Kingbird at The Watergate Hotel

4.2
1304 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary French / American
Located within The Watergate Hotel, our elegant restaurant connects DC locals and international travelers to the finest cuisine. A lively place to see and be seen, Kingbird is open daily for breakfast, lunch, pre-theater and dinner with an energetic bar, contemporary dining room and seasonally inspired plates served throughout the day. We are just a 5-minute walk to the Kennedy Center and offer Valet Parking for $12 for the evening. Out on the seasonal terrace, we offer alfresco dining with a view of the Potomac. Join us on weekends for brunch or our traditional Afternoon Tea with a modern twist. Winner of Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence 2018
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What 1304 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
4.3
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Quiet
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AA
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

I found the price extremely expensive for the food. I was not told ahead of time of how much the buffet would cost. Staff was not very professional. We would have preferred ordering "a la carte" but were told it was not available.

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JL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The food and presentation was amazing, however when I made reservations for Sunday lunch, I wasn't aware it was buffet only at $100+ dollars per person. Granted it was bottomless mimosa and bloody marys but wasn't aware it was buffet only.

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JL
New England
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service!

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PO
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The lamb chops are exceptional, likewise the service!

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CK
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

I want to love the Kingbird, but it never quite measures up. When you pay $105 for a brunch I don't expect to wait for my mimosa. This is not the first time. I gave Kingbird a second chance - because the last time I was there for a brunch - same thing happened. How difficult is this - first comes the water, then coffee and/or Mimosa. The service is slow and there is simply no excuse. Same as the last time, someone higher up notices and things start moving and service starts flowing, but if KB wants to have the panache and position it deserves - then get this fixed. Other issue, never enough people at hostess stand. The line backs up the stairs -- you know you are hosting a holiday brunch, you know there will be lots of people, be ready. NOW - this is important - the staff are delightful - pleasant and helpful. There seem to be a lot of people floating around - not sure what the issue is, but here's the take away - get the Mimosa's out right away - and there should not be a line - you are expecting these people - most had reservations - get them to their tables. Food was ok - not great. Waffles cold - Eggs Benedict cold - maybe have some made to order eggs or omelets so that people could get hot food.

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AS
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

went there for Mother's Day brunch. The hostesses and food were great, the service at our table not so much.

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OT
Washington DC
175 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Kingbird never fails to deliver. The food is exceptional and we love the ambiance.

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R
Washington DC
60 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Very pleasant wait staff but sluggish service ( not enough servers) and way overpriced for quality of food and general experience of dining there. Cavatappi was a very small serving, well seasoned except for excessive salt, but served with nothing else at a charge of $26. Mixed drinks were ridiculously priced. This restaurant would do better to cater more to Kennedy Center patrons who are interested in good food, quicker service, and more reasonable prices without sacrificing quality. Other good restaurants manage to do this all the time, but if course, the Watergate location encourages this restaurant to gouge patrons. We arrived 1 1/2 hrs. before showtime and barely made it to the Kennedy Center on time.

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DC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

We had reservations and arrived Saturday st 5:15 pm and immediately advised the waitress that we had tickets to the opera next door at the Kennedy Center at 7pm. She said “no problem, we will get you in and out in time.” My friend ordered the theater prix fixe menu so clearly the management knows theater goers are an important clientele. His appetizer arrived on time but none of our main courses were delivered by 6:35 pm and the waitress never checked on us. I had to track her down and she seemed surprised and unaware. Then she disappeared and we had no choice at 6:45pm but to advise the hostess we had to leave without dinner and run off to the opera famished and disappointed in the pathetic service st Kingbird. Fortunately the opera was tremendous. Almonds at intermission kept us going as we enjoyed a fine performance.

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C
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food exceptional, staff friendly. Service was attentive if a bit hurried-hate it when they bring out main course while still working on appetizers.

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KS
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Nice ambiance, modern decor, but the food was expensive and unimpressive.

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S
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Incredible dinner (dover sole) and wonderful waiter. Only surprise was the very lackluster bread basket served with the meal. Poor quality (cold, sliced baguette - not inspiring in the least), especially considering that this is an upscale and expensive restaurant. Would advice you switch it up and offer homemade bread or rolls. The way the meal starts leaves the strongest impression.

