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Kinship near convention center in DC

Worldwide Diner | Mar 23, 2016 05:50 PM

A word about the menu. There are various categories, and each is explained on the website. What the website doesn't say is that the first 2 dishes in each category are appetizer-sized, the next 2 are entree-sized, and the last dish is a dessert. With that in mind, one can better decide how many dishes to order.

We started with 2 cold starters, the Torchon of White Mushrooms and Blue Fin Toro Sashimi. I thought the torchon was pretty darn good, but not as good as the real thing. According to an interview given to Washington Post, chef Z said the reasons for using mushrooms are (i) to satisfy vegetarians, and (ii) to make a fun riff. I guess it accomplished both goals well. The tuna dish is served with 4 slices, each slice accompanied by a different flavor profile, sweet, sour, salty and spicy. Unfortunately, I think the grapefruit (sour) and the radishes (spicy) competed with the flavor of the tuna and won! The mushroom turnover (salty), however, was by itself delicious and added much umami to the tuna (kind of like soy sauce).

The next 2 were warm starters, Sea Urchin with potato Agnolotti and Takenoko Tempura. Our sea urchin dish was poorly executed - the pasta was raw in the middle, and when pairly with sea urchin, extremely salty. Also, I find the cold uni and warm pasta pairing odd (maybe the uni shouldn't be served cold). In case anyone is wondering what is takenoko, it's bamboo shoot. I think it was delicious in its simple preparation, but you'll have to love bamboo shoot to enjoy this dish.

The next 2 are offal dishes - Petit Sale and Kinship Zingara. Both are fantastic - the pigs head was rich, unctuous, and tender. The star in the Zingara to me was the corned beef tongue but the sweetbread was very fine.

Lastly, we had the Rabbit. This was tender and the sauce was a perfect accompaniment. Despite my complaints, we felt this restaurant is one of the best in DC. The menu is interesting. The execution wasn't perfect but it was mostly spot on. Some dishes may not be well conceived but that's a risk of being creative. In any case, had we complained, I'm sure the kitchen would've refired a sea urchin gracefully.

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