Restaurant Review: Kindred

Our first visit to Kindred’s stylish restaurant in Davidson was a memorable one!

It was Jen’s birthday, and we were in Charlotte for the weekend with some friends to catch a Carolina Panthers game. We were looking for a place to eat, not knowing the Charlotte-area very well, and checked out the local Charlotte Agenda for some advice. Kindred was ranked No. 1 in the Agenda’s “Top 50 Restaurants in Charlotte” and with two “$” it seemed like it was affordable!

We had reservations for the evening, and got in and seated within minutes of checking in at the front. We’re off to a great start.

After eating some bread, which was amazing … we even got seconds! We then decided on a Super Tuscan red wine, ordered our food, and awaited our bonanza of small plates.

SALUMI – Or Italian cold cuts, was the first plate brought to our table. Consisting of A.B. Vannoy ham, country paté and hot Soppressata. This was served up with a smear of hot mustard, which really complimented the pork, and cleared the sinuses. While each bite of meat was superb, our favorite was the paté on some bread with the hot mustard.

COBIA CRUDO – This light, flaky fish (Cobia) was served up raw (Crudo) with Scuppernong, Oloroso sherry and Marcona almonds in a nice, soup like serving. Sharing this with the table meant we didn’t get a lot, but made sure all of us were able to try all the elements together in one bite. This was probably our least favorite plate that evening, but still a tasty morsel.

WAGYU BEEF TARTARE – Thinly-sliced Wagyu beef on Benne toast, Veracruz sauce and topped with a cloud of greens. The menu also said this dish had mussel escabeche, which we didn’t taste, or see (the lighting in the restaurant is kept low to add to the sophisticated ambience). But, quite frankly, it didn’t matter what was on the bread, because it was all good.

CRISPY OYSTERS and DUCK FAT POTATOES – These two plates were brought out at the same time. Fried oysters on a bed of dill yogurt and Calabrian chili oil. By this time we’re catching on to the Italian/Spanish-theme with many of the items on the menu this evening. The oysters were cooked to perfection, and a perfect plate for a party of four (each one of us got to enjoy two oysters each). The potatoes, cut into wedges, were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside – and tasted good with the aioli, but also with that hot mustard left over from the Salumi.

SCALLOPS A LA PLANCHA and PORK SCHNITZEL – Now we’ve made our way into the heavier proteins. First we tried the scallops, which was plated with baba ghanoush, corn and Chanterelle mushrooms. We can never say no to a perfectly seared scallop – and what’s exactly what was brought to our table. The perfect way to eat this dish was to quarter the scallop and place it on a bed of baba ghanoush on your spoon. Then get a little of the corn relish, sliver of sliced pepper and cilantro garnish – and take it all in! As for the schnitzel, this was placed on a smear of whole grain mustard and topped with thinly sliced apple, celery and some greens. The pork was thin and tender, but lacked something in the spice department.

SQUID INK CONCHIGLIE – This was one of the specialities our server that evening said was a must order. So we did. And we didn’t regret this! To be honest, all of us mentioned that each of us could have just ordered this pasta plate and been good for the rest of the night! For those of you that don’t know, Conchiglie, is just the fancy name for pasta shells, but who would order Squid Ink Shells? Conchiglie just sounds Italian, and saying it is just as fun. With the shells coming out black, due to the ink, this dish also included shrimp, tarragon and sea urchin butter. The creamy butter along with the tarragon, and something with a little “heat” made this dish “to die for.” Three words we don’t usually say, but when its true, you just have to own up to it.

Kindred also does something witty when your check comes, and it’s a great way to take your mind off how much you just spent that evening. The restaurant gives some of its menu items a creative name – here’s a sample of some of the names on our check.

Scallops la Yum!

See ya later, Taters

Suzy sells seaSHELLS

Crudo, Dude-O!

It’s What’s for Dinner

Oystaz :)