Kingbird at The Watergate Hotel

4.2
1405 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mediterranean
Located within The Watergate Hotel, this elegant restaurant features Mediterranean cuisine with a French Riviera twist. Kingbird is open daily for breakfast, lunch, pre-theater dinner (5-7pm) and dinner with an energetic bar and contemporary dining room. Menus feature seasonally inspired plates from Executive Chef, Sébastien Giannini. Just a 5-minute walk to the Kennedy Center and Valet Parking is $12 for the evening.

Out on the seasonal terrace, enjoy al fresco dining with a view of the Potomac. Weekends offer Saturday brunch & Sunday brunch buffet, plus traditional Afternoon Tea with a modern twist.

Winner of Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence 2019
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What 1405 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
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.3
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Quiet
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Do not go pre-theater. We arrived almost 2 hours before the show and told them we had an 8 pm show. After 90 minutes we still did not have hour entree. No warning or information from anyone. Told hostess that we needed to leave in 10 minutes and nothing happened. The food came the same time we have to leave. We were hungry so we ate in 3 minutes and then waited again for the check. While waiting we saw other patrons complaining about the same issue. As an aside the butter served was bad and when a new batch arrived it was bad as well. We have eaten here before and generally enjoyed the experience but tonight was a disaster. Good news - we made the show and it was great.

OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Stay away from the Kingbird for Pre-theatre dinner. We had an awful experience there last night. Had to leave the restaurant in the middle of our meal, and run to the Kennedy Center to make our show. Very stressful experience. No table ready at time of reservation ( and we even arrived 10 minutes early), very slow service, meals for our party of four came out at different times. Heard from others that service is a real problem there.
I never write restaurant reviews but felt the need to do so in this case.

SG
New Orleans
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

From the iconic rooftop bar to the beautiful view of the Potomac what a special night!

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

We came for Restaurant Week lunch, and it was an outstanding value; great food for $22. We got 2 of the 3 options for each course, and they were all very good. I particularly liked the charred eggplant appetizer and the branzino entree. The restaurant itself is beautiful, and the service was excellent.

FF
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

Although the ambiance is wonderfully quiet and the view by the river is calm and relaxing, the food was a complete disappointment. Nothing at all interesting. Bland and uninspired. The service was absolutely outstanding which made for relaxed evening but the four of us were equally unimpressed with the lack of creativity and imagination for the food itself.

OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Hard to find entrance to hotel. Food was ok; pretty typical for a hotel restaurant

L
Washington DC
66 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The food was delicious and presented beautifully! The waitress was good but the busboy was surly and they both disappeared so that the water ran out at the beginning of the meal and did not get refilled until we were almost done.

W
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Palladin special menu was terrific. There’s also a reasonably priced pre-theater dinner. The bread was unacceptable, however. You can’t serve stale bread at a fine restaurant.

PD
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very pleased

CK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had outstanding service. The server was friendly, professional and extremely helpful as we looked over the menu, trying decide which dishes to get. She was attentive but not cloyingly so. She knew exactly when to approach us, so our conversation wasn't interrupted. The dining room is very open and quiet, so we felt we had the whole place to ourselves. And the lobster spaghetti is to die for, perfectly cooked. the delicious tomato/cream sauce did not over shadow of the delicate lobster claw meat. It was a perfect dining experience.

ES
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We have eaten here before and have liked the food. This time we felt the description of the food on the menu did not accurately describe the dish that was served... particularly the appetizer.

M
Orange County
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 2

The website is NOT accurate. The reservation times are not accurate. The menus are not accurate. We planned our family vacation well in advance and were looking forward to our Sunday Brunch. As it turned out, they no longer did Sunday brunch and even though we had a reservation for 10 AM we had to wait an hour and a half before we could get served. And then what we expected to eat was not even available. And what they did serve was over garnished. Pictures make it look appetizing but it was tasteless or over cooked or under ripe. Huge disappointment!! Cannot recommend this place for dining.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Chocolate Tart was amazing

SE
Washington DC
52 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the finest dining experiences in DC. The ambiance and service are top notch. The presentation is outstanding. I had the red snapper w a side of mushroom sauce. The fish tasted like it was just caught. My new go to restaurant before or after The Kennedy Center

LF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

The drinks were delicious. The presentation was excellent, but the food was not. I had the prix-fixe theatre menu. The lobster tail was over cooked and I struggled to cut it with the knife provided. The rockfish was delicious, but the gnocchi sarde were too al dente and the sunny side up egg in it didn’t make it seem like a carbonara because it didn’t blend well with the pasta. Additionally, they brought out the wrong dessert (creme brûlée), but in hindsight I should have eaten that instead of the cherries jubilee. The cherries jubilee had a macaron on top that was rock hard and the cherries were very bitter from being soaked in the alcohol. I would go back for drinks.

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

Our server, Mr. Lasker was superb. Thx

s
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We go there before going to performances at Kennedy center. This time we went to celebrate my son’s birthday. The staff was very nice and made him feel special. The food was delicious. We plan to come back again.

W
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

So... Let me sum this up. The place looks nice and the food looks nice but it is overpriced, the portions are small, the seating is cramped, and the service is like going to a restaurant chain instead of a fine dining experience. For the money I spent I would not recommend and push anyone who asked to find something else.

B
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food!

CT
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Just ok - overrated and expensive. Waiter was distracted most of evening. Food was very so-so.

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

Always fine food !!

