Girl on a Mission

Allow me to paint you a picture:

A charming place to visit: The Kingfish Café

A quaint, modest establishment nestled back from the street; an arched doorway welcoming patrons in and a soft, warm lighting keeping them comfortable. Mouthwatering aromas fill the air and faint music wafts gently in the background; a boisterous and friendly host is at the ready to greet and seat. It is instantly charming and somehow overwhelmingly familiar.

Our favorite restaurant. We went there for our first date, celebrated special occasions and romantic evenings there. We laughed across the candlelit table while sipping wine and never failing to order the same dish. It was lovely to say the least, and when it closed last year, my devastation was palpable. I may have even shed a (single, heart-wrenchingly beautiful) tear. I thought perhaps it was a “goocher” – a bad omen.

As I was pondering what I might blog about this week, I told my man-friend that a riveting restaurant review might be just the ticket. We were on our way to an eatery that neither of us had tried and I was jazzed about the notion of being a food critic. He responded with a quick, “that’s lame and uncreative.” Ouch. Hit ‘em where it hurts. Of course, I was offended for about five minutes before I charmingly laughed it off {read: I held my grudge until safely seated at the restaurant with a glass of red wine}, until, genius that he is, suggested that instead of just writing a review (which I had stubbornly decided I MUST do out of spite since he’d bashed the idea), why not turn it into a long-term hunt: a hunt to find our new favorite restaurant.

We simply haven’t found anything that meets our (dangerously, snobbishly high) standards. Yes, we still enjoy dreamy dinners for two, but we have agreed that there is a hole that has yet to be filled. So Tuesday date night now has the added element of the mission to find our new fave.

Attempt #1: The Kingfish Café

This fantastic, dimly lit place is in the pleasantly unbusy part of Capitol Hill. We found parking easily (despite reviews warning that parking was a challenging feat) and were seated immediately upon arrival (also despite reviews of a long wait-time). While ordering drinks, I was mesmerized by the tale included in the front jacket pocket of the drinks menu. It shares the charming story of two sisters who grew up eating the delicious Southern comfort food their restaurant now serves. And adorning the walls are fantastic old photos, blown up and framed, which I learned from the background story, are images of the owners’ relatives going back years and years. I like a little history in a restaurant.

As a starter, we ordered the Crab and Catfish Cakes to share. Someone would have liked them all to himself after the initial bite, claiming that they were the best cakes he’d ever tried {this comment does not come lightly – the guy is a crab SNOB}. They are served with a perfectly spicy tartar sauce (my mouth is watering just thinking about this dish) and we both agreed that it was a winner.

Chocolate Wonderfulness - clearly we can't wait to dig in!

For our entrees, I had the Mac n’ Cheese and he had the Gumbo. Two more excellent choices, especially on my part. I have not stopped raving about that Mac and I must admit that there was a bit of tension over who was going to get the leftovers. I won. Not typically a desert type couple, we opted to give it a taste (per those reviews), and we were glad we did. One piece of the Chocolate Chocolate Fudge with Raspberry Filling (enough for three or four people, easily) and we were in food coma central.

Is it our new fave? I can’t go that far. We do have many more to try, but for my overall review, I give multiple thumbs up. The food was superb, the service was great, the ambiance of the restaurant itself was fantastic. The bill, on the other hand, was a leeeettle bit steep for what we would have expected. I don’t mean to be a scrooge, and we did order an app and dessert, which is not the norm, and to be fair, they did provide a menu with PRICES… but just saying. While this was not quite the glass slipper to my Cinderella story (is that a mixed-up usage… sport term or something? Oh well, you get the pic, right?), I would still give The Kingfish Café a solid recommendation and will definitely be a return customer myself. Check it out and share your thoughts here!

The hunt continues… happy eating!


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