Kingbird at The Watergate Hotel

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4.2
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1336 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 2018
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What 1336 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
4.2
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Quiet
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RW
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Even though we were there at a busy time, the staff was efficient and helpful and got us to the theater on time. The Pre-theater menu selection was wonderful with enough variety to be interesting.

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DC
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Everything was good but this is a place you expect more than good. I don't think we'll be back.

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

Great before theater meal and $12 valet for the evening (just make sure you get your ticket stamped)

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service & food.

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DB
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Overall good but not great or special. Decor and location ideal for Kennedy Center!

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GG
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

All buffet options were delicious! Service was great. I highly recommend and will dine here again

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G
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service!

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BF
Memphis
39 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sunday brunch buffet is the best!!

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful staff, service and the food was divine.

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D
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

Lamb was very fatty and was ordered medium rare but came rare. Veggies .. broccoli was over cooked. Wait staff was excellent and that is why I tipped what I did .. would not recommend as food was not good for the price.. 154.00 for dinner I should be full and happy when done dining. I was not full nor happy. I would recommend the hotel but would not recommend this restaurant.

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MP
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful dinner before heading over for a show at K.C. Food was delicious and service was outstanding! Going to go back in a couple weeks before the next show!

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K
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 2

Service is frustratingly slow and has been for some time; doesn't seem to be a perceived issue from management. The burger was very good, though most other items are fairly over-priced for a lunch portion. I continue to go for lunch because of proximity to my office.

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DD
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

I don't mind paying a premium price for premium food. Our lunch did not meet that criteria. Very disappointing birthday celebration.

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S
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent beef tartare! Lemon dessert divine! Decaf expresso really was decaf. Service excellent!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was exceptional and the food was amazing. We had the grilled Halibut, fried cauliflower, and lobster. Our waiter convinced us to try their chocolate tart for dessert since it’s won awards in Paris and we saw why. Everything was great!

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CZ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

Very expensive small portions. And, spite of the price, they don't even serve bread with the meal!

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SG
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

I would put Kingbird at roughly twice the price it should be. The food was okay, but the prices were nearly equal to some of the top steak houses in town and the quality was not even close. After seeing our appetizers (cauliflower was good, but we were pretty sure the "grilled" bell peppers were out of a jar from Trader Joe's, both were $14 or $16 each) I ordered the chicken entree. I couldn't bring myself to order a $40 steak I knew would be mediocre. Even my $28 chicken came on its own (like all entrees at Kingbird) and the one-cup sides are $8 each.

Bottom line-- it's not bad, and it's also not particularly good. But it is definitely overpriced. If you want to spend this amount of money go to Capital Grill, RPM, etc and get WAY better food, or just go to one of the hundreds of great places in DC where you can spend half as much for an equal or better meal.

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r
Nashville
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very good, but for a business meal it is important to bring the check when people finish their desert and coffee. After a long late dinner, people want to leave and wish the waitress could have brought the check sooner. There was no need to wait and it was embarrassing when I had to flag her down to ask for it. It made me look like I was bored (which I was). Other than that the service and food was excellent.

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A
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Interesting setting with staff in Madmen inspired attire. Terrific decor. Valet parking ($20) plus tip of course so in line. Hostess was prompt and attentive. At by window with nice view of Potomac. Menu interesting and varied. Drink specials were inventive and fresh tasting. Food was very good and presented well. Waitstaff was spot on. Attentive but not hovering

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CB
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family and I had a great birthday celebration at Kingbird. We had a delicious meal, great libations, and a complimentary birthday dessert. Our server Christina was amazing. She never rushed us and welcomed our celebratory moment. She explained the dishes on the menu and made sure that our libations were never far away. Thanks!

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S
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The hotel and the restaurant doctor is amazing. However, the food and the service was not up to our expectations. The steak and the fish we got were overcooked and pretty salty.

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a
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 5ambience 5

Everything was great except for the mouse wandering around

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JB
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Food was mediocre at best, service was outstanding.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Extremely disappointed with the experience at Kingbird. There were several gnats and flies inside of the restaurant, that the waitstaff could care less about. If that weren’t enough, a mouse presented itself in the middle of the dining area.

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F
Washington DC
36 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Food is delicious though quite expensive. Service is excellent and our server Tomoko is wonderfully attentive.

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KM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was so so amazing! Food was so fantastic, service was perfect!!! I def recommend!!!

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BW
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

It was okay...the food was delicious but way over priced and over-posh. It's trying too hard to be super fancy when it is still just a hotel restaurant. They also over-served the guy at the table next to ours as he was completely drunk, saying cringe-worthy things and being rather rude. The service was fantastic though, and since it was my wife's and mine 1 year wedding anniversary, they brought us out a special dessert with "Happy 1 year Anniversary" written in chocolate on the plate. Very thoughtful!

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GR
San Antonio
13 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Hosting a friend for dinner before Kennedy Center performance. The menu was inventive and the food interesting and delicious...well presented as well. Our server, Ahmed, was friendly and efficient...well trained...ensured we were served promptly and out the door in time for the performance. His menu recommendations were spot on!

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h
Denver
19 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great for pre-theatre at Kennedy Center.

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DO
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

A provisional "yes" of recommendation. The food was very good, if expensive (knew that going in--I had been there before) but we were pressed for time since we were going to the opera next door. They took their time to seat us (reservation was for 5:00--they seated us at 5:10). Then the waitress assured us we would be taken care of to make out 7:00 show. But it took another 50 minutes to get our appetizers! And then our main course and dessert had to be rushed. We barely made the show on time. We will be back (third time will be the tie-breaker) but unless the service is faster, we may NOT return!

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DR
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

In picking the Kingbird for a pre-theater supper, I looked at a number of reviews. Many from a year or more ago seemed to fault the service more than the food. Still, it's close to the Kennedy Center and the food was getting ok reviews. So, adjusted my expectations and reserved. Three of us went, all picked the theater menu and all had different dishes. Everyone loved the food, AND the service was impeccable. Give the Kingbird a try, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

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NV
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

So glad Kingbird has returned to its excellent pre theater menu. We had a delicious dinner this week before the opera. I especially want to thank the wait staff. We were terribly late due to horrendous traffic, and they got us in and out on time.

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AA
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
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 on May 19, 2019
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 on May 16, 2019
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
176 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
62 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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