It was my first night off the 3-month-long, “Walking Dead” Diet, and where better to spend it than where I had last gone three months before: Kinship?
I had texted with Eric earlier that day, and knew he was leaving early, and sure enough, he had gone by my 5:30 arrival. Nevertheless, I got a good feeling for just how much his menu has changed in three months (and also just which dishes appear to be “lifers”).
When I get back home, I’ll scan the menu into this post so you can see as well.
For an apéritif, I began with a usual Kinship Spritz ($11), made with Cocchi Americano, Dolin Blanc, and Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine – this makes for a wonderful, if slightly pricey, way to wind down from your day, and ease into dinner.
Being on my way to Nice, France in a couple of days, of *course* I got the Salade Niçoise ($18), a dish which had many of the correct ingredients, being made with yellow filet beans, confit potatoes, tuna crostini, lemon-basil vinaigrette, and Harissa Aïoli. I love Salades Niçoises, and have to consider myself something of an expert at them. While the ingredients in this were certainly beyond scrutiny, the salad as a whole didn’t knit together the way I had hoped, plus the dressing didn’t work, and there were a couple key ingredients missing (for my tastes). There’s no question this was a great, fresh salad, but I would hesitate to call it a classic Niçoise – I might also order it again.
Continuing with my tuna theme, I next got a Tuna Tataki ($24), knowing full well how much Eric loves this dish. This was a delicious Tataki, and was my favorite savory course, served with a spring onion and butter pickle salad, negligible piece of shiso tempura, and an absolutely fascinating but overabundant portion of dashi gelée resting on the bottom.
The course of the night came during dessert, when I was privileged to order the Late Summer Melon Savarin ($12), one of the best desserts I’ve had in a long, long time. Delicious melon was served with Greek yogurt cream, Anise Hyssop granité (only one piece of which hadn’t been cut properly), and musk melon consommé – it was one of “those” dishes where the sum is not only greater than the parts, but it somehow made the melon taste more intense than any melon I’ve ever tasted – this dish was a triumph, and should be considered with any meal here.
Kinship didn’t “impress” me on this visit as much as it did “wow” me with a couple of its courses – my opinion of it remains unchanged, and it must be considered at or very near the top of anyone’s Best Of list for Washington, DC. Beware of any such list that does not include it!