When was the last time I wrote about a restaurant? I’ll give you and myself a moment to think and guess before you go into my tags and find the answer. The answer is not as bad as I had imagined, since I’ve actually written about two restaurants since the baby was born, but it’s fascinating to think that before the baby, I would be out at restaurants semi-regularly, but since she was born, it’s definitely dropped off. This is not to say we don’t get take-out, or eat in the occasional fast-casual place, but the era of semi-regular fine dining that the Boy and I came to a rapid slowdown.
But with the occasional special occasion like a significant birthday or a wedding anniversary, a night out seems called for. So we brought in the big gun babysitters (not one, but TWO grandmothers!), set them up with pizza money for the big girls, and food for the baby, and made our way out for a special evening. And our restaurant of choice did not disappoint, which is a testimony to asking around before you make a reservation.
So where did the Boy – who was in charge of planning this special evening – take me? To Kinship, which is nestled just next to the Convention Center in DC. Obviously having a child has sucked up enough of my time that I didn’t do a full research job on the place, because if I did, I would have not only read the rave reviews in the Washington Post and the Washingtonian, but would have seen that Kinship has a Michelin star! So (spoiler alert), not only did we have a wonderful dinner, but we added to our “collection” of Michelin-starred-restaurants we’ve dined at! And as a foodie who doesn’t get out as much as she’d like, this was a pleasant surprise.
So the thing that any review or perusal of the menu online will tell you is that they organize things in an unusual way. Food is not listed as appetizers, entrees and desserts, but by more specialized categories under headings like, “Craft”, “History”, “Ingredients”, “Indulgence” and “For the Table” which contain menu items in all the dinner categories. You could order your appetizer from Craft, your entree from “Ingredients” and dessert from “Indulgence”. The “For the Table” items are slightly different in that they aren’t meant for one person, and instead are “for the table” as the name suggests. I’ve head that the roast chicken is wonderful, but as our waiter told us when explaining the menu, it requires more than an hour of heads up, since each chicken is roasted on demand.
So what did we order, and how was it? Since the boy loves fish, he ordered the pickled mackerel under “History” and I chose the asparagus Waldorf salad under “Ingredients”. Despite my not being a hug fan of regular Waldorf salads, this one was excellent, and I loved how Asparagus was used in multiple forms throughout the salad to keep you on your toes with taste and texture. The Boy’s lamb shoulder came from “Craft”, and my adorable and tasty spatchcocked quail came from “Ingredients”. Both entrees were exceptionally tender and flavorful, and were the perfect amount of food to be filling, but leave you with room for dessert.
And dessert we had! When asked if the amount of cheese on the Kunik cheese plate would be too much for two people to split and our waiter said, “no”, we were sold. A cheese plate for two…and an order of the Kinship Turtle, which called my name with its combination of chocolate and caramel flavors. Not only did we have those decadent ends to our dinner, but throughout the meal we were also treated with additional little bits – wonderful slices of house-made bread, a special treat of a champagne jelly and sorbet since it was our anniversary, and a toffee meant to be broken with a tiny hammer that is part of every meals end at Kinship.
All of these little things – the added parts because of our special occasion, the fun additions that everyone gets, the attentive (but not hovering) service provided by the entire waitstaff, the serene and not-too-noisy room which felt very romantic – they all added up to a wonderful experience. So thank you to the people at the Boy’s office who made the recommendation. But thank you also to the staff at Kinship who gave us such a wonderful night out when we don’t often get them. If we ever become the kind of people who go back to restaurants instead of always chasing after what’s new and different to us, I could see this becoming a place we’d love to frequent for the times when special care is warranted.