Kingbird at The Watergate Hotel

4.3
998 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary French / American
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary French / American, Afternoon Tea, Breakfast
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Hours of operation
Breakfast:
Monday - Sunday: 6:30am - 11:00am;
Brunch:
Saturday & Sunday: 11:30am - 2:30pm;
Lunch:
Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm;
Dinner:
Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm;
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm;
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Phone number
(202) 838-4471
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Michael Santoro
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
New Hampshire Avenue NW
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Parking details
Valet hotel Parking Available for $12.00
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Public transit
Foggy Bottom Metro Station-Blue Line
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Private Dining

The Watergate Hotel’s featured restaurants are DC’s premier private event locations. We offer a variety of packages that make us the perfect location for private, political, corporate, fundraising & media events as well as social celebrations such as birthday parties & wedding receptions.

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What 998 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined 3 days ago

The morel mushroom fricassee is one of the best appetizers I’ve ever had.

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

The food was impressive, creative, and tasty. It was a reasonably priced pre-dinner menu that is great for a special occasion. Easy walk over to the Kennedy Center. We each enjoyed our meals. The duck breast was cooked beautifully with a crisp skin and tender meat. The chicken was juicy and flavorful. The scallops were fluffy and light, perfect to the taste and touch. Quick but not rushed service that was helpful with our theater timeline.

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4.0Dined 4 days ago

We were there pre-theater. Perhaps atmosphere would be nicer at night. Only disappointment was the special martini - the taste was above average but the glass was only half full. It looked strange being served a half-empty glass. In hindsight, I should have said something. One would have thought that the bartender or server would have noticed.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Celebrated a wonderful 25th wedding anniversary... everything was PERFECT! Definitely recommend it!

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3.0Dined 5 days ago

Way overpriced for what it was. It was convenient because it was in the hotel, but even with the 10% off coupon you got at check in I would recommend just taking a cab elsewhere.

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2.0Dined 5 days ago

The service was slow; the salads were wet; and the pot de creme tasted like it was made by Jell-o. Terrific sea bass and duck, however.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

An enticing environment, friendly service and excellent food. I especially loved the king crab appetizer - I'd never seen green tomatoes sliced so thin and they beautifully complimented the dish. We also greatly enjoyed the Roasted peppers on Toast which was chock full of tomato and pepper and anchovies (for those like me who love them) . The Maine lobster risotto was a bit rich, but there were ample amounts of lobster in the dish. My husband enjoyed the fried chicken breast and those french fries - wow! For dining close to the Kennedy Center, this is a great option.

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4.0Dined on August 12, 2018

delicious, fast and very close to kennedy center. had pre-fixe theater menu and my husband and i both enjoyed our options.

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2.0Dined on August 12, 2018

For the most expensive dinner menu around, the food was mediocre at best. Fried "pressed" chicken tasted like fish. Vegetables were drippy not fresh. Waiter put in wrong order for one of us and so by the time the correct order appeared the other two guests were finished eating their entree. Not the way you want to spend a birthday dinner.

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4.0Dined on August 11, 2018

The food overall was very good, pricey but what you would expect in DC.
I did not appreciate the rushing, however. We arrived at 5:30 and told them we were going to the theatre at 7:30 and from that point on he rushed us through every course. The scallops were incredible! the other entrees good but not great. Literally we were STILL CHEWING when they took the plates away! Never were offered coffee and they gave us dessert while we were still finishing our wine.
Overall, it's good food and quick walk to Kennedy Center, but the rushing would truly make me hesitate to return.

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3.0Dined on August 10, 2018

The food was very basic and overpriced. The service was lovely though. I wouldn't go back.

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2.0Dined on August 10, 2018

I do not recommend eating at the Kingbird. Food was mediocre at best. Worst scrambled eggs I’ve ever had.

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4.0Dined on August 8, 2018

Came here before a show at the Kennedy Center. The food and service were excellent. The food is among the best in the city. Servers are attentive and were understanding of our need to get to the show.

I did not like the decor. It feels like a cafeteria rather than a nice restaurant. Bland laminated tables? Ugly chairs? Nothing fits with what the food is.

