Foodie Newz

The Food at KILN is Smokin’ Hot

The Hotel Heron at 699 Prince St. has it all

Alexandria, VA  A new restaurant has arrived in Alexandria! KILN is the newest addition to the Old Town restaurant scene in the Hotel Heron at 699 Prince St. The KILN dinner menu features fire-kissed appetizers and entrées that will delight your palate. The dining room is light filled and comfortable. Tables are well spaced and the noise level is reasonable. Service is excellent. Chef Matt and Sous Chef Patrick are a welcome presence in both the open kitchen and the dining room.

KILN Executive Chef Matt (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)
KILN Chef Patrick and Director of Food and Beverage, Betty Woodward (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

A pre-opening dinner allowed me and my guest to enjoy their offerings. I ordered one of their specialty cocktails, and as a gin lover, I found the KILN’s Evermore made with gin, elderflower, bitter aperitivo, and rose to be just the right beverage to accompany dinner. It was garnished with an edible flower.  My guest is a bourbon lover and thought the Soul Kitchen made with bourbon, peach, honey, black tea, lemon, and topped with red wine foam sounded interesting, and tasted amazing!

The Evermore (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)
The Soul Kitchen (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

While I waited for my guest to arrive, I enjoyed the KILN bread served with cultured butter. Warm and comforting, a taste of home. I accompanied it with the Marinated Olives that had been marinated in roasted garlic, citrus, and rosemary. They were the perfect accent to my cocktail.

Chilled Chioggia Beets (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

My guest swooned over the KILN Chilled Chioggia Beets is served with strawberry, dill, and olive oil. Even I liked it and I am not a beet person. Three appetizers captivated us with a mix of flavors. The Raw Kohlrabi Salad of local cherries, toasted almond, and a coconut-lime dressing was a new way to enjoy one of my favorite but not well-know veggie.

The big hit was the cool and refreshing Red Snapper Crudo made with plum, benne seed, and smoked oil. It’s a perfect dish for a hot summer night.

Red Snapper Crudo (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

Did I mention the KILN’s Ember Roasted Sweet Potatoes with toasted pecans and a chipotle condiment. One word: WOW.

Ember Roasted Sweet Potato (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

The dinner menu features fire! The Roasted Bone-In Pork was magic with charcoal onions and a harissa pork jus. A forkful of pork, onions, and jus was a perfect bite.

Roasted Bone-In Pork with charred scallions (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

The Weaver Farms Coulotte Steak was served with a tallow puddle with tallow, charred broccoli rabe and shallots. Coulotte is a little know butcher’s cut with a deep beef flavor, order it medium rare or rare to enjoy the tender bite and maximum flavor.

Weaver Farms Culotte Steak with charred broccolini and shallots (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

Looking around the dining room, I saw many happy faces as the tried other menu items like the not often seen Golden Tile Fish (also known as golden snapper or bass) served with grilled kale, hazelnut, and sherry sauce. The flavor is mild and sweet, with a firm texture. Chef Matt knows his fish and this one is keeper. FYI, want to share a dish, order either the Mosner FarmsWhole Lamb Rack with jimmy nardello peppers, hazelnut, and black lime or the Shook Farms 28 oz. Strip Loin served with pommes aligot and a tallow vinaigrette. Again, convince your tablemate to share. You won’t be disappointed.

Milk and Honey dessert (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

Dessert is not an afterthought at KILN. Gluttony overtook us when we saw the offerings.  Milk & Honey is a dish of dehydrated milk, rosemary, and vanilla. Don’t be put off by the description. Just order it, dip your spoon in and swoon from the flavor. A slightly less adventurous but equally delicious is the Strawberries & Cream, a lovely combination of strawberries, white chocolate, and balsamic.

KILN Strawberries and Cream (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

The Chocolate Rye Cookies went home in a napkin! The pop of the sprinkling of sea salt was perfect. Not a sweets person? Enjoy the Ewe’s Blue from Groton, New York.

Chocolate Rye Cookies (Photo: Debby Critchley/The Zebra Press)

As KILN moves forward, expect more innovation, fire, and smoke in the menu. Enjoy it now.

Check out the Alexandria’s Newest Landmark featuring a rooftop bar.  

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