a teatray in the sky


Posted in 5D Mark II, Foggy Bottom, Food by firthefirst on March 15, 2010

for those of you who already peeked at Tina’s blog, you knew this.  for those of you who didn’t peek, now you know. 

besides the ongoing learning photography project, I’ve recently started another project, which is most likely the easiest out of all of these to accomplish.  it is, quite simply, to eat at all the restaurants on the Washingtonian Best Restaurants list.  yes, it’s bouge-y.  yes, it’s arbitrary.  yes, I hate rankings.  still.

I may hate rankings, but I love lists.  you know this.  and if you ignore those little numbers on the side that coincidentally count an ascending integer pattern to 100… voila, une liste!  note that, what makes this even easier is the fact that I haven’t set any rules regarding deadlines, or whatever – we don’t have to do this in a year as it’s already been done by this gal (plus, I deemed that much too bouge-y and most of all, it’s too late in the year to get on pace).

we’ve covered the easy ones already: Cava (1), Jaleo (2), The Majestic (3), Vidalia (4), and Zaytinya (5)*.  this time we factored our craving for raw bar along with my hankering for crisp wine and wound up at Kinkead’s (6).

so let’s get started on dinner, yes?  I’m starving.

ze raw bar:  chef’s selection or oysters was both fresh and refreshing, going from meaty and flavorful to toe-curlingly briny.  personally, I like that.  why eat seafood if you’re scared it’s going to taste like the sea?

ze wineMohua Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2009.  huge bouquet of fruit, mostly pear and peaches, only mildly acidic.  both of these would seem to bode poorly.  however, I found that the bounteous fruit flavor and mild acidity did not detract from its crispness and it certainly held its own very nicely against the oysters.  a cheap bottle in stores, and I will probably be picking up some of this for a holiday party sometime.  the rest of the wine portfolio was balanced although not extensive – while there were only a half dozen bottles of any type of wine, the list did cover a solid range of varietals.  however: no GV?

ze appetizers:  crispy ipswich clams.  straightforward, well crisped.  also, freaking huge, but that’s neither here nor there.

ze mains:  Tina’s whole red snapper with mango salsa was excellent, the meat was on the firm side but did not veer into dry or chewy territory.  you know a [non-Chinese] restaurant is serious about seafood when they drop a fish-with-head-included on your plate.  my sea-salted rare tuna was fantastic.  I didn’t know tuna could come marbled but this one was.  tuna always has a bit of extra elasticity to it that reminds you you’re not eating hoofed meat but other than that the texture was similar to that of a rare filet mignon.  the chick pea fries were, dare I admit, pretty damned good.  but I bet the chef could do better with real potatoes.

ze dessert:  the desserts are a intriguing (and nearly irresistible) proposition – Kinkead’s offers most deserts as a platter.  you order one thing, you end up getting two things.  or three things.  for each person.  sounds great, right?  yes, until you bite into them, and they wage nuclear war on your taste buds.  even their appearance proclaims, “subdue me or else”.  Tina’s got photos up on her page, and you can see what I mean.  they taste like what they look like.

I had felt the dinner was excellent up until the tongue-strangulatingly tart desserts.  to put it simply: just too damn much.  but, looking back, I think the desserts were somewhat indicative of Kinkead’s approach to cuisine.  everything else was also just a little bit much.  a bit too much sauce here, a bit too much fennel there.  I’d say it’s worth trying if you haven’t been before: the raw bar and fish plates are excellent (although not reaching not-to-be-missed levels).  the service is impeccable (so a solid choice for date-dining).  the drinks menu is solid but on the pricey side, and I wouldn’t consider it a driving reason to return.  the desserts?  well, just order more oysters up front and go home happy.

*note I am using numbers not Washingtonian-style (damn rankings) but Forde-Yard-Dash-style (go ESPN.  and lists)

4 Responses

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  1. stephen yang said, on March 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    dude that’s like the most boring picture i’ve ever seen you take

    • firthefirst said, on March 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      haha I can live with that. personally I detest the cloth awning things that restaurants always have out front. what little architectural character there is left, they ruin

  2. stephen yang said, on March 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    also i did not know deserts were offered as a platter. are oceans also offered as a platter? i apologize in advance.

  3. Tina said, on March 16, 2010 at 8:25 am

    reading this while listening to irish music is… quite strange. yes, the photo may not be fantastic but i rather like the brick with the blue building. awnings are oh so terrible but wasn’t the purpose of this post about the food?

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