District Kitchen has a great wine list and we each started with a glass of Talbott Chardonnay and Pinot Noir respectively. For appetizers Julie selected the grilled beet salad with goat cheese foundue and toasted pecans. This is one of her favorite combinations of food so it was a no brainer when she saw it on the menu. I went for something a little mysterious– the shirred organic egg with a potato and forest mushroom hash. The beet salad was very disappointing. We both felt the beets were completely flavorless and the goat cheese fondue didn’t do much to counter the flatness of the dish. However, the egg was pleasantly delicious. It was served in a small cast iron skillet and I immediately took the spoon to crack open the runny yolk in order to mix it with the other ingredients. It was a really tasty combination that was hearty yet vegetarian. I would recommend this appetizer to anyone dining at District Kitchen.
For entrees I ordered the seared scallops and Julie went with the market steak. The scallops were incredibly flavorful, well cooked with the perfect brown sear on top, and really delivered a well balanced dish. I loved the asian salad on the plate which had a light and unique dressing, and the scallops were served atop a grapefruit butter sauce that provided a citrusy component that I couldn’t get enough of. Also on the plate was a gingered squash puree which was awesome. Overall, this was a fantastic dish. On the other hand, Julie’s main course was yet again a slight disappointment (sadly she just didn’t seem to order as well as I did). The steak was served over a green salad with a twice baked potato and a carmelized onion sauce on the side. The steak was well seasoned, but she had requested it to be prepared rare. While the color on the inside appeared red and as if it was cooked properly, there was absolutely no juice coming from the meat (as if it had been drained) which made it dry and not as enjoyable as it could have been. However, that carmelized onion sauce was divine on or off the steak and we each were picking at it with our utensils so it did not go to waste.
Up to this point I was feeling pretty good about my meal, but my friend was not having as good of a food experience so we decided dessert was a must. Two desserts. We went for the apple buckle with pistachio ice cream and the chocolate cream cheese parfait. Both were quite good but we loved the apple buckle which was hot and had huge chunks of pistachio atop the ice cream making for a sweet and crunchy dessert that was very satisfying. The parfait was served in a small mason jar and was quite dense and rich, but the shortbread at the bottom of the jar helped to cut the intensity. The desserts delivered and we ended the meal on a positive note.
Perhaps the most surprising was the check that arrived at the end of the meal. While we did order wine, two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts I guess I just didn’t expect it to be $76 per person (before tip). I am happy to pay that price at a high-end restaurant downtown but it seemed like an expensive meal for a casual neighborhood spot. I’ll sum up the meal with some pros and cons.
Pros: Atmosphere, organic egg, scallops, carmelized onion steak sauce, desserts, great wine selection, nice staff
Cons: Tasteless salad, dry steak, large tab
I’d definitely go back, but I’d be a bit picker with my ordering and be sure to ask a lot of questions. I think District Kitchen is off to a solid start, but given that our meal was a bit inconsistent from one side of the table to the other, it might take a few more weeks for them to get their footing.
2606 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008