January 2005: Kinkead’s

BLUE RIBBON AWARD WINNER

These have been busy years for chef Bob Kinkead. In 2002, he opened Colvin Run Tavern in Tysons Corner. In early 2004, he closed down his flagship Foggy Bottom restaurant for a brief remodeling. In October, he and his brother opened a third restaurant, Sibling Rivalry, in Boston. Even with the demands of running these new enterprises, Kinkead's seems as dependable as ever. The fried clams, when they're in season, are still the best in town. The wood-grilled squid with creamy polenta, tomato, and pesto are wonderfully tender.

Kinkead is adept at a variety of cooking styles. The pepita-crusted salmon over a ragoût of crab, shrimp, corn, and chilies has become something of a signature dish. And just above it on the menu is a terrific cod topped with crab imperial and accompanied by spoonbread with Virginia ham and a sweet-potato purée.

If you can't get a seat in the restaurant or want a casual meal before a performance at the Kennedy Center, try to get a seat at the downstairs raw bar, where you can order many of the dishes on the menu from the dining room. Sommelier Michael Flynn's wine list is a model of intelligent selection and fair pricing.

Kinkead's, 2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-296-7700; kinkead.com. Open Sunday through Friday for lunch, daily for dinner.

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