Bits and Bites at K-Town Bistro- Restaurant Review
Tucked away along Kensington’s famed Antique Row, K Town Bistro is truly Food Among the Ruins. And like finding a good antique, you will have to search for a real culinary treasure… and at K Town, it’s hidden within the dessert menu.
Upon entering the door, we were confronted with a slight wait time of about five minutes (even with reservations and a near-empty restaurant), with the waitress telling us that our table was being set-up and then moments later a waiter doing the same thing. At 7 p.m. without a full house, the restaurant seemed a bit disorganized while we waited. But the staff was cordial, as they were throughout our evening.
When we finally arrived at our table, the waiter placed a cloth napkin on my lap and offered some water, then immediately ran through the evening’s specials. He departed and then we took our time perusing the menu. The interior of the restaurant was dark for the early evening, despite a large front window and skylights. I can see where they are trying to set a romantic mood, but it did make it difficult to read the menu. We settled on the Lobster Ravioli with Spinach to start. For the main courses, we chose the Salmon En Croute ($27) and the Filet Mignon ($29). While we waited, it was time for the restroom check.
The restroom was not as clean as I would have liked: bits of toilet paper on the floor as well as a wet piece of paper inside the sink drain. What was unique was the addition of a beautiful antique dresser in the ladies’ room, which fit right in at this Antique Row eatery. Having completed my bathroom check, I headed back to our table to await our order.
As I arrived back at the table, our waiter politely pulled out my chair… nice touch. First to arrive was the wine order. My glass of Bex Mosel Germany Riesling was incredibly tart and far from sweet. Being quite the Riesling lover, I was greatly disappointed and sent it back (a first for me). Our waiter returned with two options and provided us taste tests of a Chardonnay and a Pinot Grigio. While both were tart as well, I settled on the Chardonnay.
Next to arrive at our table was the ravioli appetizer. My first words were “Wow, this is really good!”. The texture was great and the lobster flavor was fresh and flavorful, and the side of spinach was full of flavor with a slight crunch and gratefully not overcooked.
My dining companion’s filet arrived garnished with mashed potatoes, haricot bert with roasted shallot red wine sauce. It was cooked medium rare (as ordered), and melted in your mouth… a wonderful piece of meat. The green beans accompanying the dish were crisp but otherwise unremarkable.
I then dove into my salmon with saffron rice and spinach with a red pepper sauce wrapped in pastry dough. I had high hopes to for this dish, as I absolutely love salmon, saffron rice, and who doesn’t love pastry dough. I was prepared to have an explosion of culinary magnificence within my very first bite, but sadly I was let down. I kept chewing, hoping that I would taste SOMETHING with my first bite but it simply had no flavor. I felt like I was eating solid air… nothing. This was a complete surprise since the dish included a red pepper sauce.
Having been let down by my entrée, I was holding out for a big finish with dessert. My expectations at this point were low. I’m delighted to say that K Town saved the best for last. Now THIS part they got right: the K Town Bistro Trio includes what they call a banana split which was actually sliced banana with caramelized sugar that has a nice sweet crispy coating, a chocolate mousse (which was to die) for was sweet, dark, inviting and sexy, and a classic crème brulee that had a crispy coating with a yummy sweetness. Two small complementary glasses of Moscato rounded out this dessert trifecta.
K Town Bistro seems like a natural part of Kensington’s Antique Row. The overall atmosphere seems to cater to a much older clientele, which may explain the lack of flavor and spice in some of their food options. Yet overall, I think K Town is a nice place to visit if you’re looking for a romantic, rustic, Old World style of dining and prefer texture over flavor in your food. But if you really want to spoil your taste buds, skip right to the dessert menu.
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Disclaimer: When I write about a restaurant needing improvement it is always coming from a place of love. I love food, respect and admire chefs and restaurant owners. I want you to win, excel and wow your patrons every time. Please take my writing about my experiences at your establishment as being on your side and wanting the absolute best for you for years to come.