Sneak Peek: Kith / Kin is Now Open

Sneak Peek: Kith / Kin is Now Open

Friends and Family Gather for Afro-Caribbean Cuisine

Top Chef alum, Chef Kwame Onwuachi, is BACK and better than ever. After an abrupt end to the his first DC brick and mortar, Shaw Bijou, Kwame is bringing the flavors of his heritage to DC with Kith/Kin.  Translating to Friends/Family, Kith/Kin dazzles diners with culinary creations that are 100% Kwame — as a result of his parents’ Creole, Nigerian and Jamaican heritage. As a child, Kwame spent many years in Nigeria with his grandfather, and in New Orleans visiting family; and it’s clear that his food embraces his rich Afro-Caribbean history, while exuding his passion for cooking and technical expertise. It’s a cuisine that I’ve had nowhere before, and it is exciting as hell.

Chef Kwame Onwuachi

Located within the Intercontinental Hotel at The Wharf DC, the restaurant is a dining destination for locals checking out the new waterfront hot-spot, fans catching a show at The Anthem, tourists soaking up the gorgeous sunset views, or Top Chef enthusiasts coming to support their favorite celebrity chef. The Wharf is DC’s newest mile-long stretch of waterfront property that includes remarkable restaurants, retailers, residences, and businesses.

A representation of African art featuring quotes from Kwame’s role models.

Kith/Kin is a place of adventure and class. Diners will experience totally unique and innovative flavor combinations that resemble familiar Afro-Caribbean classics; they’ll receive impeccable service; sip on luxurious craft cocktails; and leave feeling pampered with a sense of wonder. I’m already anticipating Kwame’s seasonal menu changes and I can’t wait any longer to tell you all about the food.  So let’s get into it….

Libations

Lead bartender Zachary Hoffman creates playful Afro-Caribbean inspired cocktails to complement the fare, and they are tasty.  From tropical rum punches, to a play on the classic gin and tonic, there’s something for everyone.

The menu features punches including the Papa Bois with Bulleit Rye, Pyrat XO Rum, Coconut Water and Pineapple Shrub Flavored with Degroff’s Pimento Bitters, and The Jost Van Dyke with Bacardi Limón, Velvet Falernum, Aperol, African Rooibos, Lime, Ginger, and Mango Sorbet. And handcrafted cocktails such as the Gin & Reggae with Plymouth Gin, Fever-Tree Tonic, Caribbean fruit, Mango Tea, and Appleton’s Jamaican Rum, Caribbean Belt with El Silencio Mezcal with Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Fire Water Bitters, Pineapple, Ginger-tamarind, and Lime and Coconut Flavors, or the Daiquiri 3.0 with Diplomatico Planas Rum, Fresh Lime Juice, Creole Bitters, Enriched with Shredded Lime-Honey Marmalade, among others, of which will range in price between $13 to $17.

Snacks

The extremely reasonably priced menu features plates for every appetite.  But the snacks are where it’s at, people.  Behold some of my favorite bites of the night: THE CHARCUTERIE.  On this plate you will find spiced chicken pate, berbere chicharon, jerk duck prosciutto, hock roulade, two types of goat cheese, jams, and pickles.  All this is served with ultra thin, crispy, spiced pumpernickel bread, and the best part? It comes out under a dome of smoke.  At times, I find the smoke dome overpowering – masking the subtle flavors of the dish.  However, the smoke not only stood up to the flavors on this plate, it enhanced them. Each flavor that was chosen for this dish is bold and interesting on it’s own, and no matter what combination of things you pop in your mouth – they all work well together. I was so impressed by this display of flavor harmony. Typically one element pairs well with only a few of the others, but every single thing on this plate could be mixed and matched with equal satisfaction and excitement.

THE SEAFOOD PLATEAU

No restaurant these days is complete without an extravagant seafood tower, amiright? But this one is different.  There are no dangling snow crab legs, or run of the mill clams and mussles, this plateau has personality.  Featured on the two-tiered tower of yum yum is vermillion snapper in pepper broth, salmon belly escovitch, king crab curry, tuna kitfo, oysters with habanero nage, braised octopus, and kanpachi with house spice. Are your eyes popping out of your head with jealousy? I thought so.

What I love most about Kwame’s food is his emphasis on texture. No matter how small the plate, there are multiple textures at play, making each bite interesting. Order this plateau with a group of friends and have fun passing around the different dishes, discussing the incredibly different flavor profiles of each one and trying to decide which one you liked best.  For me, it was the king crab curry, but no dish went unfinished.

Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi much anticipated Afro-Caribbean restauran Kith/Kin is now open at The Wharf & we have your menu sneak peek!
Look at this mediocre picture of pure plateau perfection!
Those habanero oysters have a serious kick!

Sides and Sharables

Do you like buns, hun? Well have I got something for you.  Traditional COCO BREAD is served with every meal, and it’s basically African brioche, and I’d like to eat it every single day. It’s served warm with honey and butter and that’s really all you need to know. But, I heard a rumor that they’re stuffed with passion fruit for breakfast! {AH!}

The BRUSSELS SUYA make me want to sue ya for the recipe {har har}. What a refreshing play on the tired classic of charred brussels and balsamic vinegar. This version combines suya spice, roasted tomato soubise, and charred lime with baby Brussels to create an acidic, vibrant side for sharing. I ate the whole bowl before I realized it wasn’t just for me – oops!

