Kingbird at The Watergate Hotel

4.2
1270 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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Specials

Easter Restaurant Specials & Reservations

Join us for Easter Brunch! Full buffet and bottomless mimosas for $95 per person and $55 for children 5-12 years, kids 4 and under eat free! Easter egg hunt with the Easter bunny on our rooftop at 11am and 12pm. Patio seating, water views, Kennedy Center.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

What 1270 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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D
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

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

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P
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great for high tea catch up with friends.

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f
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
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 5 days ago
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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JP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
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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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Have been to Kingbird 3 or 4 times in past two years. The food was just mediocre this time. Lamb was tough and had a weird sauce that came automatically with the entree in addition to additional sauces you could select. It was not to our liking. Bronzino did not have much taste.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, food and ambiance.

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K
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Service was really slow, reservations was for 8:30pm for 3, we sat down right away but our orders were not taken until 9:15 there was only 5 tables filled. Cocktails were warned it takes 15 mins to make because its hand crafted. It was super delicious and worth the 15 minute wait. Food is also delicious. The lobster for two, was not good, the bucatini is undercooked and so was the lobster. Everything else is perfectly tasty.

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s
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

I wish I could have a do over... We celebrated my husband’s birthday there last weekend. This dining experience was a complete disappointment, especially since we were celebrating an important day. The service was painfully slow even though the dining room was nearly empty. Our server seemed to be walking in slow motion and we needed to prompt her several times in order to get her attention. The menu lacks creativity and the plating/presentation added no intrigue. White plates, not garnished or anything. A little too minimalist in my opinion. The octopus appetizer was slimy and had not been cleaned properly, and the 1/2 lobster tail was still partially frozen. On my reservation i noted that it was my husband’s birthday, and i was told by my server that he would be presented with a french macaron and celebratory candle. Instead it was two pieces of chocolate, not very festive. We spent nearly 400.00 and to say that the only thing we would think of returning for would be the french fries shut really speak to our experience that night .

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J
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

This was my third visit to Kingbird in a two week period, and each time was disappointing. The first time, the shortrib was the toughest cut of meat, the second time was just fine, and the third time had horrendous service. The consistency is really low for food and service.

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

Jamie appeared to be a little nervous (she may have been new) but did just fine waiting on our table. We had a performance at the Kennedy Center and they made certain we could have a leisurely paced dinner and still have lots of time to get to the performance. They took us out a door that put us on a back path that allowed a 3minute walk to the KC instead of the longer journey by taking the streets. Two of us ordered different fish and both were beautifully prepared. The third had smoked lamb and said it was very good. Our bottle of wine was more than acceptable and we have been online and found a source here in the DC area. Then only negative about this restaurant is signage - we couldn’t find any and had to ask. The Watergate Hotel staff was lovely and actually walked us down the stairs into the restaurant. We will go back.

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YC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Service was terrible. 20+ minutes before anyone came by our table and the waiter was rude when he came to finally take our order. We also overheard 2 people saying they couldn’t handle our table. $120 ribeye overdone. Taste of lobster pasta was meh. Oh, and I had to ask twice to even order a bottle of wine. They definitely need to do better with all the great options in DC. Will never eat here again. Save your time and money.

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b
Baltimore
37 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The Kingbird is our preferred restaurant when we attend a show at the Kennedy Center. The menu and drinks are very creative and the food and service are superb. We can highly recommend the Kingbird.

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WE
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

We have dined at Kingbird on a number of occasions but were sadly disappointed on our last visit. The food was perfectly fine, if not exceptional and the ambiance of the space is both chic and lovely at once. Unfortunately, the place was understaffed. While we are partly to blame for the very uneven service (part of our group was late, though we advised the servers that we would order for them), we just were not given adequate attention. At one point, I indicated to our server that we wished to get an order of appetizers into the kitchen. He acknowledged the request, said he would return shortly and went to take a large table's order. He never made it back. This has been a favored spot when attending the Kennedy Center, but it is doubtful we will return.

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OT
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had no idea this restaurant existed. Found it only because I was notified the Kennedy Center was closing all its restaurants for a Gala taking place the evening of our show. Who knew? Wonderful service, delicious food and lovely view. We will return again.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We were promptly seated. Service was very personable and attentive. Food was lovely, although they did not have my initial wine choice. Tables were a little close together, but otherwise was a good experience. We had Kennedy Center tickets and made curtain in plenty of time.

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RT
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We have been a huge fan of this restaurant. We were surprised to learn they have a new chef and menu. The prices have increased dramatically which would be OK if the quality and presentation of the food stayed the same or improved. Sadly that was not the case. The food was actually very disappointing starting with the presentation. The concept is you can pick your protein, a sauce and a side. Each are presented individually. The arugula salad was highly disappointing. It was small and tasteless. I chose fish and was presented with a slab. The vegetables were good but very small. I ordered asparagus and there were about 5 small pieces. The restaurant itself is beautiful and the service has remained xcellent. It is a short walk to the Kennedy center. I am hoping my experience was an exception and not the rule.

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MB
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter, Abdel, could not have been better. He was professional, friendly and very knowledgeable. The food was amazing. The ambiance was perfect. I would definitely recommend this restaurant!

