Kirby Club | 2911 District Ave., Fairfax.
Rose Previte, founder of the DC restaurants Compass Rose and Maydan, has arrived at Fairfax’s Mosaic District. At her three-month-old Kirby Club—packed even most weeknights (it’s dinner-only right now)—she’s unmissable, gracefully chatting up tables, juggling seating arrangements, and warmly greeting guests.
The snug 80-seat space feels like a boho-cool party in a design-savvy friend’s dining room. (Just ignore the fact that the windows face a Target.) Retro touches abound: Cesca chairs line the rectangular bar—the perfect spot to try a Slovenian pét-nat or za’atar-spiced martini—and tables sport Insta-friendly tablecloths in bell-bottom hues like pink, orange, and lime green.
Chef Omar Hegazi’s Eastern Mediterranean menu is playful. In this world, each kebab comes with a “sauce buddy,” and the lineup of dips includes a spread called “olive goodness” (the sweet, briny purée stays true to its name).
Just like Maydan, this is a grazing-friendly place. Get a trio of those dips, and make at least one the minty yogurt. Snack on crinkle-cut fries paired with a finger bowl of whipped feta and apricot. And check out the rainbow of a pickle plate, with beets, carrots, and turnips.
You can order kebabs individually and in combo plates, but in my view, the way to go is the “kebab shindig,” a $75 family-style platter heaped with fire-licked skewers: dukkah-spiced shrimp, Aleppo-pepper-seasoned steak, and cubes of juicy lamb. It comes with several accompaniments, including warm flatbread, turmeric-tinted rice, stewed tomatoes, hummus, and a gaggle of sauce buddies, including the garlicky toum that’s beloved at Maydan. The one thing I could do without: the slippery, saffron-heavy oyster mushrooms.
If you live in the suburbs, you’ve probably groused about having to schlep to DC to meet friends at the latest hot spot. Kirby Club—which will soon have a sibling in Clarendon—lets you flip that script.
This article appears in the April 2023 issue of Washingtonian.