Get your ass down here for the BEEF PATTIES, ya’ll! Step away from the freezer section at the grocery store and spend $11 on homemade patties of love. No fuss here, just traditional Jamaican beef patties with Calypso crack sauce…seriously, I almost drank the remainder like a shot it was so good. The flaky, buttery dough is wrapped around aggressively spiced beef and dunked into a peppery, tangy sauce. Don’t ask questions, just eat it.

Hi, do you like CRISPY CHICKEN WINGS? I do. I learned from Kwame that his favorite thing to eat when he’s hangry and tired is Chinese chicken wings and pork fried rice takeout. I see where he got his inspiration for these craveable cuties. Glazed with tamarind, chili, and crispy garlic, these wings remind me exactly of a crispy wing right off of the pu pu platter smothered with sweet and sour sauce. The only difference? Kwame becomes your best friend by removing one of the bones so you can suck all of the meat off of these bad boys with ease. THE WORLD THANKS YOU, KWAME!

I ate both bowls with help from Diego Downtown.

Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi much anticipated Afro-Caribbean restauran Kith/Kin is now open at The Wharf & we have your menu sneak peek!

Let’s get ready for the MUSHROOM FOREST.  I am so into mushrooms right now, and this dish is so incredibly innovative that I must insist you try it. Imagine being a vegetarian and having the option of a mushroom forest for your dinner? Dreams do come true. This fungi festival features mushroom spread, charred eggplant dip, roasted mushrooms and crispy msmen (the best pancake-like Moroccan bread you’ll ever eat in your life.  Kind of similar to a scallion pancake but with more layers and no scallions).  The mushroom spread alludes to a meat-like component and the pickled onions impart a tangy vibrance that keeps you going back for more. EAT IT ALL.
Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi much anticipated Afro-Caribbean restauran Kith/Kin is now open at The Wharf & we have your menu sneak peek!

Get dirty with MOM DUKES PELL AND EAT SHRIMP.  Done right with the head on, swimming in citrus butter and beer, you can’t go wrong with this perfect waterfront snack. Don’t forget to suck the head!

Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi much anticipated Afro-Caribbean restauran Kith/Kin is now open at The Wharf & we have your menu sneak peek!

My favorite dish of the entire night was the ROTI. What’s in it? Curried goat, tamarind chickpea puree, toasted chickpea and wizardry. Why aren’t more restaurants serving goat? This is singlehandedly the best dish in DC right now. It’s just so DEEP… I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s so savory, spicy, fresh and bursting with texture! Some elements are soft, some crispy, firm, viscous…fireworks went off in my brain while eating this. It comes with a serving of piping hot fresh roti (flat bread) that you can dip right into the goat mixture, or make the best burrito of your GD life. That is the path I chose, and I encourage you to try it out as well. My mouth is just dripping thinking about it.

Dessert

Let me first lead with this: order every single dessert. You’ll be seriously missing out if you don’t.

Now that we got that out of the way, let me tell you about your new best friend, DESSERT HABANERO PEPPERS. The peppers are grown in a special way that extract the capsaicin so you’re left with all the deliciously fruity flavors of the pepper. They’re roasted and chilled and filled with a white grape syrup and placed atop elderflower salt. How effing exciting is this!?!? It makes me so giddy to see something so incredibly new and well executed.

Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi much anticipated Afro-Caribbean restauran Kith/Kin is now open at The Wharf & we have your menu sneak peek!

I expect the SORBET flavors will change quite often, but if you can, get in there right now to try the soursop sorbet! Soursop is a tropical flowering fruit that reminds me of a mix between coconut and banana. It’s delicious and uncommon in DC, so go eat some!

Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi much anticipated Afro-Caribbean restauran Kith/Kin is now open at The Wharf & we have your menu sneak peek!

For the chocolate lovers, try the CHOCOLATE RUM CAKE with hot chocolate cake, carrot caramel ice cream, milk foam and sorrel. It’s your typical trendy deconstructed dessert, but it’s different and delicious and you’ll love it.

Top Chef alum Kwame Onwuachi much anticipated Afro-Caribbean restauran Kith/Kin is now open at The Wharf & we have your menu sneak peek!

There are so many additional dishes that I tried that you will certainly love – from the crudite platter paving the way for the way vegetables should be served, to the jollof rice, it’s seriously all great. And I know, I know, I’m saying how great everything is and you’re thinking, “It can’t all be that good.” But it is. It really is, and I’m just so happy for Kwame and I wish him all the success in this very personal, extremely exciting, unique dining experience. NOW GO GET IN LINE!!!


Kith and Kin is located at the InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf at 801 Wharf Street SW, Washington D.C. For additional information,
please visit www.KithandKinDC.com or call (202) 878-8600

HOURS OF OPERATION
 
BREAKFAST
Mon – Fri  6:30am – 10:30am
Sat – Sun  6:30am – 11:00am
 
LUNCH
Mon – Fri  11:30am-2:30pm
Sat – Sun  11:30am-3:00pm
 
DINNER
Sun – Thur  5:00pm – 10:30pm
Fri – Sat  5:00pm – 11:00pm
 
LOUNGE
Sun – Thur  11:00am – 12:00am
Fri – Sat  11:00am – 1:00am
 
FOR RESERVATIONS
Book via Kith and Kin’s Website: www.KithandKinDC.com or Call (202) 878-8566
 
Instagram: @KithandKinDC
 
Twitter: @KithandKinDC
 
Chef Kwame Onwuachi: Twitter @ChefKwame, Instagram @BastedMind
 

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