EJ
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

Very overpriced food. I participated in the 3 course meal and none of it was mind blowing. Any restaurant that charges sides separately is not a place to be. Waste of $70! Will never be going back.

C
Washington DC
47 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Very nice early dinner so we could walk over to the Kennedy Center for a show. A quiet Sunday night at the restaurant. The service was fine, but not very attentive - a little more attentive would have been better, but still fine. They have an excellent choice of fish and three types of lamb dishes (being a lamb fan, I was impressed). I have the lamb riblets, which the waiter tried to talk me out of and steer me to the lamb chops - glad I stayed with the riblets. All in all, a very nice dinner. I wouldn't go out of my way to go there for dinner, but I will always go there when I go to the Kennedy Center.

RZ
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful, comfortable, very nice. Only glitch: wine was a different year than shown on the menu. Still, it was delicious. Hope to get back soon.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 3

My husband and I visited the Kingbird for dinner after a show at the Kennedy Center. Although refined in decor and menu selections, this restaurant is far from it. The service was slow and inattentive. With other larger parties around us, our waiter felt more compelled to inquire about their dinners and additional drinks. With minimal dining options in this part of town, I would steer clear of the Kingbird.

J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Service was awful and inattentive.

D
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I've been several times over the past year... Food never disappoints. The cocktail list is very fun. The servers and bartenders are very friendly and accommodating but dont go if you're in a rush. Several times I've been before a show at TKC and you think thye'd be used to people being in a hurry since they even advertise a "theater pre-fixe", but give yourself extra time. Again, the staff and food are awesome, just don't be in a rush ;)

GP
Washington DC
191 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Service was a bit slow to start. Maybe we were in no man's land? After we ordered things picked up. Great food. My date really enjoyed her Lamp Chops. I had Rockfish. All was good.

OT
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pre theater menu was excellent as well as the food itself and the wait staff!

M
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was excellent a d the presentation was nice. The chocolate dessert was yummy and would have been even better if the wafer at the bottom was more crispy, not soft. The arugula salad was great.

LE
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

This was my first time at Kingbird - went before a performance at the Kennedy Center. Pre-Theater price fix dinner was amamzin - both delicious and a good value. Fish was amazing as were the appetizers and sides. Wonderful staff too! I will definitely go back.

p
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, the food is really good and they got a cozy place

MG
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first experience at Kingbird and I will definitely be coming back. It located inside The Watergate Hotel. The hotel staff and and the servers were exceptional. The food was plentiful and delicious. The amount you pay us worth it.

J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We sat in the bar area. Entrees were good, service was outstanding. And there is a short cut to the Kennedy Center.

A
Washington DC
66 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was great, the venue convenient for catching a pre-theater dinner, but what really put this over the top for us was the service... wow. I wish I remembered her name but she was beyond amazing, taking care of several tables and still giving us incredible attention and getting us out the door in time. And did I mention the food was great?

AH
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 4

Disappointing dinner. 6 of us went to dinner before a show at The Kennedy Center. 4 of us ordered of the pre-theatre menu (app, main course and dessert) and two of us ordered off of the regular menu. My wife and her sister ordered the Dover Sole. While they both said it tasted fine, both also were surprised at the extremely small portion size. Apparently the pre-theatre option comes with nothing else. A small piece of fish on the plate and nothing else. Nothing, small fish and empty plate. I ordered the Bone in Ribeye cooked medium (waiter’s suggestion from the chef). The bone in Ribeye came out pre-sliced and almost well done. One piece of the pre-sliced meat had some red in it. I mentioned to the waiter that I ordered medium and he looked at my plate and said that the steak was cooked medium. Now, I’m no expert chef but I am an expert meat eater and in my 57 years of meat eating I have learned that a medium cooked steak has some pink in it.....somewhere.... now I wasn’t trying to make a big issue out of it but for the waiter to tell me my steak was medium was somewhat insulting. The manager finally came over and admitted it was well done. She asked if I want a new one cooked and I said no thank you I will be fine with this but I wanted o make sure that the food world didn’t come up with a new medium cooked method. She offered to take it off my bill, but again, I wasn’t trying to get a free meal. Just wanted an acknowledgment that there was an error and hopefully that would improve performance for future diners. When the manager left I looked at the table and realized that another person did not get a par of their order and that my son was eating Rockfish when he ordered Salmon.

I left the manager know of the other errors and he apologized. The manager did not come back over and my son ate the Rockfish as opposed to having the Salmon fired up. As we were almost done with dinner a new medium Ribeye showed up. I said thanks but I had asked not to

c
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful m!

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PM
Baltimore
14 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an excellent waitress and Omar brought the fresh, wonderful bread and was so sweet too. It was just like we knew him as a friend. He made it a point to tell us if we needed anything to let him know. Our waitress was so kind and let us know a shortcut to the Kennedy Center. We had a wonderful meal - a mix of breakfast and lunch with great drinks and delicious coffee. We will definitely return.

J
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

I’ve been here several times with several guests (typically celebrities, musicians, composers, and conductors). I went there to meet with a composer about future projects. It is the only real option in proximity to work. The overall experience is pretty good. The food is only okay, the service tends to be very slow, ambiance is good for that environment , but it is quite expensive.

M
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

The food here was AMAZING but the service was lacking for such a high priced restaurant. We had to track down our waiter several times to get drink refills and he forgot to put our side in to the kitchen so we ended up getting our sides after we’d already finished our man dishes.

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