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Preview: Kinship

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There was quite a bit of buzz about Kinship before it opened. The newly opened Shaw restaurant comes to us from renowned chef Eric Ziebold, formerly of CityZen here in Washington, D.C., as well as Napa Valley’s The French Laundry and Per Se in New York City.

I made plans with my dear friend Edie, a foodie and cocktail loving gal who works with Derek Brown’s cocktail group (Mockingbird Hill, Columbia Room, Southern Efficiency).

Located on 7th Street, just north of New York, the restaurant was designed by Darryl Carter, a respected, talented local interior designer. The space is absolutely stunning. When you enter, you see first see a sleek, modern black-and-white long bar that would be perfect for a night of sexy cocktails. To the left, a cozy area with built-in benches, bookshelves, and a fireplace for fireside cocktails. The restaurant extends farther back and is predominantly white and modern, with built-in banquets and booths built into nooks for parties of four to cozy inside. It’s chic and clean while still being inviting.

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The menu is sorted into columns by inspiration, rather than by course or size. Instead of appetizers, entrees and desserts, you’re offered Craft, History, Ingredients, Indulgence, and For the Table. Edie was a bit confused initially but I caught on quickly—the fact that I wanted everything under Indulgence (caviar, truffles, and the like) was the first giveaway. As the menu explains, History revisits classic dishes that the Chef experienced while traveling, while Ingredients celebrate a specific product or seasonal vegetable. Expectedly, For The Table are those made for sharing.

Sending any financial resolutions out the window, we opted to begin with caviar, as we both just love it. The Caspian Sea Ossetra caviar was served the way I prefer: with pearl caviar spoons, crème fraiche and potato chips. This presentation as an homage to his time at Keller’s The French Laundry, Edie informed me.

As we both prefer red wines and aren’t fussed about pairings, we went with a respectable, affordable bottle of red wine from Burgundy.

We also knew we wanted to share the Kinship roast chicken, so we placed that order next as the chicken takes around an hour to roast. We were in no hurry—and we ended up closing the restaurant down!

After enjoying our caviar, we selected an assortment of small plates to share.

First, the mushroom torchon, described accurately by the waiter as a vegetarian foie gras. We spread the smooth, creamy patty of mushroom across the toasted white bread and we enjoyed each satisfying bite. The beets and microgreens added another component and who doesn’t love beets? 

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I quite like sunchokes, so I was really pushing for that dish from the “Ingredients” portion of the menu. Fortunately, Edie was amenable to my selections. The large, roasted sunchokes were served with small chunks of clementines and toasted pepitas, and settled atop a cilantro chimichurri. We really enjoyed the pairings of these flavors. And, the dish was sufficient to share, despite the small plates portion.

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We also shared the parmigiano reggiano agnolotti, which was topped with lamb bacon, micro chives, and cracked pepper. These delectable pasta pockets were incredibly satisfying. 

Both dishes were fresh, clean, and well-executed, with delightful. This is the exact sort of meal I long for: high-quality ingredients, prepared beautifully by a trained chef. It’s well-done and well-executed, but the flavors shine through simply.

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As this was a night of indulgences, we couldn’t decide between several desserts, so we ordered two. The sticky toffee pudding was topped with a Meyer lemon marmalade and butterscotch figs and served with Earl Grey ice cream.

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Unfortunately, the second dessert we wanted was the chocolate chip cookie dough soufflé, which takes 20 minutes to bake. As our lengthy, gluttonous dinner had already brought the clock past 10:30 on a weeknight, we decided to select something else.

So, we chose the pumpkin pie bread pudding, and I’m so glad we did, as it was the better of the two desserts.

While the toffee pudding sounded and looked delicious, there were too many tart flavors coming together: the lemon, the Earl Grey, the butterscotch. The pudding was moist and fluffy, but I would have preferred different flavors for the sauce and ice cream.

However, the pumpkin pie bread pudding was phenomenal.

In a sea of new restaurant openings, Kinship is a welcome addition, an upscale, stunning space with top-notch cuisine from a gifted, classically trained chef. We’re certain this one will stay awhile—and we’ll be back for our next special occasion.

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