I also did not find it a good value despite the wonderful food. $180 for two people with only two glasses of wine. The food was perhaps a reasonable value, but the drinks are extremely expensive.

Get apps and drinks elsewhere, then eat the main course here.

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5.0Dined on August 8, 2018

The pre-theater menu is amazing!!! I didn’t know they had it until we arrived but there were ample choices and everything was great!

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5.0Dined on August 7, 2018

Great fresh new menu items

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5.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Excellent service. Great for pre-theater. Great food.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Rarely do I find a high end restaurant where the quality of the food substantiates the menu prices. UNBELIEVABLE FOOD

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

I was not very enthused about going to Kingbird as I'm not a fan of hotel restaurants, which are usually very expensive and very so, so save for a few exceptions including Kingbird. I ordered the tasting menu, and the portions were a tiny bit too much for me, but one could consider them good to generous for an evening, pre-theater dinner. I had the steak tartare, which was tasty without being overwhelming, the cavatelli, lovely and tasty, and the chocolate pot de creme. This dessert could have been a tiny bit cooler and the consistency would have gone from good to outstanding. I tasted my companion's sea bass and his creme brulee and they were also really good. The service was not too much, not too little. Goldilocks right. All in all a great experience. Prepare the wallet though. However, every penny was worth.

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4.0Dined on August 4, 2018

We had dinner before seeing Hamilton and there were a lot of people doing the same so the staff seemed a little pressured. We were seated at 5:30pm so I did not feel the need to rush so my only complaint was that the wait staff put pressure where none was needed. The seabass and scallops were the highlights. The cold corn soup for a starter was sweet and delicious too. Great time, great food.

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

The Service was outstanding! We stayed at the Watergate Hotel because it was by the Kennedy Center. The Kingbird offered a wonderful 3 course meal. It was the best Sea Bass I have ever eaten. My husband was thrilled with his roasted chicken. (We were told by a friend to always order chicken at a 5 star restaurant because it will be the best.) Afterwards it was a 4 minute walk to the Kennedy Center to watch Hamilton!!

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Enjoyed our pre-Hamilton dinner. Neil was an outstanding waiter. My adult grandchildren and I loved the Kingbird.

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5.0Dined on July 31, 2018

Why do you determine which restaurants you decide gets points? Had I known, I would have picked a different restaurant.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

I was impressed by their signature Manhattan, which was served in a small glass orb with a separate glass with ice and lemon peel. That way, a small bit at a time could be poured over ice to chill, but it never became watered down.

What really sold me, however, was the Black Truffle Cavatelli. I took one bit and told my husband he had to try it even though he claimed to not like poached eggs. He took one bit and offered to trade me his salmon for the rest. We ended up splitting both dishes, and I thoroughly enjoyed both. The pasta dish was small, but it was so rich and filling that I was happy to switch to fish after half. My husband and I also shared two side dishes - mashed potatoes and spinach, which were seasoned and cooked perfectly. We decided against dessert since we were both full, but our waiter brought a small creme brulee. It was only a couple bites, but it was a perfect end to the meal without leaving us stuffed.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Dinner before Hamilton at the Kennedy Center. The Pre-Theater Menu was amazing. The food came quick and was very good. Cocktails we're a bit pricy but still still worth it if you want a well made drink.

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4.0Dined on July 27, 2018

Getting to the Kingbird really makes it hard to relax and enjoy the restaurant in the first place. Disorganized valet and only one working elevator after wrong directions from the front desk - then it's loud just walking in. Hard chairs and a cafeteria only add to the noise and general discomfort.

That said, food is delicious and service is better.

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2018

Perfect for pre theater or any time. Restaurant is very attractive and staff were professional and attentive.

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4.0Dined on July 26, 2018

Good food, service have been better the evening we attended. Very high prices for very inexpensive wines.

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1.0Dined on July 25, 2018

Awfullll experience. Do not go!!

