Restaurants in The InTowner
The InTowner
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Restaurant Review ~ Kinship / 1015 7th St., NW

Every once in awhile, DC foodies are treated to some fabulous food — really, really over the top — and that is the case with the recently opened Kinship near the Convention Center.

Under the culinary direction of superstar chef Eric Ziebold — he of the CityZen fame — Kinship takes its place among the best of the best that the city has to offer. And the public knows this —  you really do need a reservation!

If you are unfamiliar with Ziebold’s name, you should know that in 2005 Food and Wine magazine tapped him as one of America’s finest new chefs. No wonder; Ziebold has had some terrific training, attending the Culinary Institute of America and working under such high-end chefs as Thomas Keller at the French Laundry restaurant in California. All that explains why DC foodies mourned when CityZen at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel closed, fearing that his awesome cooking might not reappear.

Good news: It has, and that is why Kinship has become a go-to place. Where to start? Well, the service, for one. Attentive and courteous staff, outfitted in black pants and vest with white shirts, welcome patrons and offer help with selecting cocktails and understanding Ziebold’s menu. He has written it in a unique style, not by the usual meal courses, such as appetizers, entrées, sides and desserts, but by headings: Craft, History, Ingredients, Indulgence, and For the Table. As the chef has explained on his website, he wanted the menu to “reflect the rich diversity of influences that have shaped American cuisine.”

Of course, there is a certain logic to this arrangement, because under each heading are five different offerings, including an appetizer or two, an entrée or two, and dessert. Problem is, each category showcases some sterling options, and it is hard to imagine eating 15 different dishes in one sitting.

Recommended to start is Ziebold’s unique Torchon of White Mushrooms, which mimics a slice of goose liver pâté perched on a brush stroke of huckleberry gastrique and served with a slice of toasted baguette. At the side is a scoop of wild mushroom salad that simply underscores the mushroomy composition. Another top recommendation as a meal starter is the crispy pork belly, two wedges of crispy and well-seasoned pork surrounded by scoops of French green lentils and decorated with curls of carrot.

As for entrées, if you are not sharing with friends, then head to the cut of crispy lamb plated on a bed of cauliflower “couscous.” The couscous comes from a prep cook shaving off the flower buds from a cauliflower head and softening them. Folks at another table ordered Ziebold’s dry-aged ribeye, presented in the skillet before the staff took it back for slicing in the kitchen. Their exclamations of “awesome” suggested that this dish could win some prizes.

Dessert selections may mystify some, but for anyone who loves the combination of chocolate and peanuts, the only choice must be Ziebold’s rather clever salted caramel peanut bar which resembles a candy bar but comes in a swirl of chocolate ganache with a scoop of bourbon ice cream. Now what could top that?

Kinship / Sun.-Thu. 5:30-9:30pm, Fri. & Sat. 5-10pm. 202-737-7700;