Upscale Southern restaurant Kitchen + Kocktails by Kevin Kelley just opened downtown.
Why it matters: This is the first D.C. restaurant for Kelley, a Dallas lawyer-turned-restaurateur who operates two sister locations, in Texas and Chicago.
The 200-seat restaurant and bar — with an adjoining lounge coming this summer — takes over a vacant space by Franklin Square, once Toro Toro.
The look: Photo-ready. “Our food is designed to be social media-worthy,” says Kelley. Cue shrimp n’ grits topped with a fried lobster tail or mimosa towers.
Ditto for the design, which includes floral displays, “Instagrammable walls” and a faux-rose stairway.
On the menu: Decadent riffs on Southern dishes such as Caribbean jerk lamb chops and fried chicken with a flavor choice of waffles (mmm, peach cobbler).
Trini-style braised oxtails, a family recipe, are available only at DJ weekend brunch.
In your glass: Cocktails highlighting spirit labels from Black owners, like a peach D’ussé frozen. Also: more Insta-ready drinks.
Look sharp: While there’s a dress code on the website — a hot topic in the dining world — Kelley says there’s “not really” any attire rules for D.C. “We don’t pay much attention to that. We used to not allow hats. But I just want a place with good energy.”
Article courtesy of AXIOS D.C.