Eating DC: Kinship

Kinship– wow.  That’s where I want to start.  It has been a while since I have had a meal that completely blew me away like Kinship did.  Every dish I had was amazing, every dish I had was new and innovative and incorporated flavors and techniques I had never tried before.

Let’s start with the actual restaurant. From the outside, Kinship is super unassuming.  It is located right across the street from DC’s massive Walter E. Washington Convention Center, quite literally across the street from the neon Sbarro Pizza sign.  Walking inside, the lights are dim and the walls are white brick, giving the allusion of being in the belly of ship with port windows, wood panneling and large cushioned booths.  It is a cool looking place and I felt like I had been transformed into another world as soon as I stepped inside.

The menu itself is divided in a super unique way.  There are five sections on the menu and you can pick from any and mix and match.  As you look down each section the menu works like a normal menu, listing the starters and small plates on the top, then larger items and entree sizes and then desserts.

The five sections include:
“Craft” – focuses on classical cooking techniques; this sections features items such as a Duck Confit, a bavarois, a pave and more.

“History”- looks more at a historical recipe, modernized by the chef; featuring items like a succotash, crispy Sweetbreads, pan seared redfish

“Ingredients”- emphasizes a certain ingredient in each dish, perhaps an ingredient that is in season or unique to the region; including Louisiana Crayfish, lamb shoulder and other goodies

“Indulgence”- is exactly what you think.  The dishes that include all the indulgent ingredients; like Kuroge beef, lobster, foie gras, white asparagus, caviar… you get where I am going with this.

“For the table”- are the larger, family style dishes which range from a roast chicken, dry aged rib-eye and a whole roasted rabbit.

I went with my dad, when he was in town last weekend so we decided to stick to the non- “for the table” section and order a bunch of different bites to try.

For the first round of dishes we got a dish from the “Indulgence” list, a Morel Mushrooms dish, as well as the Spring Garlic Bavarois from the “Craft” list.

Morel Mushrooms with Petite Pois and Chicken Fried Morels with duck scrapple and a soft boiled egg

Spring Garlic Bavarois- Marinated artichokes, fried Lucques olives and nicoise olive crumbles

My dad and I could not pass up the opportunity to eat morel mushrooms, especially chicken fried morel mushrooms- and they were insane.  Cooked to perfection and not chewy at all.  I could eat this dish forever. The bavarois was something I had never had before.  It is sort of a custard texture but it was surprisingly light and creamy.  The marinated artichokes were a great contradiction to the salty fried olives which I would chose over french fries any day!

Next up came a choice that we could not resist from “Indulgence” list… the Maine Lobster French Toast…. enough said.

Maine Lobster French Toast- rhubarb, cucumber and sesame mousse
French toast and lobster, a joyous combination!!  This dish had a surprising Asian flare to it with the cooling sensation of the cucumber and the sesame mousse.  The lobster was sweet and poached perfectly and the French toast was light and fluffy and eggy but not sweet.
For our last savory course we did two items, one from the “History” list, the Tongue Salmis and then the Foie Gras from the “Indulgence” list.

Sauteed Moulard Foie Gras with confit onion, balsamic glaze, cooked strawberries and sweet cornbread Madelines
Tongue Salmis- pepper and shallot crostini, sauce piquante
This course was delicious.  The only thing I would say is that I found it sort of odd that they brought the two plates out together because they were soooo different.  The Tongue Salmis was corned beef tasting veal tongue with a peppery and oniony sauce while the foie gras was rich and on the sweeter side of things.  Having them on the table at the same time meant I was going back and forth between the dishes and the flavors were just drastically different.  I LOVED the decatance of the foie gras with the rich and creamy onion confit and the sweetness that came from the strawberries.  It was incredible.  The tongue was something unlike anything else I have ever experienced.  I am a huge tongue fan (mostly eaten by me in tacos, lengua, or yakatori style).  The tongue had that “Jewish” essense and was perfect pinked on the outside and melt in your mouth soft in the middle.  
Obviously we couldn’t skip dessert… and we went with a dessert from the “For the Table” list.. the Kinship Lemon Meringue Pie
Kinship Lemon Meringue Pie with candied lemon rind, limoncello gelee and sherry newtons
As a person who generally goes for the chocolate-whatever desserts, I compromised for my dad on this one because he loves lemon anything- lemon bars, lemon meringue.. you get the point.  But holy sh** was this incredible.  On the bottom of the ramekin, there was a biscuit crust followed by a creamy and lemony custard, then the limoncello gelee which had a complete different texture than the custard and also a bit more tart.  Then came the meringue which was gooey and crunchy all at the same time.  On the side, came homemade fig newtons with a sherry glaze and they were incredible as well.
Overall, this is one of the best meals I have had in some time and would highly recommend it to anyone in need of a culinary experience (and also in DC).  Singing nothing but praises to Kinship and what they are doing to the food scene of DC.

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