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3.0Dined on July 25, 2018

I was disappointed. We had play tickets at The Kennedy Center for 7:30. We made reservations for 5:30.
We were seated at 5:30-- but a waiter didn't come to us for 20 minutes, until 5: 50 p.m.
We didn't order the pre-theater price-fixed menu because we were concerned that we would not have time to enjoy it. I ordered the filet mignon- medium. It came medium rare. I did not feel comfortable taking the time to send it back-- however, I did tell the waiter. He looked at it and agreed with me. However, no accommodation to the bill or an apology from the Manager was forthcoming.
It was a very expensive meal to be disappointed with.
My husband's piece of salmon was very small.

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4.0Dined on July 25, 2018

We thoroughly enjoyed our pre-dinner meal at Kingbird. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. They even brought a complimentary glass of Sauternes as an after-dinner treat. We just had a great time - highly recommend this restaurant if you're going to the Kennedy Center or happen to be in the neighborhood and want a reasonably priced upscale-casual dining experience.

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4.0Dined on July 24, 2018

Beautiful design - but uncomfortable booth seating. The food looked good but not impressed by sea bass who had too much of grey fat.
At this price point, you also expect table cloth for dinner.

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2.0Dined on July 23, 2018

The waiter was rude, as he discouraged, to put it mildly, sharing of food, even if it was soup in our case. He interrupted conversations but wasn't watching the table when we needed things. I had to ask the manager one time and other waiters, other times. I had to twist my back backwards continuously and raise my hand like a schoolboy in order to get some attention. The waiter told us that they serve the "European" way so he didn't recommend sharing. Well, we are from Europe, and this is not the way it is done over there. And, we were all family and this is what we do - we share so we can get multiple tastes and experiences.

For our toddler, the only high-chair was missing its foot rest board. I showed the waiter where the board should be. I asked for a different one but was told they only have one high chair. Really? The watergate hotel and its two restaurants have one and only one high chair?! Then the waiter fumbled not knowing how to set it up (remove the tray so kid can climb in) or adjust the straps.
The "cherry on the pie" was seeing a big bug crawling in the hallway outside the restaurant, near the entrance to the ladies' restrooms.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Unique decor, very modern with elegance. Food and service are superb. Dinner after rather than before the theater resulted in a perfect evening.

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2.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Kingbird is not the place for brunch. They may have had an off day, but the food was very ordinary, and some of it seemed warmed up prepackaged food, such as the "rosti" potatoes. No much different than MacDonalds breakfast potatoes. Eggs benedict arrived without hollandaise, which was provided once requested, but that's pretty basic. They have a breakfast buffet for hotel guests, and I think we got just the same kinds of food, even thought we ordered from a menu. Will not recommend or return

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4.0Dined on July 22, 2018

What a great place! Amazing food and service! Highly Recommend the scallops and crab appetizer!

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4.0Dined on July 21, 2018

Excellent food, excellent service, a little pricey. Good spot for pre/post theater at kennedy center

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

Experience was much better than recent reviews. Food was delicious (although relatively small) and the service was excellent. I took my family before seeing Hamilton, and 3 of 4 of us took advantage of the pre-theater menu. It was a good selection for a decent price considering it was at the Watergate. There was a deluge when we were leaving and several staff offered to let us go out an irregular exit that was closer to the Kennedy Center, and offered us umbrellas to take. I would recommend this for those seeking out a nicer restaurant pre-Kennedy Center.

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4.0Dined on July 20, 2018

Only complaint was wait staff did not allow time for us to enjoy cocktails before they served us
our soup. But we were going to a concert so they may have wanted to move things along

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5.0Dined on July 20, 2018

Very convenient for pre theater dinner! Valet parking was $12 for the whole evening with validation. While the plates are small, the presentation and flavors were superb. King crab leg salad and crab cakes were highly recommended and didn't disappoint! The prix fixe menu had selections from the regular dinner menu, so it felt like a great value. Would go back next time I'm at Kennedy center.

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5.0Dined on July 18, 2018

Had a wonderful dinner prior to a show at the Kennedy Center then came back for a drink at the rooftop bar. A perfect evening! Our server, Solomon, was great - responsive, attentive, friendly.

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