I enjoyed a long-awaited dinner here with my girlfriend Lauren on 1-27-2017. The space was amazing and the food was delightful, if not a little subtle for my taste.
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5
Food & Drink: 4 out of 5
I arrived early so I opted to wait for my friend in the lounge rather than be seated. I sat on a couch next to a fireplace and it was so peaceful and cozy. I was even able to order a glass of wine there! I literally could have hung out in that room for hours. I’m sure the staff was wondering why some random girl was in there taking pictures of her legs but alas I digress.
The all white dining room and bar were stark, angular and modern, yet without being cold. Perhaps it was the soft spot lights or the elegant chairs but the space was warm and inviting. Also this is the second restaurant, after Iron Gate, that seemed to have deliberately used lighting that made the food look great both in person and in pictures. It’s like they told the decorator, “make it Instagrammable.”
The menu confused me a little, and apparently everyone else, because I heard all the tables ask the same questions. Basically in the menu the dishes are arranged in columns by theme, such as “Ingredients,” “History,” and “Indulgence.” Each column is not a tasting menu and you don’t have to order everything in it. For instance the “Ingredients” column had two appetizers, two entrees and one dessert. You can choose one app, one entree and one dessert, or just an app, just a dessert–whatever you want. You can also mix and match across columns. So for example my appetizer came from the “Indulgence” column while my entree and dessert were both from the “History” column. Lauren’s app was a special, her entree from “Ingredients” and her dessert from “Craft.”
Maine lobster French toast (fuyu persimmon, cucumber, sesame mousse). This was delicious with subtle savory flavors and a delightful sauce. This really set the scene as the entire meal consisted of soft umami flavors, which is a departure from some other restaurants I had been to lately. While other restaurants’ flavors sort of slapped you in the face, everything at Kinship was subtle and elegant yet without lacking in complexity. If other restaurants are your hipster cousin from Brooklyn, Kinship is your impossibly stylist aunt from Manhattan.
Toro appetizer special (toro, regular tuna, mango, avocado, soy skins). The Toro was obviously melt in your mouth buttery but I didn’t really like the regular tuna that it was on top of. Also note the stoneware plates. It was a nice juxtaposition with the elegant modern decor and part of what made it comfortable rather than cold.
Apple cider daquiri. It was at this point I realized I hadn’t tried any of their cocktails yet so I ordered one to drink with my entree. You know I love egg whites in a coupe so visually this was perfect. However I don’t love a strong drink that tastes too much like alcohol and either the booze or the bitters was a little too much for me.
Pan seared sea scallops (caramelized fennel, sweet peppers, red pepper coulis, saffron emulsion). The red pepper coulis was really good and Lauren said they were the best scallops she’s ever had. My only complaint was that they were a little salty. Also in Kinship’s defense let me note that the dish came with two scallops but I forgot to take a pic until halfway through.
Sautéed Spanish turbot (artichokes en barigoule, red pearl onions, minced basil). The turbot was quite good but the flavors were almost too subtle. The fried artichoke was the best part. Again this picture was taken halfway through eating the entree and it came out looking much more elegant than this.
No dessert pictures but I had the apple bostock (almond cream, warm apple compote, coconut chantilly, oolong ice cream). This was like two little apple macaroons with chopped up pieces of apple and ice cream. It was very good but not spectacular. Lauren had the creme brûlée, which was solid.
Overall the meal was lovely but not my fav mainly because I like slightly more potent flavors. For some people though this is likely the ideal meal. Regardless, the atmosphere was so elegant I would definitely go back. Next time I want to order the whole chicken that takes an hour in oven.