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DC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

The service was fantastic. The food was OK.

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CD
Washington DC
56 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

My husband and I chose to celebrate our anniversary with dinner at Kingbird. Based on the great reviews and because of its proximity to the Kennedy Center, we thought it would be the best dinner choice We were not let down!
We started with a cocktail and the octopus appitizer. The Spicy Sean is a clever name for a jalapeño infused tequila based drink. My husband had an ipa. The octopus was very good, however, the portion size was incredibly small.
For mains and sides, I ordered the rockfish with broccoli and my husband ordered the short rib with fries.
My rockfish was presented very clean and simple, it was delicious. The broccoli was cooked perfectly. The hubby's short rib was forking tasty. Pull it apart with only a fork. He also enjoyed the truffle "sexy fries." So, while the food was delicious, the real reason to eat at Kingbird is the service. Their team took excellent care of us. Starting with the lovely hostess who greeted us and seated us, she really set the tone and the standard for the luxury level of service we were about to experience. The waitress frequently checked on us, their was a dedicated person pouring our Rose Champagne, it was truly a delightful and perfect dinner.
We ended the evening with a couple little desserts.
We would definitely recommend kingbird.

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OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Good overall, service should have been better - snappier, more attentive. A description of the menu, specials etc.
Our waitress had to be flagged down for attention then prompted to discuss the menu. No problem if the place was busy, however, it was not.

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h
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Kingbird prior to going to a show at the Kennedy Center. It was a fantastic experience. I had the lamb chops with the potatoes and she had the salmon and the vegetables. The food was seasoned and cooked beautifully. Each item was plated nicely and served carefully. The service was just right - ensuring we had everything we needed - but staying out of the way. The Kingbird staff is also (obviously) attuned to the need to ensure we get our food and out the door to make the play. I really loved the fact that we could just sneak out the back door and walk over to the Kennedy Center when we were done.

One our way out the door we took a peak at the Whiskey Bar. Looked wonderful - with amazing selection of whiskey and cigars.

Will surely return!

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Y
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Wonderful pre-concert menu with outstanding food. Had to take initiative to hurry bill and did not get out in time to get seated before start so a bit disappointed there. But still overall, outstanding and look forward to returning.

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SH
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

I picked Kingbird at the Watergate Hotel because I procrastinated in getting a reservation elsewhere.

I was very sadly disappointed with my choice.

The evening started when the hostess attempted to seat my dinner companion and me at the worst table in the house - next to the bar and the doors to the kitchen. From there, no fewer than 5 servers/staff members came by and attended to us but our drink order took 15 minutes to complete and was wrong.

My companion ordered a vodka tonic with a lime. In all my years of consuming alcohol, I have come to learn that vodka and tonic is a clear drink. What was delivered was an orangish purple drink - that's fine, mistakes happen. When I called the last server over to inform her of the mixup, she proceeded to tell my dining companion and me that that was their version of a vodka tonic. After tasting the orangish purple drink it was clear that this was not a vodka tonic, notwithstanding the server's condescending tutorial that it was. After insisting that the drink be remixed, and waiting another 10 minutes, the correct drink was then delivered to the table.

The food was good, but nothing to go out of the way for. I ordered the Dover Sole and my companion ordered the salmon. They were neither good nor bad. They were certainly no better or worse than one would expect to served at Clyde's or that type/category of restaurant.

The tuna tartare appetizer was delicious - it was the high point of the meal.

The meal, with drinks (1 mixed drink each and 2 glasses of wine each) was over $280.00 - on the price-fixed menu.

Because I will not stiff anyone on a tip, the mediocre meal and subpar service cost over $320.00.

The Kingbird at The Watergate Hotel will never receive another penny of my money. I would recommend any other location over this one.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Sommelier was outstanding. Waiter was so helpful with recommendations. Food was delicious! Wonderful meal for a special occasion.

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S
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Only place to go for food pre Kennedy Center show. Lots of fish dishes the night we were there. We good, nothing real special but vegetable sides were above average. Price what you would expect for the location.

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CF
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Server was wonderful, food was delicious, ambiance was great!

