Food

100 Best Restaurants 2008: Kinkead’s

No. 9: Kinkead's

Cuisine: DC’s preeminent seafood emporium, a bastion of the traditional, regionally rooted American cooking that has fallen from favor with the influx of trendy, high-concept restaurants.

Mood: A mix of sophistication and conviviality, polish and accessibility. High-rollers, tourists, conventioneers, politicos—all flock to Bob Kinkead’s Foggy Bottom brasserie for the fresh fish and seafood, nightly jazz piano, assured pacing, and extensive wine list.

Best for: Groups with cautious or persnickety diners, oyster lovers (five varieties are flown in fresh every day), travelers seeking sure-handed preparations of regional delicacies such as shad roe and soft-shell crab.

Best dishes: Butternut-squash ravioli in brown-butter sauce garnished with sage and pancetta; butter-poached lobster with shell-bean succotash; fried Ipswich clams with tartar sauce; elegant Chesapeake-oyster stew; the city’s definitive crab cake; delicately fried soft shells (in season); crab-imperial-stuffed cod with ham spoonbread; crispy skate wing with cauliflower flan; milk-chocolate tart with salted peanuts, peanut-butter ice cream, and a duo of sauces (caramel and vanilla).

Insider tips: Dine at the bar, where—steep prices notwithstanding—the atmosphere is unpretentious, even boisterous. The veteran barmen, quick to chime in with a quip, lend the place the air of an Irish pub—and mix an incomparably smooth Manhattan.

Service: •••

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.