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Colvin Run Tavern...Review...very long.

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Colvin Run Tavern...Review...very long.

Chris in Vienna | Feb 23, 2005 08:32 AM

Saturday night my wife, Jules, and I went to check out Kinkead's Colvin Run. I stopped going to the DC Kinkead's about 3 years ago when I had experienced a noticable decline in service and quality. My last meal there was an anniversary dinner, which while the staff did some very nice things for us, was lackluster in the food department. I heard that the restaurant is back up to its former standards after the remodel and after Bob was able to focus back on that restaurant after building this one.

Anyway, we received a $125 gift certificate towards our meal as a congratulations for the birth of our little girl back in October and were able to use it this past weekend.

We had a 6:45pm reservation, arrived a few minutes early, and were seated immediately in the Charleston room, which is the preferred room. It was very nice and our 2 seat booth-like table created a nice sense of privacy. We had a cocktail and settled into the menu. Our waiter, Kenny G., (quite unfortunate for him) was a little unsure of himself, but was nice enough and prompt. We pretty much can find our way around the menu, so his help wasn't really needed in that department. One thing that kind of confused me is that the chef's tasting menu, which is on their website and promoted widely, seemed to be unavailable that night. We were more interested in a la carte, anyway, so we didn't inquire further.

Wine: "Thea's selection" Lemelson vineyard, 2002 Williamette valley OR. Nice wine and paired nicely with the food. Fairly large gaps in the wine prices. Pino Noir prices, for example, go from $37 to $63 with nothing in between.

A white bean soup in a demitasse came out before the appetizers were presented. It was very rich and creamy. Nice start.

Appetizer:

I had clams 5 ways. 3 ways were great, 1 was OK, and one was abysmal. The "strips", casino, and chowder were excellent. The fritters had little detectable clam in them and reminded me too much of hush puppies from Long John Silver. The stuffed clam was just plain bad. Think salty, gloppy 4C breadcrumbs and overcooked clam bits. Definitely not a good creation. It reminded me of boardwalk food in Jersey.

Jules had a serrano ham with artichokes, roasted red pepper, almonds and some sort of shaved cheese whose name escapes her. It had a little spicy kick to it and she enjoyed it thoroughly.

Mains:

I had the pan roasted Muscovy duck breast with duck confit, potato gnocchi, honey mushrooms, and a foie gras emulsion. Wow! A lot going on in this dish, but yet excellent in its simplicity. A large portion, and I mean large, breast cooked medium rare. Excellent flavor to the foie gras "gravy" that the duck was presented on. Gnocchi were just kind of there. Pretty gummy inside. The mushrooms were refreshing and the confit was fall apart excellent. The meat was that great sticky consistency of well roasted cuts. Really quite nice. Definitely worth the price.

Jules had the flounder on a bed of vegetables with crabmeat and crawfish. The fish was very fresh and clean. The presentation was nice and she says an all around solid fish dish. One would hope the fish here is good, but you never know.

I skipped dessert, opting for coffee instead. I still feel it's tacky to bring the carafe to the table to pour it outside of a diner, no matter how nice the carafe. I think they should bring the cup out full, but Bob seems to like doing this. Kinkead's in DC used to serve it that way too. Drives me nuts. I know it's petty, but still seems weird in expensive places.

Jules had 3 sorbets. Kiwi was excellent, nice and clean tasting with a great kiwi sourness. Red rasberry was very good as well. Mango, not so much. Kind of cloying in its sweetness without that sharpness that a good fresh mango has. More like frozen mango jelly in taste.

Service was prompt without feeling like we were rushed. Floor waiter was very observant of the staff. Runners were quick to remove finished plates.

Sommelier was pissed a couple of times when he saw wine glasses that weren't present on a few tables when the wine arrived. Seemed like he had a lot of "ownership" over the wine.

Total damage: $225 with gratuity. Basically we paid for the wine and the tip with the gift certificate paying for food and the 2 cocktails.

Definitely a good meal and up there with the best DC meals I've had in this restaurant bracket. We live only 5 minutes away, so I'm guessing this could become a nice restaurant for us to go to on occasion.

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