Kingbird, The Watergate Hotel’s principal restaurant is named for the Eastern Kingbird, a dapper native species whose tailored black and grey plumage hides an exuberant crest of red, flashed at his discretion. Sometimes he’s gregarious, and sometimes he enjoys a peaceful solitude; the restaurant is just as dynamic and versatile, a setting that accommodates rousing celebrations and serene tête-a-têtes. Soaring double-high and spanning half the length of the building, Kingbird boasts wrap-around windows giving glorious views of the river, and playful curvilinear furnishings, structural elements, and surface treatments, the signature of Arad’s unmistakable style – in cool neutrals punctuated by brilliant flashes of red. Just as alluring and polished is every dish that emerges from Kingbird’s kitchen, with executive chef Sébastien Giannini at the helm. A native of Toulon in the French Riviera who has trained in multiple Michelin-starred establishments and achieved many accolades of his own, this is a chef who celebrates the purity of exquisite local ingredients with a light and sophisticated hand. He equates the historic glamour of The Watergate Hotel with that of the French Riviera, and offers a menu inspired by the cuisine of his homeland. Mezze, or small plates to share, recall the sunny and abundant Provençal markets of his childhood: morsels like Lobster Tail with Grapefruit Condiment and Marinated Fish, and Eggplant Caviar with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fresh Basil, Goat Cheese, and Orange Zest set the stage for a memorable meal, or stand alone as an ideal cocktail accompaniment at the Bar at Kingbird. The main event might be chosen from a list of proteins – sustainably sourced Rockfish from the Chesapeake to Lamb Shoulder Confit – adorned by a selection of sauce, from Chermoula [fresh parsley, tomato confit, orange blossom water, and olive oil] to Beef Juice à la Provençal [red wine, orange zest]. There are plates to share and sides enough to make a meal: Sexy Fries [fresh parsley, old parmigiano, truffle,] Cavatelli with Zucchini Petals, Basil and Mint Oil are just the beginning.
2650 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037