I actually thought was sufficient for sharing, though that could be because everyone else was pretty full by this point and I was able to eat more myself.

Overall damage was around $280 which was not bad for the amount of food we got, and a bottle of wine. The fish was expensive at $80, but if it were treated as two or three separate entrees, it doesn't seem so expensive, though that also points towards getting the smaller portion in the future. Definitely someplace we will be eating regularly as it is much more accessible than CityZen and though apprehensive going in, once the food started coming, our kids were totally fine throughout the meal which did take nearly three hours. Pacing was just about right with the exception of the fish which did take a little longer than the previous two courses to come out.

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Does anyone know if they have plans to open for lunch at some point, or will it be dinner only?

The WaPo article said there would be brunch service, but I'm guessing that will just be weekends. Don't know about weekday lunch.

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First came the small loaf of crusty bread which was wonderful. Some of the best bread I've had in a restaurant since the amazing bread cart at Joel Robuchon in Vegas. The accompanying butter was also wonderful.

This is an improvement since I was there. Our bread looked to be a standard baguette from a store. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing noteworthy or worth mentioning in a review. Yours sounds much better!

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