Last night, Tom and I went to a work event at Kinship, a marvelous new contemporary American restaurant in DC's Shaw neighborhood. Opened by Eric Ziebold (former chef of CityZen) and his wife and partner, Célia Laurent, Kinship is a relatively small (just 55 seats) place on 7th St NW with an unassuming exterior and a minimalist but very warm interior.
Last night's menu was set but still a terrific way to first experience Kinship. Frankly, I enjoyed the lack of decision-making. I enjoyed simply being fed by people who seemed to care deeply about the food they prepared and served.
Passed hors d'oeuvres included mushroom fritters with a sunchoke reduction, lobster profiteroles, tuna atop a fried chanterelle, and duck loin. A beautiful sparkling rosé complemented and enlivened each bite, although a zippy Sancerre, a smooth red, and an open bar were also up for grabs.
My favorite dish of the evening was our first course once seated: grilled okra and baby corn atop chilled summer succotash, cilantro vinaigrette, and red pepper sorbet.
I ADORE okra, succotash of any stripe, cilantro and red peppers so felt good about this from the moment I first saw it. But oh wow, each bite was nearly blissful. The sorbet could have so easily derailed the whole thing, but it didn't. It was so bright and herbaceous and cool- a lovely compliment in both taste and color to the rest of the plate.
Next up was a pan-seared redfish with shrimp and bell pepper jambalaya and Old Bay emulsion which was lighter than air, and finally, a dry-aged ribeye with mustard-braised spinach, Gruyère steamed pudding and a sauce Dijonnaise.
People, the mustard-braised greens were TO.DIE.FOR. Do you hear me? TO.DIE.FOR.
With all that goodness we drank a Burgundian white, the 2013 Alain Gras, Saint-Romain, as well as a 2011 Spottswoode Cab from St. Helena. I adored the white, admit to hardly paying attention to the Cab (egads!) as speeches and toasts were ramping up at this point and had to leave to relieve our sitter just prior to the serving of whipped chocolate nougat with whipped crème fraîche, espresso caramel, cacao nibs and chocolate sorbet. What a tragedy to miss that.
I did have a lovely cappuccino and tried to buy this cup and saucer from Kinship, but to no avail.
The service was impeccable, the ambience lovely and welcoming- think Scandinavian rustic-chic meets peonies and a hide rug in a library. I look forward to returning soon!
Tonight, after I tucked the kids in, I decided I did not have the stomach to stand watching the RNC and so took to my kitchen, perhaps inspired by last night and the fact that T left town today and so I could go vegetarian with no sad face carnivore peeping over my shoulder.
I'd bought some stunning, plump Turkish figs today (which then prompted the purchase of some creamy blue cheese and visions of caramelized onions and a tart) and, while rummaging through my freezer this afternoon, found some puff pastry squares I'd bought at that fab Persian market the boys and I discovered in April.
I also had some beautiful chioggia beets, and as they happen to love blue cheese too, I tossed them in the oven to roast. Long story short because now I see that it's getting very late and I'm tired and teaching in the morning, tartlets.
Aren't they darling and tempting? I ate four. And those beets. G'night!