The team behind popular DC restaurants Compass Rose and Maydan will open the first of two kebab-centric Eastern Mediterranean spots in Northern Virginia on Tuesday. Kirby Club debuts in Fairfax’s Mosaic District at 4 PM; a second, larger location will follow in Clarendon next year.
Kirby Club nods to the name of a Lebanese-American social group in the Ohio town where co-owner Rose Previte’s mother grew up. The club would host gatherings with potluck spreads filled with Middle Eastern salads, flatbreads, and of course, kebabs. For the 80-seat restaurant, chef Omar Hegazi homes in on a variety of skewered meats, seafood, and veggies ranging from dukka-spiced shrimp to chicken shish taouk and oyster mushrooms with chermoula sauce. All can be ordered with a combination of turmeric rice, salad, pickles, and homemade flatbreads. And being a Maydan production, there are of course a variety of sauces—garlicky toum, earthy ezme, harissa, and more.
In the spirit of the OG Kirby Club, group feasts include the “Kebab Shindig” with a plethora of skewers and dips like havuc (carrot dip with garlic and lemon) or bessara, a creamy fava spread with tahina and cilantro. Diners can also order picnic-style platters with centerpieces like a whole roasted chicken or cumin and allspice-rubbed beef rib served alongside pickles, harissa spread, and more. Hegazi will also offer homey items from his native Egypt like fava-and-herb falafel fried with sesame seeds, or a grilled-and-pickled eggplant salad he likens to kimchi.
Similar to Maydan, kitchen ingredients make their way to the bar. Cocktails include a tequila drink with orange blossom, mango, lime, and sumac-Aleppo salt. In addition to the family-style feasts, groups can also order large-format cocktails like one with gin, apricot tea, Campari, and vermouth.
Kirby Club. 2911 District Ave., Fairfax. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 4 to 10 PM.