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OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

On vacation

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The pre- theater menu was very interesting and tasty.
Service was efficient and attentive.

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C
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

This restaurant has been our “go to” place on opera nights for the past 2 years, but they hired a new chef within the past 2 weeks and we were not impressed! (We were just there two weeks ago and had everything with cherries: fois gras, duck confit and cherries jubilee and it was wonderful!) Tonight I had a short rib that was so tough, I needed a steak knife to cut it. My friend had the halibut which was very uninteresting. We shared a cheese board desert which I doubt contained more than an ounce spread among three cheeses.

Worst of all, they brought the meal very shortly after the cocktails were served! Very poor timing!

I doubt we will return...

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CL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 3

Seemed an obvious choice to go to before attending the concert at the KENNEDY CENTER, just a short walk over. Very uneven restaurant, excellent cocktail, mediocre main dish, thoughtful dessert (customized with ‘Welcome back’) . The music is disruptive, the setting sun was right in my face and mirrors caused more of a glare, once the blinds were pulled down (for which the waiter had to climb over our bench to reach the window) it was slightly better. We had one slow and unenthusiastic server, then an excellent waiter serving the main course - this place is full of contrasts. I would only go back to sit at the bar and have another one of those fantastic cocktails.

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P
Washington DC
81 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The newly rolled out spring menu is quite a change. Although you can order a la carte, the menu is set up for package orders. For instance, the pre-theater package offers 1 appetizer 1 main with 1 sauce and 1 side ending with 1 dessert per person for 2 for $119. Ordering separately is considerably more. I had the roasted red bell pepper which was bland, the roasted lamb which despite being assured that "it falls off the bone" had to be scraped off, the potatoes puree had a soft boiled egg to stir in which made the puree into a soup, but the chocolate mousse tart was good but quite rich. All in all I was not very impressed with the new format. Service both at the bar and table was distracted; I had to stand up to get attention in order to get and pay my bill at both locations and while standing had to flag down a passing manager to accomplish this. For a restaurant with 4 star pretensions and 5 star prices, they could do better.

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f
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Kingbird where the service is gracious, food delicious, and the seating is so very special in a city where nose level is usually high and seating is crowded! My compliments to the entire dining room. My guest had never been before - he's now a confirmed believer in you as am I!

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SO
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful and delicious meal overlooking the Potomac.

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TS
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to share a very intimate dinner date with. The view is beautiful right at sunset, the best Manhattan we've ever had, and the Foie Gras custard was spectacular. Our meals were very good as well.

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NS
New England
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent ambiance. Great service. Good wine. Great food- foie gras custard appetizer outstanding + great sea bass + chocolate cake that was actually a mini souflee, What's not to like!

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RM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 1

It was my wife’s Birthday. I reserved a table for a birthday. No one recognized it. The first table offered was a table in the middle of the room, we asked for something nicer and were put in a second room with no view and less people. Our waiter was very busy and it took him some time our order. It should have been a surprise and present for my wife it ended as an unpleasant experience.

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T
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, the view, and the service was amazing! And the Extra Sean Spicy cocktail... don't even get me started!! Have already recommended and plan to visit again the next time I'm in DC.

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B
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

The entreè’s were delicious, perfectly cooked and a beautiful presentation but the salads were not our favorites and the restaurant felt a little too crowded. We could easily hear the couples next to us conversations and could hardly hear ourselves. I’m sure not every table has that problem but where we were sitting it was too close.

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AH
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food, service and ambiance were great. Please lose the uniforms, though. It gives a IHOP feel to what otherwise is an elegant restaurant.

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M
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The four of us arrived at different times and the wait staff was very helpful and patient. Dinner was wonderful and the service was fabulous...

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s
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Exceptional salad and salmon. Good service. Just a little cold on the ambiance side. Good river views.

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GC
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Kingbird was lovely. We were attending the NSO performance at the Kennedy Center - so we parked our car there, then walked over to KingBird. They have a shortcut to/from the Kennedy Center - 3 minute walk. The staff were fantastic. Service was very attentive without being intrusive. For starters we had the sweet potato gnocchi - yum! I had the Octopus and hubby had the skirt steak. Both were divine! Full of flavor and done to perfection. For add-ons we had the charred broccoli and the mashed potatoes. The creamy mashed potatoes melted in your mouth and the broccoli was perfectly cooked and seasoned. For desert, hubby had the chocolate cake and I had the Apple Cider Madeleines. So yummy!!! Our server was so great - she was attentive but we did not feel as though she was intruding on our privacy. She took care of our every need. It was pricey ($200 with a glass of wine each and not including tip) - but completely worth it!!! Definitely a must!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was amazing! As well as the food. It’s a whole dining experience.

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LF
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The physical space is gorgeous! You can ask for a table to view the water. our drinks were very good and had a great presentation. Maybe it was the day we were there (Sunday) but service was pretty slow. Our server was nice, and I don't think it was necessarily his fault but it was slow. So be aware of that if you have a show to attend at the Kennedy center. Definitely allow yourself enough time to get there in time.

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