District Kitchen: The Good, The Bad and the Hungry

Dinner at District Kitchen was like one of those weird dates where you get along fairly well, but at the same time several things stick in your craw — like how she hasn’t talked to her mother in over ten years, or hates Seinfeld, or “likes burning bridges.” Red flag alert!

Walking out of dinner I thought about the several positives of the meal, and the glaring warts. But unlike a person who hates Seinfeld, for whom there’s no hope, these warts are correctable.  I think. Here’s what I liked and didn’t like.

Liked it!

District Kitchen elevates the Woodley Park restaurant scene. Let’s face it, many of the WP restaurants are catering to tourists at the Marriott Wardman and Omni Shoreham. They jack up the prices a little, maybe don’t try as hard, because hey, they’ve got a captive customer base who won’t know that the better restaurants are in nearby Cleveland Park and Adams Morgan. I’d categorize District Kitchen firmly as a restaurant, not a tourist trap.

Didn’t like it

What did you just say? Can you repeat that? Yeah, it’s rather loud in here. Are you happy, Clark? She’s deaf.

Restaurateurs, I know the popular thinking is that a loud restaurant conveys liveliness and hipness, but it’s just aggravating as hell. We go to a restaurant to eat and talk, not eat and yell. For the love of god, please construct the dining rooms with some sound dampening materials!

Liked it!

Excellent service. We had a friendly, helpful server who was quite accommodating to our group, and the water refills were frequent and plentiful. I harp on the water thing all the time, but it’s important.

Liked it!

This small plate of herbed ricotta with crostini and roasted garlic.

Light, fluffy ricotta and sweet, soft garlic — a winning combo that spread smoothly together like butter.

Didn’t like it

Pardon me, can we get some bread for the table?  Bread?  Anyone?

What’s that? Bread has to be ordered? And it’s $4? You’re charging for bread?? When did this trend start? I suppose olive oil for dipping is completely out of the question.  (Sigh.) Never mind, then.

Liked it!

This entree of seared black bass.

An ultra thin and crispy skin that crackled under the snap of the fork.  Could have used less salt, but loved the texture. Tender bites of fish. And creamy polenta and sauteed spinach to round it out.

Didn’t like it

Unless the dish was meant for a Lollipop Kid, portion size was severely lacking. The fish fillets were delicate and thin, and I gobbled them up in a heartbeat. I could have used two to three times the amount of food; others at the table were chiming in with the same complaint. For these prices (I believe my fish was $24-$26?), they need to step it up. Between the lack of bread and a smallish entree, I’m calling foul. I appreciate quality, but don’t force me to start gnawing on the arm of the person next to me.

Next time I’d share a few small plates and a salad rather than order an entree. Possibly more bang for the buck, and considering how tasty the food was, it’d be fun to sample several items anyway.

For dessert, we opted for the more economical route. We walked next door to Baskin Robbins.

District Kitchen
2606 Connecticut Ave.
Washington, DC

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