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MQ
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a party of four. Got there early and took advantage of a glass of wine for happy hour. We were there to celebrate two birthdays and to have a nice dinner before going to the Kennedy Center. We were greeted with a "Happy Birthday". Lovely seats but beware as the sun goes down there may be sun in your eyes. On request shades were drawn. Besides their regular menu there is also a prix fixe menu which we took advantage of. I loved the foie gras terrine, with verbena and cherry marmalade and hazelnut tuile croustillante. The Dover Sole was the best fish dish I've had in years. Sides are presented in small pots and with their little handles, we had fun sharing. Ratatouille got the favorite vote. Slight complaint: Desserts are amazing, but we hardly had room. I might have to order that 1st next time. If you want to be treated like a King go to Kingbird.

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CV
Washington DC
47 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Love it! Will definitely be back!

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P
Washington DC
84 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The change of menu, again, has put this dining experience back on my "to go" list. The new menu offers a wide choice of entrees which include a sauce and a side. All else can be added unlike the previous menu. I had the ribeye which was perfectly done and for which I chose a mushroom sauce that enhanced the meat; fried cauliflower as a side further promoted the taste of the steak. Beginning with asparagus and burrata opened a delightful meal. My dining companions were equally impressed with their respective choices.

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JC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Professional staff and wonderful hospitality. Great brunch selection!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch was lovely and service was amazing.

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SC
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

There are many things to like about this restaurant but the food in my particular experience was not one of them. My rock fish was inedible. The other people in my party enjoyed their meals. My conclusion is that this restaurant is overrated.

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B
Chicago
46 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The service, food, view and wine were all great. Vafa, our waiter, suggested a wonderful red wine that did not break the bank. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and received a nice chocolate surprise.

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C
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The service was very good, but a bit rushed. We did arrive 15 minutes late to our reservation but felt that they wanted to rush out to table the next customers. The food was ok -- good-- for the price. It was a little disappointing for the most part, for the high dollar paid. But-- the ambiance was nice and cocktails were top notch.

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MN
Richmond
9 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The welcoming at Kingbird is very nice. The service is very good. If you ask a questions regarding the food, the server alerts the kitchen and they send someone out to answer your questions. The choices of wine and cocktails is excellent. My sister and I chose the Theater menu and was very surprised at the choices. We chose the pate, which was outstanding. We had the duck leg, which was cooked nicely and enjoyed the two sauces that came with the entree. The dessert was prepared just right--not too much lavender nor not enough. Most restaurants do not get it right. The overall experience was very enjoyable and we felt well taken care of.

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D
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Nice menu. Excellent food. Service was just okay. Pretty pricey for both food and wine even for DC. If you're going to a show at the Kennedy Center and want a nice meal, this is a good choice.

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AB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Good Food, Good service, good location, good look. Very good experience

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P
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great for high tea catch up with friends.

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f
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

NICE OPTION BEFORE A PERFORMANCE AT THE KENNEDY CENTER...FOOD IS GOOD...SERVICE FAIR...BUT...PLEASE TURN DOWN THE NOISE/MUSIC? AT THE BAR

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The fish and vegetables were cooked just right, and the lemon butter sauce was good. The champagne was rather flat and should not have been served.

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D
London
8 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

After a misunderstanding about Afternoon Tea and that they only reserve by phone we were still able to be accommodated by the Manager since this was for a Birthday.

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JP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our waitress (Jamie) was spot on with her recommendations for drinks, wine paring, menu selections/recommendations and desert. I wish I could rate her higher than just 5 stars!

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MW
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very very quiet. Not many diners, but it was on a Tuesday night. Attentive service, and took care of our request for a window booth. The food was quite good. I did not pay, but it is full price, for sure. But, for a quiet dinner with colleagues or friends, it definitely hit the bid.

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JG
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

I have been to Kingbird many times. It is my go to place to bring friends/family visiting DC for the first time. Monday night was a disappointment and I will take my time in returning. It seems like you have many new staff members and the quality of service I have been used to was very much lacking. Not the evening I promised my guests!

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AT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My birthday meal was here! We love the Watergate Hotel, and the Kingbird is a great standby with wonderful service and really well-prepared food. The menu this year seemed a little less inspired than last year, but everything was well executed and made with top ingredients.

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